by Jim Celoni, Archdiocese of Los Angeles

When I attended my first DISC annual conference in 1994, we had a periodic printed newsletter but no online presence at all.  Since then, we’ve grown a web site (www.discinfo.org), a member forum (“QuickR “), an online database, and online newsletter.  I’m happy to report the most recent round of improvements:

QuickR  membership:   At an open Board of Trustees meeting during DISC 2004, Jerry Lawler of the Archdiocese of St. Louis moved that membership in our password- protected QuickR  forum (QP) be opened beyond the community of arch/diocesan IT staff of DISC member arch/ dioceses. At our December meeting, the Board approved expanding QP membership eligibility to US and Canada arch/ diocesan IT staff irrespective of DISC membership.  We are happy to do this as part of our service to the Church:  now more can contribute to the repository of expertise and experience now on QP, and more will be able to benefit from it. We also expect that through the QP, more will learn of DISC membership benefits and join DISC too!  Jerry, thanks for your suggestion.  To request QP access, go to our home page left-hand navigation bar and choose Members only, QuickR , Request QuickR  access; then identify yourself in the e-mail message body and send the message.  Please spread the word.

QuickR  content:  Presentation content from the last three annual DISC conferences is now available.  In addition, new discussion rooms have been added:  one about Lotus software and the other about the IBM iSeries (a.k.a. AS/400).  Also, check out our other rooms including current and archived discussions, “dBay” (equipment trading), discount programs, and the file archive.  To get to QP, just follow the QuickR  link on our home page and sign in.  While you’re there, please post your questions, answers, tips, and feedback–this forum is as good as we make it!

Thanks to DISC Web Site Committee members Jocelyn Sloan (Diocese of Fargo) and Sharon Landis (Diocese of Toledo) for maintaining the QP, committee chair Chris Hair (Diocese of Colorado Springs) for overseeing our web and QP efforts, and to Christian Brothers Services (www.cbservices.org)— especially Jason Langs and Tom Drez–for hosting the QP and our web site for DISC at no charge and giving us a deal on upkeep.

Online Database:  The DISC Relationship Management System (DISCRMS) debuted at DISC 2004, consolidating information that had been scattered and sometimes incomplete or outdated.  It allows you to keep your contact information current and to view what technology solutions your sister arch/ dioceses have adopted.  Recently, in response to membership feedback, the sign-on process has been simplified; you now only need username and password–no more Access Code and PIN once you’re in the system.  To enter DISCRMS, just click the box on our home page and log in.  If you don’t yet have a sign-on, forgot your password, need help, or have feedback, there are links for all that too.  Please sign in now and update your and your organization’s contact info and technology solutions, and check out the others’ tech solutions.  If we each keep our info current, this will become a great tool.  Thanks especially to Joseph Edward of the Diocese of London for his work in getting DISCRMS designed, developed, and improved.

Online Newsletter:  The DISC Newsletter currently has a printed circulation of about 800; it’s a great tool to share diocesan IT successes and other contributions with a wider community including our Bishops.  Please consider submitting your own arch/diocesan success story, warning, or tip for publication!

Newsletters have been online for a couple of years, from our home page Newsletters link.  Now you can not only read newsletters online but also get e-mail when a new issue is available. The online version is the same as what’s mailed, but in PDF format. You can see issues sooner and save them easily.  Just sign into DISCRMS, edit your person info, and check the “Receive newsletter online” box.

Special thanks to Eva Casale and the Diocese of Rockville Centre staff for all their hard work on the newsletter, not only recruiting content but also the thankless behind-the-scenes tasks such as editing, layout, printing, addressing, mailing, and creating the PDFs for online posting.  Thanks too to all who submit material for the newsletter.

Thank you all for your contributions to and use of our web site, QuickR , database, and newsletter!

Jim Celoni is Director of Information Services for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and a member of the DISC Web Site Committee.

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