TA Near You: Update to the Army Website - www2 Gone?

I had an interesting e-mail conversation with the 'Army Webmaster' this week about the links to unit websites on the TA Near You website (I've removed any personal details from the e-mail):

Just so that you know, the Army Website is going through some big changes and the URLs are all changing, all the sites that you have listed as www2 will be down from about the 9th Jan 09, so some work for you..

Also i like the map, i was going to link to it but the google adds have made me change my mind....



Army Webmaster
Hmmmm.... bit of an interesting e-mail, especially that it came from a googlemail.com address - why not a mod.uk address if he really is the 'Army Webmaster'.

My Reply:

Many thanks for the e-mail. Can you advise what the new URL of the various sites will be once the 'www2' sub-domain disappears?

As for the advertisements, the site is run entirely by members of the community and is funded out of our own pockets. As a result we have to raise a modest income to cover the cost of servers and bandwidth etc. any additional funds that are raised are donated to forces charities including Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion.

Rgds, Nick.
and the webmaster's response:

Sorry Nick,

I am very busy working on the new site and wont have time to find the links you require.

I'm really not overly impressed with this attitude especially when you see what sort of attempt the 'officials' come up with (http://www.army.mod.uk/signals/organisation/6969.aspx - how does that URL relate to 36 Sigs Regt?!?!), but then again, I'm not entirely convinced it really is official.

I'll keep an eye on the links and as they change, update them on the website. If you see that the link to your unit is no longer working, please drop me a line at nick [at] tanearyou.org.uk.

The whole move has been a complete disaster from the start.

New Content Management System I believe
Can't really comment on the origin of the email you received but the gist is true and it has been public knowledge for months. Early in Jan (the ACMS site says archived on 15 Dec, offline 9 Jan) the www2 links will just disappear. As far as I can tell, they will not be redirected and the 'replacement' is what is already available on the ordinary www domain.

Initially, the decision to go with the 'new look' Army site made sense—after all, there were some old and smelly pages out there along with a bit of blatant ripping off (103 Regt RA(V) will know what I mean :wink: )—so a good tidy-up was in order. But then it became clear that Coy/Sqn level sites were not going to be allowed because they 'spoiled the flow' of the Army site.

When the real policy came to light, some fairly high-powered and protracted protest from the TA was brought to bear but thus far 'One Army' does not seem to mean parity, it just means that only one gets taken seriously whilst the other gets filed under 'irrelevant'.

I am still hoping that the *ahem* 'expert' civvy from the Central Office of Information comes to her senses in time but the situation, as msr indicated, is looking like a complete disaster for the TA.
I work in IT. I've spent much time following URLs to stuff about different TA units, to find that I had to manually alter them to say www2. at the start instead of www.

I wish I could express disbelief that an organisation like the MOD couldn't find people who'd heard of HTTP redirects. But I can't, because I'm getting used to my taxes getting pissed away. Sorry.

I'm still very greatful to the people who looked up the links in their bookmark files or on google for me, because they were volunteering helpful information that the MOD has pointlessly made slightly out of date. Thanks.

I would not be sacked for such an error in my civillian job, probably just teased a bit and expect to buy a round of beers at the end of the week, but if I was aware of it and left it uncorrected for a few months, then I probably would be shown the door.
I sense that more website like the 4 Para website will start to pop up since the "official" website doesn't seem to offer anything in the way of marketing or relevant information for TA units.
GuybrushThreepwood said:
I sense that more website like the 4 Para website will start to pop up since the "official" website doesn't seem to offer anything in the way of marketing or relevant information for TA units.
I agree. And I also think that there will be an official loss of temper by those brainwashed woodentops who sit in meetings, rocking back and forth chanting the 'OAR is working...all you need is OAR' mantra. Stand by for grown-ups brandishing the 'no-public-URLs' DIN as well!
I'll second the comment re. the 4Para website - those guys have been excellent in providing updates to the tanearyou website, nothing is too much trouble for them.

I remember reading (on here I think) that units were not 'allowed' to have independent websites - is that the case? How come the likes of 4 Para get away with it*?

* or is that a daft question, to which the reply will be 'they're 4 Para...'
I understand that there has been a lot of drum banging for quite some time, trying to get units to move to the new system, the www2 was only a legacy temporary stop gap. They had to draw the line somewhere and pull the plug.

There isn't really a simple choice. Let everyone do their own thing and there'd be complaints about "Why can't we all look the same, we look pretty unprofessional having completely different looks, reinventing many different wheels.". Plus it's a bit mroe of a nightmare trawling round exernal sites ensuring nothing is there that shouldn't be. Then you have the situation we're being pushed in to now, and people don't like that either!
Training has been limited to a few regtl/corps reps. You are not alone in wanting to get to grips with this but for now, you can't.
Sorry to keep banging this one, but if anyone has any updates for the TA Near You site, please forward them to nick [at] tanearyou.org.uk.

GuybrushThreepwood said:
Have any TA units actually got people trained on the new CMS? I'm trying to get myself on there at the moment but no one seems to be answering queries.
The Gunners have centralised it in the Marketing Group at Larkhill.

All pages to be submitted via them.


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