With over 1,100 registered users, 700,000 page views and 2,500 performances submitted since the launch of The Ringing World’s BellBoard website just nine weeks ago, we have been delighted by the very positive response of ringers to our new site (http://bb.ringingworld.co.uk).

BellBoard has been undergoing rapid and continuous development. We have uploaded further historical records, implemented a comprehensive “wild card” searching facility, introduced a compositions feature as well as the ability to “like” performances and made many subtle tweaks and improvements to the core performance submission function in response to the feedback received from BellBoard users.

During this period, we have naturally also been thinking more widely about the future of BellBoard and how best to meet the needs of the ringing community. After carefully reviewing the feedback received from you and prioritising our next steps, we are proud to introduce several major and exciting new features this week:

1. Diary of Events

BellBoard users can now upload the key details of a ringing event to the BellBoard Diary of Events. This notice will be displayed on BellBoard in an electronic diary visible to all users.

Submitting a notice to the diary of events is very straightforward. Short notices can be posted online for free and longer notices for a small fee.

Each notice can then be submitted for publication in The Ringing World in addition to the posting on BellBoard. This will incur the standard costs currently charged for a notice in the paper publication (based on word count) which can be paid directly on the BellBoard site via Paypal, credit card or debit card (or by other means if preferred).

In summary, notices for publication in The Ringing World can be submitted easily through BellBoard and will simultaneously be posted on the online BellBoard Diary of Events at no extra cost.

2. Linked events

BellBoard can now group performances according to any event shown in the BellBoard Diary of Events. You can, therefore, easily view all quarter peals rung during your local branch quarter peal week, peals for Jim’s 90th birthday, or performances rung for a major event such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee or for the 2012 Olympic Games.

3. Notices of performances

BellBoard now allows you to post advance notice of performances due to happen in the future. This function has many useful applications ranging from investigating if there will be any ringing to listen to in the town you are visiting at the weekend, to tracking your own peal success rate if you so wish! This will also allow users to see the performances planned to mark a specific event in the future. For example, notice of performances planned to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee has already been uploaded to BellBoard.

4. Donations to The Ringing World

You can now donate directly to The Ringing World via BellBoard, including when submitting a performance. We would obviously like to encourage you to make use of this facility! We have worked hard to make donating as easy a process as possible.

We have received an overwhelming volume of positive and thought-provoking feedback about BellBoard to date. We emphasize that The Ringing World’s aim for the role of BellBoard is not to create friction, divide loyalties or artificially increase the number of ringing websites to check. Instead we are committed to providing a comprehensive resource that is sustainable, secure and will be available for all ringers in the long-term.

The fundamental value of a site like BellBoard lies in its user-supplied data of peals, quarters, touches and events. We believe BellBoard has a unique advantage in being part of The Ringing World – with a century of reliable service behind it, and still going strong – which will underpin its long-term availability. Without BellBoard there is considerable risk to the future sustainability of on-line ringing records. As the voice of the Exercise we know it is our duty to mitigate that risk.

We can confirm that any peals submitted to The Ringing World via other means (e.g. by email or via Campanophile) will now reach BellBoard within a week to make sure that BellBoard records are as definitive as possible. We intend for this to happen for quarter peals too in the future. We would naturally prefer you to submit performance reports to The Ringing World via BellBoard, but intend to maintain BellBoard’s completeness in any event.

Thank you again to those who continue to use and provide feedback to BellBoard. The Ringing World greatly appreciates your support.

BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers