The Cactus and Succulent Plant Mall
Cactus-Mall Blog
Thursday, April 20, 2006
  New BCSS Fellows
At the recent BCSS AGM two new BCSS fellows were elected : Suzanne Mace and Rodney Sims.
 
  BCSS, Cactus-Mall and Cactuscollection Websites
It has been far too long since I last added material to this Blog. There are various reasons for this, primarily pressure of work.

A number of things are however in process on the BCSS website and related matters.

The new Journal editorial team are using the experimental Webdav account to store and exchange material for the journal production. This is proving a valuable resource and we will probably upgrade to a more elaborate commercial account in due course.

I now have additional technical help on the BCSS website. Chris Davies is looking into upgrading the Forum software and also working on adding more information on past BCSS journals. I have located and installed a new website search system which will enable me to set up a single search for the BCSS website and all the BCSS sub-domains. If it looks practical I will also add branch and zone websites which are not part of the BCSS domain - please enquire if you would like your website added. This search will automatically update weekly.

The BCSS website is now being monitored by Google Analytics (formerly Urchin) - this gives an incredibly detailed analysis of visitors to the website and what they look at. Digesting and making use of all this data is a very large undertaking but a few facts have slightly surprised me already. The number of 'first time visitors' is higher than I expected. This is partly due to the fact that the analysis has only been running a few weeks but even so 70% of first time visitors is higher than I would have expected. (The Cactus-Mall shows similar data). What is different from the Cactus-Mall is that the visitors are much more concentrated in the UK while the Cactus-Mall is completely global. While this is to be expected, I had anticipated higher percentages of visitors from other English speaking countries such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa etc. It looks like adding the title CactusWorld to our journal was a good idea to help dispel the idea that we are UK only.

Another fact which has surprised me on the Cactus-Mall is the relatively high numbers of visitors we are now getting from China in spite of the fact of not having any Chinese language pages. I think it would now be really helpful if we had a Chinese index to the Cactus-Mall. If any of our Chines visitors are reading this and would be prepared to translate the Cactus-Mall index page into Chinese for the benefit of their countrymen I would be delighted to hear from them.

Just over a year ago we lost a good website from our server - cactuscollection.net. This site was very popular and profesionally designed but the owner did not have the time to continue with it. It has thousands of webpages and even more photographs. Rather than delete it I put it into suspension. The owner and I have now agreed to revive it, financed by Google advertising. At present however it will not be added to.
 
This Blog will note updates to the Cactus-Mall and other related websites like the British Cactus and Succulent Society and the Mesemb Study Group. I will give my thoughts on the current state of the Cactus and Succulent hobby and discuss topical subjects which I think need airing. I hope it can be used by others to give us feedback on the development of the now 10 years old Cactus-Mall and what you think of its usefulness and ways in which we might improve this.

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Neobinghamia climaxacantha

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