By Ric Allan

 

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Preface

This series of pages will be my means of explaining what's going on with AfZine as well as my soapbox and cries for input. I will try to keep such pointed efforts out of other sections to keep them as nuetral and useful to clubs and other venues as possible.

The following areas describe the status of current efforts, the plans for others, and the presentation of others for your evaluation. To make AfZine work, I (we) need your viewpoints and participation. The keywords here are VIEWPOINTS AND PARTICIPATION.

AHI

Those who know me know just how reluctant I am to take anyone or anything for granted. A while back, I had (I believe) a fairly heavy hand in developing portions of AHI. With certain fortunes taking a turn, I backed off (essentially) entirely. That situation is changing and is reflected in the AHI being added to the new (and any future) logo.

As AfZine is developed, I will once again be taking a more active part in AHI website as well as AfZine. While some see duplicative efforts in AfZine and some existing parts of AHI, this is not the case. One goal of AfZine that I will reiterate time and time again is that it will work hard to develop additional and new material that will be accessed from AHI as well as AfZine.

Another aspect of AfZine is the paradigm (presentation) it uses to view the material. A difficult task for me will be to avoid making them one. What works for one person may not be the best for another. As much as a way to get material, AfZine is an alternate way to view it. Pam and I need your input to insure that that diversity remains. For that matter, we welcome as much (or even little) help as you might be able to give.

Zenfolio Galleries

Back at the turn of the century (now doesn't that sound quaint) when we were entering our second wave of af-fliction, I also re-entered another pursuit/passion that I had suffered from in a past life. Photography was a natural companion passion to follow with our love of the hound... and websites to share that passion were a natural as well.

In building websites, one of the most space (and time) consuming aspects of the endeavor is the processing and storage of photographs. Early efforts involved processing the picture then stripping it down to a manageable size for the server... at times (most times) a contridictory exercise. Add to that, the need for software to manage and display large numbers of photos and...

While entering the digital camera era, I started recording the dog shows we attended. The original intent was simpley to record and share the progress of our dogs. That purpose was quickly expanded to preserve a visual record of the competition faced (the show) and the dogs each judge put up. Early records included links to AKC results (they approved of that but now have dropped many old records). While I have the catalogs, I do not have the results... moving forward, I will try to add that information. (In Zenfolio viewers can add it if they know details.)

Since those days, I've discovered Zenfolio (a service much like SmugMug or Flickr but more oriented toward and extensively catering to the seriously demented photographer). It provides several valuable tools to the effort of documenting dogs, dog shows, judges, and associated information such as the ability to create alternate groupings (collections) without additional uploads as well as attach keywords that can be searched on. It provides a place to keep and store (essentially) unlimited quantities of pictures without placing a burden on my web site server... and relieves the need to move them if my server is upgraded or moved to a new provider.

And just as importantly, with the unlimited space it provides me, I can house pictures from YOU (if you wish)... it provides a tool WE can use to document dogs, dog shows, judges, and associated information. If you want to add to the public record, I offer to house pictures for all to see. You can elect to permit others to print out your pictures or download them as you wish.

Facebook Group

As with many other entities, AfZine has a group page (off my page) in Facebook. The intent of this group page is to elicit and host conversations and feedback related to AfZine. While no effort will be made to limit topics of discussion, general discussion is encouraged on the AHI group page.

Product and Project Reviews

I hope you will consider writing (short or long) articles to share your opinions of the various products used throughout the afghan hound community. This is one of the primary objectives of AfZine.

In the developmental issue (#0000), we described and commented on a project, a whelping pen. In the works for the next and following issues are articles on:

Share your experience!

Book/Literature Reviews

I would like to build up a collection of book reviews (obviously pertaining to our passion and the activities surrounding it) along with links to the sources where each could be obtained.

Please consider writing a review and sharing your evaluations with us.

From the Heart ? / Anam Cara

Many sites (including AHI) have tributes to dogs passed (usually referred to as Rainbow Bridge). Some months back, one of the lists started and maintained a thread (for awhile) where owners wrote about dogs that meant a lot to them. I really liked those posts and think that it would be nice to have a collection (growing collection) of owners tributes to their dogs to share with each other.

A working title comes to mind (happens to be our kennel name) which aptly fits the spirit of what I envision, Anam Cara (Soul Friend). I consider it only a working title and could be changed if 1) we can get it going and 2) there is a concensus for a more appropriate title.

For such a tribute, I would ask you to submit:

I would then create a page similar to this (click here) (including making a slideshow) and feature it in a future issue as well as a section where it will always be available. You could then link this page into your site if you wish or ....

Assuming Pam agrees, access to this collection will also be readily available through the AHI interface.

On the Shoulders

I envision this as a growing gallery documenting the noteworthy afghan hounds of the past in a manner similar to the previous idea, 'From the Heart/AnamCara'. We want to bring to life a better picture and understanding of the afghan hounds that have contributed to the breed.

The collection of these pages would most likely be inplemented in a way that one could view/review them in different ways... chronologically, alphabetically, winners of noteworthy competitions like Crufts, Westminster, the AHCA National, and such.

As with the 'From the Heart/AnamCara' articles, I would be delighted to help format the presentation of the work submitted by those who know much more than I do on these important dogs.

This collection too will be interwoven with AHI (and the efforts it has already done to illuminate these dogs) as well as the AHI Pedigree database.

Online Dog Show

This has been a fun exercise in the past (on AHI). It's been awhile since the last one and would seem to be time for another.

I am in the planning stages, working on something a bit different than in the past with unique features that will not only set it apart from other online shows but make it more fun and rewarding to both participate in and to view...

I'm thinking of structuring this one around an effort to raise much needed funds to support both AHI and AfZine. Your thoughts and ideas are wanted and needed!!

Contributing to Discussion

I know it gets old BUT... I/we want and need your participation to make this endeavor useful to us all.

Contribute to the Discussion

 

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