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First winner of ‘Recommended Site’ Award announced

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TrainingZONE recommended siteTrainingZONE is delighted to announce the first-ever winner of its Recommended Site Award. This Award will be made to a small number of websites which, in the opinion of our users and staff, excel in three areas:

  1. Content which is highly relevant to the training professional
  2. Functionality which is easy to use and navigate
  3. Maintenance in terms of being regularly updated.

We considered fifteen nominations for this first Award. And the winner is .... Don Clark's great site with the wonderful name of Big Dog's Bowl of Biscuits. The Award is given in recognition of the value of his Training and Leadership pages within this site.

Don creates and manages this website himself. We asked him some questions about his thinking behind the site:

TrainingZONE: What was the inspiration for launching your site?
Don: I'm not sure if it was really an inspiration, but rather a desire to be part of the internet. When I first connected to the web in early 1995, I knew right away that I did not want to be merely an observer, but an active participant. So I built my first site in July 1995 based on something I knew about - training and computers.

TrainingZONE: How does the site relate to your other professional work?
Don: Although training only takes a small portion of my time now, I have been involved with it to various degrees since1982. The site is one of the ways that I stay up to date with some of my interests - training, leadership, computers, and performance. Most readers believe I post the material for them, but it is mainly for me. To really understand something you have to do something with it - in my case, building a web site. Developing the material for my site causes me to reflect upon it and then reorganize it within my mind until I have a through understanding of it.

TrainingZONE: Who do you regard as the primary audience?
Don: I'm not sure if there is one primary audience since the site is quite diversified with material on coffee, performance, leadership, etc. I have people come to the site because of the coffee pages and they find the leadership material more interesting or vice versa. Basically, my philosophy is to create what interests me, because what one is interested in, one does best. And when you are interested in something, you naturally want to help others in gaining an understanding of it.

TrainingZONE: How do you plan to develop the site in future?
Don: I'm just about finished with a major update of the ISD material. After that, I need to organize the material better. I have two main thoughts -- 1) Converting it to Word. When I first started, the pages were fairly short. But some of them have grown quite large by going through several updates. This makes the material quite hard to print, which is a concern of many of the readers. 2) Making it more web friendly by chopping it up into small sections. This makes it more web usable through the use of hyperlinks, however, it becomes a lot harder to print.

So right now I'm mulling these and other options through my mind. I could do both, but since it is a hobby, it would be quite time consuming. Converting it to Word would be for the serious readers, while chopping it into small hyperlinked sections would help others in their quest for quick information.

Donald Clark retired from the U.S. Army (Sergeant First Class - E-7) after 22 years of service. He is now a distribution partner with Starbucks Coffee Company in the Kent Roasting Plant. He lives with his wife of 28 years in Edmonds, Washington, where he gardens, hikes, and plays with his computer.

Congratulations to Don - it really does show how you can create a great site through enthusiasm and your own resources. If you have a nomination for our second 'Recommended Site Award, please do read these notes.

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