Boring Site News

Though it looks like things have been quiet here over the past week or so, there has been a flurry of activity behind the scenes. Over the weekend I rolled out a new system that handles the site content. You shouldn't notice too much of a difference except that the template has changed slightly but the change will allow for some added functionally including a much stronger article tag system then before. This is the biggest overhaul the site has gone through in the five years it's been around and of course that means that many of the pages URL's have changed so it's another thing still on my list to get cleaned up with Google. Some might have noticed that I have also changed over to Discus comment system. It's a bit more stable then the system I was using before (intensedebate) and it allows me to migrate comments if the page URL changes down the road. For some reason intensedebate doesn't provide that feature. Finally the biggest change (and the one I'm most proud of) is the change of copyright on the site over to a Creative Commons license. Making the switch over to Creative Commons is something I have wanted to do for quite some time. Its win win for everybody because you get to make use of and modify the content without stealing it yet I still retain some control over the content by saying you can't use it for commercial use. Just remember that the license is only available to my written text, photos that I have shot or images on the site that already have a commons license. As far as future plans, the next big one is an overhaul of the events calendar. I'm doing some initial testing of a new system that should make adding your paddling events to the website much easier. If all goes well look for that to roll out sometime over the next 2 weeks. Ok, that's it for now. Feel free to return to your normal (work avoiding) surfing.
I checked the article counter a couple of weeks ago and was super surprised to discover that the old article odometer was about to click over to 2000. Here we are with 2000 articles written and still having fun.How did this site get going you might ask? Well, when I first started teaching others how to become instructors, I noticed that they were often cutting their teeth trying to develop their first lesson plans and looking for basic resources. Everybody was trying to figure out where to find ideas or new games and I thought that if there was one central resource location for new instructors then they wouldn’t need to waste time looking but rather put that time towards enhancing their teaching and presentation skills. That’s were the idea for started.After a couple of months of scouring the internet I had amassed a small collection of teaching resources which are available for download for free. My goal has always been to provide more then just teaching ideas directly related to teaching somebody how to canoe or kayak; I wanted a wide collection of resources not specifically related to paddling because to me; being a good instructor isn’t about your ability to teach a skill, it’s about transferring your passion of the sport to a new student. A good instructor knows the skills but also knows about the environment, weather, bugs, the stars and how tides work. The students will never remember that you knew the key points of a forward sweep, they will remember the turtle you pointed out while on a short afternoon opened up shop on March 13th, 2006 and since then has grown into the mini monster you see today.Below are some basic stats for the number nerds: 251,000 Number of individual visitors that have dropped by to say hello over the years. 276 Number of people who stumbled upon my site with the keyword: “southern hemisphere star chart” 1 The lone sole who found my site using the keyword, "sexy man soldier" (I’m not quite sure why as I’m clearly not a soldier…
I’m off on a family vacation for the next couple of weeks so don’t expect too much in the way of news. I might post something if there is a downtime in the family-time excitement.We are heading south to North Carolina to sit on the beach and play some mini-putt so it won’t be very stressful.I did get a chance to book an afternoon surf kayak clinic with Savannah Canoe & Kayak and I’m really looking forward to it. My helmet is at the ready and I have been practising my girly scream of terror so I think I'm prepped.
Two quick updates to the site: I decided to create a new site section specifically for DVD Reviews. You can find it here. I also posted a new review for the kayak instructional DVD that I enjoyed called Kayak Essentials.
I picked up the latest Canoe & Kayak Magazines annual Beginner's Guide only to find some ugly guy staring back at me. It completely ruined my reading experience to be honest...I'm kinda excited as I'm the only person representing Canada. Special thanks to Conor Mihell for twisting my words around to make me sound way cooler then I actually am. Thanks man!Here is a link to a cheap online frame shop so you can preserve me on your wall forever.

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