The FAQ Page
Frequently Asked Questions
About the ePromenader and the new RAF Web Site
Q1: Who can access the online Promenader? How much does it cost? How does one subscribe?
A1: The online Promenader is freely accessible to anyone via the RAF web
site at squaredancingrochester.org. To subscribe, follow the
directions given below:
- Via email: Send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org
using “SUBSCRIBE” as the subject of your email. In the body of your
message, please let us know your full name and club
affiliation(s). There is no charge for an online subscription.
- In person: Come to an RAF meeting or to the Promenader Dance held
on the last Saturday of September every year.
- By phone or paper mail, especially for those who have questions
or need hard copy:
- Call or text Peter Emmel at 585-732-1004
- Write to Peter at 24 High Hill Drive, Pittsford, NY 14534
- Ask someone to contact Peter by email: email@example.com.
Q2: Since there is no charge for access, why should I bother to
“subscribe”? And what is the benefit if I do?
A2: Even though anyone can access the site at any time, it’s helpful to
have an email address list of active readers for at least two
reasons. (We will not use subscriber email addresses for any purpose
other than publication announcements related to this web site.)
- To alert subscribers when content is updated: Most of us don’t
constantly monitor web sites for new content. We would like to be
proactive and send you a reminder each time a new “issue” is
- To keep an awareness of our readership: To better serve dancers
like you it will be helpful to know who you are and what clubs you
Q3: What about people who don‘t have a computer or a printer?
A3: NOBODY who needs a hard copy version of ePromenader content will be
left behind. Those who need hard copy pages should contact Peter
Emmel. Please see above (or click HERE) for his contact
information. He has offered to arrange hard copy delivery for those
who need it.
Q4: If I want to print hard copy ePromenader pages for myself or someone
else, are there any special steps I should take?
A4: Printing any page on the RAF web site, including the ePromenader is
very straightforward from any device that has a “print” command.
You simply “click the Print button”
in your browser, just as
you would for any other web page or document.
However, when printing the “Photos & Features” or the “Ad & Flyer Thumbnails,”
you can save a LOT of paper and ink by adjusting the “scale” in your browser setup.
If you would rather not bother with changing browser settings, you can click HERE for links to downloadable
PDF files that we have pre-scaled to minimize paper and ink.
(Note: The links might not be posted until a few days after the
official publication date of each Promenader issue. If you don’t
see them, please check back in a few days.)
If you prefer to make the print scaling adjustments yourself, click HERE for recommended
settings in specific browsers.
Also, please note that ALL other sections, as well as individual ads and
flyers, will print just fine without special settings.
Q5: What can club leaders do to help preserve the flow of information to
their members that formerly came directly to their home via the
A5: As leader of your club, you can help in several ways:
- You can explain to your members clearly and accurately what this
change means for them (for example by sharing this FAQ) and then refer
any difficult follow-up questions or additional ideas to the
Promenader via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). There are still
details being worked out, but this FAQ should cover most questions.
- You can help us identify and connect with anyone in your club who
needs hard-copy pages for whatever reason. Peter is prepared to
provide these if need be, at least for a while, until it is determined
how many there really are and establish a more efficient
system. Anyone needing hardcopy should contact Peter. Click HERE for
his contact information.
- Or perhaps you could arrange with someone in your club to print
selected sections for your “hard-copy members,” thereby shortening the
time it might take for them to get their copy. If you need
recommendations for printing the “Ads & Flyers” Thumbnail Array or the
“Photos & Features” section, please click HERE (A4).
- Most importantly, you can encourage your members to use the RAF
web site as their primary resource for dancing news and schedules. It
will carry the most complete and up-to-date information and will be
accessible around-the-clock from anywhere in the world.
- You can also ensure that your club reporter(s) send us accurate
and complete news and schedule information before the deadline for
each issue. That way the dancing community will be sure to see it when
they browse the issue on the publication date.
Q6: Is the ePromenader compatible with all Internet browsers and devices -
desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones?
A6: Hopefully yes. In building the online version we have made choices
that should make it readable on all of the common platforms. Also,
each section is printable from most platforms.
Q7: Why did the Promenader have to convert to an electronic format?
A7: Without converting to an electronic format there would be NO
Promenader at all after December 1st. In two years of searching after
long-time editors Betty and Andy Ludwick announced their intention to
retire, no volunteer has stepped forward to succeed them as general
editors and carry on the publication in its printed form.
Q8: Why go to the trouble of bringing elements of the Promenader look and
feel to the RAF web site?
A8: It is hard to think of a better legacy for Betty and Andy after their
16+ years of effort than to carry the look and feel that they have
created on paper into an accessible electronic form that can live on
after they retire.
Q9: In what ways will the Promenader format be preserved?
A9: The ePromenader includes all the traditional Promenader sections, with
a look and feel as close as Betty and Sidney could get it to the
printed version that we have enjoyed for so many years. Since the RAF
site has been based in large part on Promenader content (primarily
schedules and flyers) there was already a substantial amount of
overlap. One goal of the online transition is to gather all the
information that has traditionally been published in the Promenader
make it available to readers with a recognizable “Promenader style” on
Q10: What about flyers and other ads that were published in the Promenader,
at considerable cost to advertisers?
A10: Event flyers and notices from RAF-member clubs will be included free
of charge, but…
- Advertising rates for non-RAF-member organizations are given on
the Publication & Staff page (click CLICK HERE) and in the Submission
Guidelines document available through a link on the same page.
- Long-term advertising arrangements will be addressed on an
individual basis by the editors.
- There will still be a $5 charge for listings in the
“Special Events” section for RAF-member organizations.
For the complete run-down, please click the “Publication and
Staff” button on the Promenader page. Our advertising and
listing rates will be reviewed for appropriateness as the on-going
costs in the new format become clearer.
Q11: The Promenader Benefit Dance is still on the RAF calendar, but with an
electronic format eliminating all your printing and mailing costs why
do you still need to raise money?
A11: The online format does avoid the primary costs of the printed version,
namely commercial printing and USPS mailing, but this is largely
balanced by eliminating charges to subscribers and RAF-member
organizations. However, there still are on-going expenses.
- With zero subscription income and zero local club flyer/ad
income, the tradition of an annual Promenader fund-raiser dance will
be continued, at least until we determine how well the remaining
revenue from outside advertising and Special Event listings covers the
- The cost of an electronic publication is not zero. For one thing,
the greatly increased content and the increased reliance on access to
the RAF web site may force an upgrade from the current low-cost
“not-for-profit” hosting situation. Similarly for the Promenader email
address, which has a 100 MB threshold for extra charges and currently
resides in an un-reimbursed personal account.
- Lastly, what better way to acknowledge the efforts of the many
volunteers who produce the Promenader and maintain the RAF web site
than to get together for a dance in their honor each year!
Q12: Who are the Promenader volunteers and what do they do to create the
A12: Promenader production steps have been arranged over the years to make
best use of limited time on the part of many volunteers. One thing
that distinguished the printed Promenader - and hopefully will also
distinguish the ePromenader - from other publications is its accuracy
and reliability. We plan to maintain this standard through a continued
team effort to produce an online resource that readers can rely on for
information about dancing in our area.
In terms of production mechanics the new format will flow more
directly from the various club reporters and section editors. This is
because there will be no more need for page layout and composition,
making the editorial job far more “do-able” than it was for the
commercially printed version. This was a major goal of the ePromenader
transition. But the work of reporting and organizing Promenader
content has not changed and the staff of volunteers is still in place
Dick Halstead (Roving Reporter and Login Editor)
Bonnie Allen (Schedule Section Editor)
Sharon Meyer (Class/Club Dance Schedule Editor)
Club News Editor is an open position.
Proofreaders are Cindy Adams, Jim Gotta, Mike Herne, Sharon Meyer, Susan Thomas, Carl Webster, and Eileen Webster.
For a walk-through of the ePromenader production process, interested
readers may click HERE.
Q13: With an online format, why stick to a 3-month publication cycle? Why
not go back to 2 months? In fact, why not eliminate publication dates
entirely and simply post updates as they are submitted by clubs?
A13: There are several reasons to maintain a periodic publication
cycle. Whether it should be two months or three months is a question
of available volunteer time, on the one hand, and club planning
horizons, on the other hand. We plan to review this question as the
online format becomes more settled.
The main reasons for “periodical” instead of
“continuous” publication are as follows:
- Allows volunteer staff to focus attention around deadlines, and
live their normal lives in between.
- Makes it easier to produce an accurate publication, reviewed by
- Gives clubs and readers a defined cycle of planning and updating
to rely on.
- A continuous “rolling” publication cycle would be
hard to manage and require continuous attention.
- However, some pages (e.g. the Federation
“Announcements”) are intended for continuous update.
Q14: What about corrections and updates after the publication date? Will we
have to wait 3 months for corrections and updates?
A14: Some sections of the ePromenader, such as the dance schedules, the
listings of callers & cuers, the club contacts, as well as the various
organization rosters, can all be updated whenever changes
dictate. That’s because these are internally structured in database
form. Database entries can be readily updated by alerting the web
administrator, and the results can be verified almost immediately
online by the originator. This is an inherent feature of the current
RAF’s database-driven web site.
Q15: The ePromenader launch has involved an entirely new look for the
Federation web site. How does the ePromenader relate to the RAF?
A15: The Promenader has always been a publication of the RAF. The
ePromenader is the latest step in the evolution of communications
among clubs in the area covered by the RAF. In terms of
administration, the transition to online format has coincided with a
change in how the publication is administered. A newly formed team of
three people intimately involved in ePromenader affairs, dubbed the
Promenader Operating Committee, will oversee ePromenader activities
and report to the RAF executive committee. These three people are the
Interim Online Editor (Peter Emmel), the Web Administrator (Sidney
Marshall) and the Communication Liaison (Terry Pratt, acting, until
this new position is filled).
As you can see, the ePromenader and the RAF web site are envisioned as
key elements in fulfilling the RAF’s mission of promoting
communication and cooperation among area dance clubs and dancers.
Q16: Are there plans for further developing the Federation side of this
A16: Yes. The changes introduced today are only the beginning. Some of the
Federation buttons go to blank pages now, but content will be filled
in as time, ideas and volunteers permit. Contact us by email at
email@example.com with suggestions and feedback, or to
volunteer your time to help s make it happen.
Q17: Will there be more “introduction to dancing” content to attract
prospective new dancers?
A17: Yes. A significant role of the new RAF position of Communications
Liaison is to shape the RAF outreach to prospective new dancers and to
the general public. This is a Federation position, and therefore not
directly part of the ePromenader, but as a publication by and for
dancers, we have a strong interest in coordinating our messaging about
the benefits of this wonderful activity to prospective new dancers.
Q18: I heard it was a hassle to make the transition to an online
format. Why couldn’t you just use one of the many “website builder”
software tools to put the Promenader up on the web? After all, over
the past several years you have already been preparing it in
electronic form for proofreading and commercial printing.
A18: A complete answer to this is beyond what most people would care to
read. Below is a summary of benefits from the approach we chose, but
those who want to know more may click HERE for further
details. Combining the Promenader with the RAF web site has many
benefits, including the following:
- Avoids duplicated efforts, such as entering schedule data from
the Promenader into the RAF database.
- Boosts usage of the RAF web site, making it a more effective
communication platform for the dancing community.
- Since dance schedules and most other items are stored in a
database, each updated item (date, caller, venue, etc.) only needs to
be entered once for it to be displayed correctly in the many different
pages where that item occurs.
- The process of creating the new format engaged Betty & Andy in
designing not only an online look for the Promenader but also the
beginnings of a new look for the Federation side of the site.
- Most formatting features on the new site are controlled by “style
sheets” that need only be altered once to take effect in every page
that uses that style.
- The main benefit from the ePromenader point of view is that
production efforts for each issue can be concentrated on the content
and not on the layout or page composition. That is because page
layouts are built into templates that accept plain text.