02NR10 - Has Anybody Seen the MRF Website?

Motorcycle Riders Foundation
P.O. Box 1808
Washington, DC 20013-1808
202-546-0983 (voice)
202-546-0986 (fax)
wyld@mrf.org (e-mail)
http://www.mrf.org (website)

Contact: Tom Wyld
Phone: 202-546-0983
March 4, 2002

When was the last time you took a good look at the MRF website? You know, www.mrf.org? It was probably quite a while ago. And it probably hadn't changed much since the last time you saw it. Or the time before that. Or the time before that. It was a beautiful website when it was created, but it hadn't been maintained in a very long time and had lots of "under construction" and "coming soon" references, tons of outdated material, and dozens of links that didn't function properly.

Well guess what? That MRF website is gone! It hasn't been seen for months! Don't be alarmed, you can still find the MRF's website at www.mrf.org. However, we moved the site to a new Internet Service Provider in Toronto called Binary Blocks. (The owner is a biker who says he loves to take trips from Canada to the U.S. so he can ride without a helmet!) Then Teri Stobbs, the new MRF Director of Communications, set out to learn some basic webmaster skills and began making revisions. She has proven to be the perfect volunteer for this task with her newly-developed web page maintenance skills, MRF knowledge base, and available resources, and she has been working diligently to either change or update almost every page on the MRF website in the past couple of months.

One of the Mission Goals of the MRF is to, "Maintain and improve our capability to be the national information center for motorcyclists' rights information," and we are making great strides in that direction with the changes we have made to our website. Two of the most exciting additions in the Publications section are the White Papers Articles and MRF Reports. These publications provide a wonderful history and background of our issues that is invaluable to the motorcyclists' rights movement worldwide. In fact, you can now view not only archived issues of the MRF Reports online, but also the entire current issue instead of just selected articles. The MRF's recently-submitted transportation research proposals are now also listed under Publications.

Along those same lines, the MRF Alerts section has been revised and updated, and the MRF Leaders' Reports are now being posted as well. In addition, we have completely revised and reorganized the Legislative and Research Sites page, where you can now find links to the websites for numerous government agencies and organizations such as the White House, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Environmental Protection Agency, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Health and Human Services, and Department of Transportation. Another exciting change is that the general links have been updated. There you can access websites for SMROs and motorcycle-related organizations around the world. We have also added a page where the MRF's Sustaining Member Organizations are listed and linked to their websites, where possible.

We have updated the Events and Conferences pages as well, and you can now access the poster and registration information for the BEAST of the East 2002. Please visit the MRF website and register on-line for this very informative MRF-sponsored regional conference. Don't miss out on this opportunity to expand not only your knowledge base for motorcycling issues, but also to stuff your address book and create new memories with your motorcycling brothers and sisters! The posters and registration information for the BEST of the West 2002 and the 18th Annual Meeting of the Minds will be posted later this week.

To date, we have also made changes to the following pages on the MRF website: Navigation Bar, Home Page, History, Legislative Agenda, Officers/Directors, MRF PAC, Join the MRF, Position Papers, and the State Reps page. In fact, there's really not much left to change at this point except for the Products Store, which will be developed gradually in the coming months. We plan to post a printable products page in the initial stages, offering a small selection of MRF products, and work our way up to a full shopping cart products store that includes all of the MRF products in the future.

Teri Stobbs and the MRF would like to take this opportunity to thank several individuals without whose assistance all of the changes to our website would not have been possible. First, MRF Vice President-Government Relations Tom Wyld, for consistently providing valuable information to our membership to help us protect our rights, and for providing equally valuable input into many of the revisions that have been made so far. Teresa Hepker in Oregon, who is the editor of both the MRF Reports and the MRF White Papers, for tirelessly converting all those documents to pdf format so they could be included on-line. Beverly Waters for helping maintain the Sustaining Member Organizations page accurately and assisting in the revision of the Join the MRF pages. JD DePaolantonio in Arizona for helping convert many of the new pages to HTML code, as well as setting up and correcting hundreds of links. And speaking of links, there is no way we could have updated ours so quickly without the assistance of Charm Bolgrean and Becky Hasslen in Minnesota, who went through our site and manually checked every single link, identifying the ones that weren't functioning properly so that they could be fixed or removed. Chris Maurich, who has been maintaining the State Reps pages for the past couple of months. Exographics, who created the MRF website, has been tirelessly giving advice and guidance while Teri is learning how to make the necessary revisions. In addition, the MRF President Tom Pauley and the entire MRF Board of Directors have been very supportive throughout this project, and have provided valuable input.

Most of all, we'd like to thank Charlie Williams, former MRF Director of Communications, for his tireless efforts to keep all of us informed for many years. Hats off to Charlie for his willingness to continue sending MRF E-Mail Alerts and Leaders' Reports, as well as maintaining the e-mail alert list and all of the other multitudes of functions that he performed, in order to give Teri time to make the necessary changes on the MRF website.

Charlie had the following comments about the transition. "I was able to keep the rest of the MRF communications functioning for the past few months so that Teri would have time to focus on making the necessary changes to our site. But having served as MRF Director of Communications for six years, I am ready to move on to other adventures! The primary responsibility of such a position, however, is to place it in good hands when that time comes. As anyone in the MRO movement knows well, finding people with the necessary skills, the dedication, and the resources (like time) can be a difficult task. We have done well with the selection of Teri Stobbs, and now that I have officially "retired" and am no longer actively involved with MRF communications, she is deserving of the same high level of support of the membership that I have enjoyed over the last six years."

So, if you HAVEN'T visited the MRF website lately, see if you can find it again (www.mrf.org). We'll bet you won't even recognize it! And if you HAVE visited the MRF website lately, keep going back regularly to check for further updates . . .

- MRF: My Ride is Freedom -

The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time legislative advocacy presence in Washington. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom. MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American rider rights movement among its leading members. Motorcyclists worldwide can thumb-start their search for rider rights and safety on the web at www.mrf.org.

All information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is an independent, membership-based national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington D.C. which operates in co-partnership with State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations nationwide. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulation, motorcycling safety education, training, licensing and public awareness. The MRF provides individual and SMRO member-volunteers with guidance, support and information to protect motorcyclists' rights and advance motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. The MRF sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists' rights activists and publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.

Voice: 202-546-0983, Fax: 202-546-0986, E-Mail: wyld@mrf.org, website: http://www.mrf.org

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