May 24, 2020
Today, the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, the feast day of our community, we start a new parish website with a new design and updated content. The website also bears a new domain name, ascensionsaratoga.org, because the website revision needed new tools and technology that were not available at the old site with legacy technology. Among suggested names, ascensionsaratoga.org seems specific enough, not too long, and easy to remember.
This is an attempt to make our website more user-friendly and mobile-friendly as the number of people checking websites with their cell phones or tablets keeps growing. As a result, menus are simplified with larger and bold letters, and users should be able to find any information with no more than three mouse clicks (the three-click rule).
In this age we are inundated with information 24 hours a day, and many read texts on a screen instead of in a book. Thus it is little wonder that a lot of people now avoid reading long articles, or any article at all. They just sample the first line of a text, then word-spot through the rest of the article. Instead of deep reading, “skim reading is the new normal,” declared Maryanne Wolf at UCLA, two years ago.
In order to keep users engaged on the pages, the new website supplements texts and images with other types of media, such as video, audio, graphics. During this pandemic, Bishop Oscar Cantú has had several good video messages for the entire Diocese or groups of people, such as young candidates for First Communion, Confirmation, and adults preparing for Christian Initiation.
After the launch of this website, we will continue to improve the site as necessary and add more content to it: updates, calendar of events, reflections, faith formation for different age groups, etc. The website is only a tool, and it is as good as its content.
Finally I would like to thank our webmaster Ruthann Stolzman, who has faithfully maintained the parish website for two decades, and has also kept the community informed through Constant Contact emails. As she’s ready to pass the torch, we are blessed that Ha Dinh is ready to step up to the plate, volunteering to help in this needed upgrade and in the transition until we find another webmaster. Ha, not related to me, is the Coordinator of the Vietnamese Faith Formation at St. Martin Parish in Sunnyvale, my previous assignment. His technical skills and willingness to help made this new website possible; for this we are
Happy Feast Day of the Ascension of the Lord!