SCAtoday.net Ready for User-Contributed News Items

Although we went online, technically, in August, SCAtoday.net is still a work in progress. A major milestone has been reached in that we are now ready for user-contributed news items. SCAtoday.net is an independent, all-volunteer, newswire site for news of the Current Middle Ages. Founded in August of 2002, it is not yet fully completed but is now online and ready to begin posting news items. http://scatoday.net/ is the site's main URL.

Rather than carrying large feature articles, SCAtoday.net intends mostly to carry brief headlines and abstracts of articles, with links to other web sites where the full content resides. We aren't trying to compete with other sites such as Medieval Times and Known World Web, but simply want to help make content from a variety of sources much easier to find by aggregating the headlines in a single location. The original content on SCAtoday.net will consist mostly of small news items that are currently too ephemeral to catch the attention of other SCA-related sites.

SCAtoday.net is completely NON-COMMERCIAL in nature, and staffed only by unpaid volunteers. As a non-official site not sponsored by the Society for Creative Anachronism, we are less restricted in our ability to link to merchants and other relevant commercial content, but SCAtoday.net itself is committed to remaining a nonprofit venture. We will link to merchants' web sites as a part of our directory, but we are beholden to no advertiser, and we will not allow our server to be used to invade your privacy for commercial purposes.

In the very near future, webmasters will be able to easily "syndicate" the SCAtoday.net news headlines onto their own sites. This feature will be freely available at no charge, and is expected to be available by October of 2002.

We have a fine core team of technical and editorial people assembled, including engineers, librarians, teachers, and a professional publisher who also happens to be a former Kingdom and Society Chronicler. We have already established a partnership with the Pennsic Independent and the new Known World Independent, and we welcome similar non-exclusive partnerships with other SCA web sites.

You can help SCAtoday.net to fulfill its mission, and in the process, you can help to let the Known World know about the interesting things happening in your own Kingdom, Principality, Barony, or Shire. We are seeking people to:

  • Contribute news links. You don't have to *write* the article, and in fact we'd prefer that you don't. Just *find* interesting news articles related to the SCA, grab the complete URL, and come to SCAtoday.net to tell us about it. Use the "Contribute" link from SCAtoday.net's home page. Put in the URL, the title of the article, and a brief "lead" or abstract. We have a field to put in full text, but that only applies if you are writing a news item specifically for us. We do not want (nor can we legally carry) the full text of other sites' articles, unless we have specific permission for this.
  • Tell us about new content on *YOUR* site. If you are the editor of an online e-magazine or news site, take a moment to tell us when you add significant new content. We don't run feature articles, as a rule, but we would love to help tell the world about the ones *you* are publishing! Come to our Contribute page and give us the URL, title, and lead for your article.
  • Contribute news briefs. Did your Kingdom just choose new Royal Heirs? Someone you know received a well-deserved award from Their Majesties? Your shire put a photo album online from a fantastic event? Tell us about it! Go to the SCAtoday.net "Contribute" page, give us the title and lead as with a news link (and a URL, if applicable, to find further information), then write us a *short* news brief summarizing what happened.
  • Edit non-English versions of SCAtoday.net. Our site is built from the ground up as a multilingual site. Right now, we have only English content but the database and software are custom-written and can handle many languages independently. If you speak German, French, Italian, or any other language in areas where the SCA is active and thriving, we would love to talk with you about becoming a national-language editor for SCAtoday.

If you wish to contribute articles, you are welcome to do so anonymously. In order to credit you with the contribution, though, we need to ensure that you have a personal login account on the SCAtoday.net server. The feature to let you create this yourself isn't done yet (though it soon will be), but in the meantime please e-mail "webmaster@scatoday.net" if you would like to request an account of your own. Pick a user name that you like (generally a short form of your SCA name) and a password, and tell us if you have a personal web site. Eventually our online directory will automatically include personal home pages of all our registered users.

SCAtoday.net takes a very strict stance on issues of personal privacy, and even at this early stage we have created and published numerous documents related to privacy and security issues. Visit SCAtoday.net to view our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents.

We are not currently seeking general "SCA web site" links. These will be sought once our portal directory is online and ready, and there will be another announcement at that time. For now, we are seeking links to specific news items and feature articles only, rather than to sites or home pages.

The SCAtoday.net web site is built around a new Open Source software project called the Today Web Framework. Currently at an Alpha release level, Today is being made available freely under terms of the GNU General Public License, the same Open Source license that governs Linux and many other freeware programs.

Having been online only a month, SCAtoday.net is very much a work in progress, and some of our more interesting features are still under development. The main newswire, though, is online and ready, and we hope you'll take this opportunity to join us in helping to build an independent news source for these Current Middle Ages. On behalf of the SCAtoday.net staff, thank you for your support.