FROM THE EDITOR:
by Linda Mojer
Did your email melt down recently? Ours did, when the company we’d been using for quite some time lost a “backbone” in the Springs and decided not to re-establish service in our area. Darn. Like so many with home.com, we scrambled and got back online (with help from
Excell.net) ... but until we did, it was all I could do to keep everyone calm.
“File” I said ... “It will be fixed when it’s fixed, and not a moment before” I said ...
“Stop following me” I said ...
In our (comparatively) itty-bitty little sport, it’s remarkable to see just how much we’ve come to depend on our internet connections to keep everyone informed. Even more so than
the physical publication of RACQUETBALL (gasp!), our websites and online services have become the “tool of choice” in getting the word out about
the sport, with an immediacy that we never had before. Just after the last issue had gone to press, Jim Hiser was
named Executive Director by the board. I tore my hair out, since I’d just “editorialized” about the new working structure here in the office ... but we were able to make a timely announcement anyway, via our websites. We were thrilled to have been able to announce the U.S. OPEN airdate on the cover of the last issue ... but when issues arrived late, it was our many website call-outs that provided viewers with the heads-up.
New since presstime ... 2001 U.S. OPEN broadcast tape now available!
Go to www.usrastore.com
But we’ve had our disappointments, too. Aside from occasional down-time, we contracted with an internet services company that promised more than it could deliver and now we’re in litigation. We hoped for a national “access standard” against which we could develop interactive community tools — from club programming to better communications with all sanctioned events. We still think that standard is the internet, now where’s the club computer? Is it online? Can the racquetball people be allowed to use it? Please?
So where are we? A bit irritated and behind schedule, but not mortally wounded. We still have our own, house-managed websites and last fall we re-opened the USRA storefront to process online event registrations, membership sign-ups, subscriptions and merchandising.
New URL since presstime ... www.usrastore.com
Online tournament reporting services from
tennisinformation.com still work beautifully for our national events, so that’s a plus. We’re even releasing some specialty items out of inventory that wouldn’t have “gone public” anywhere but at a national event. You can still find the latest news, between issues, at usra.org and racquetballmagazine.com.
The next level of internet services — needed to develop new administrative tools for the sport — is within reach. A brand, spanking new business venture is expected to “go public” in the next few weeks, and racquetball will be a part of it. We’ll probably have a nice, juicy print announcement in the next issue. In fact, I’ll bet good money that press release arrives
tomorrow (there goes my hair!). Ah, who cares … you know where to look.