Having an online presence is important if you are wanting to publish your search and rescue techniques for others to copy. It is also needed for the ASAR website to promote your videos or articles. There are basically three ways that you can create a presence online for your team. Let's look at each from the simplest to the most complex.
Facebook or Instagram, etc. - Any member of your team can set up a Facebook account for your Team or Squadron. It is recommended that you include the Team/Squadron nickname and the Squadron number for the account name. For example, the "Eagle Eyes" also known as the 355th ASAR Squadron should use any combination of PPG or paramotor and "Eagle Eyes" and "ASAR" and "355th" and "Squadron." So their Facebook page may go under the name of "355th Eagle Eyes PPG club", or "355th ASAR paramotor club". You can use any name you want but you will be better identified as a paramotor airborne search and rescue club if our names have some consistency. To open a Facebook account go to this Wikihow link. For Instagram, go here Wikihow. If you don't have a team member that wants to tackle this project, ask a Facebook savvy friend to help.
There are many other social media platforms out there that you may be aware of. If you know one that you think is better for this purpose, please comment below.
Blog or Website - If you want to put out a lot of content about your Squadron, you will probably want to go with a blog or website. You would also have the opportunity to "monetize" your site using this platform if your content is good and proves to be popular. I have experience with three website development programs; Three of them I recommend; Blogger, Wordpress and Wix.
Google Blogger - This is probably the simplest, easiest and fastest blogging program to learn of all of them. Other than buying a domain name for $12 a year, it is free. While it is limited to blogging and does not have an associated website creator, it has all the features of a website so it basically is both. This would be my first choice if you are new to blogging and just want to keep things simple. If you plan on doing long term blogging with selling Team merchandise and monetization, I would go with Wix or Wordpress.
Wix is much easier to use than Wordpress. Both of them create great looking websites and blogs, and importantly both have e-commerce capabilities if you want to sell merchandise to raise money for the Squadron at some point. And with both you can go with a blog or a website and develop the other latter as time and motivation allow.
Wordpress is the most sophisticated of them all and requires more learning. If you are keen on having a good looking website or blog and have the time to learn, Wordpress is your choice. The end product looks nicer than Wix in my opinion. It isn't really free. Nor is Wix. Wix, for all the raving about it, is still buggy. It will erase content if you click the wrong key and then give you no way to retrieve it since it saves your content continuously.
YouTube or Vimeo - A dedicated YouTube or Vimeo channel or "Vlog" is probably the best option if you like to make videos of your flying or other associated ASAR activities. You can convey a ton of information with a video. A picture is worth a thousand words so it saves time from a writing standpoint. Editing the video is what takes time, but if the footage is good you can use a simple editing program like Microsoft Video Editor, which comes with Windows 10. You will need a crop program to crop large files, like this one, especially if you are going to use continuously running footage using a GoPro or like camera. These files are very large (3.77Gigs) and Microsoft Video Editor cannot hold a very large file. I use Filmora 9.2 and while it is not free, (it has a onetime fee of $60-70), it has a large file editor as well as a pretty straightforward editing program with lots of instructional videos online. There are many, many other video editing programs that you may find more user friendly for you or that you already have and know how to use. You may find making videos a little intimidating at first but it should become easier as time passes. Have someone help you make a stock intro for your videos and then add content for each video.
You can also use any current platform that you are using to put yourself online. I can't link to it on the ASAR National website if it isn't ASAR specific but I will link to articles or videos on your current channels if they are appropriate to ASAR. The bottom line is to generate good information to pass along to other members. Having your material linked to from ASAR National will boost your viewership on your sites.
If you found this article informative and useful, please share it with others. If you are good at making videos or have ideas concerning social media in general, please make constructive comments below. If you have other comments or questions, please put them in the comments section below as well.
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Red Angel One