It’s 2017, Canada is celebrating it’s 150th birthday and the Bragg Creek – Gateway to Kananaskis, braggcreek.ca website is almost 20 years old. That’s an eternity in internet years – long before Facebook and Google. The site was old and tired, inaccessible to smartphones and tablets. So it got a facelift. Maybe I should get one too. What you see is the third design and build of my Bragg Creek website. I hope you find something of value here.
A couple of screen captures of the original toloko.com, Bragg Creek website
Version 2 of the braggcreek.ca site, introduced in 2004
I moved to Bragg Creek in 1996, from Montreal, where I was a journalist and graphic designer. I really loved Bragg Creek. I spent months digging into all the nooks and crannies and I turned the research into a web site, toloko.com, which launched in 1998. I used toloko because someone had registered braggcreek.com. It was inspired by our postal code, T0L 0K0.
toloko.com was a great site. I think it captured what it was like to “Work, Live and Play” in Bragg Creek. I offered all local non-profits free hosting for their web sites. At the time Google didn’t exist and many people held the opinion that they would never have a computer in their home. I know it’s weird eh?
I had postcards from Bragg Creek, classified ads, a discussion forum, an activities calendar and a weather report. I measured the distance from the STOP sign to the Kananaskis Gate, to Redwood and everywhere I knew people would want to go. I drew maps of everything (this was before Google Maps). I researched the history, the growing season, the wildlife and wildflowers. I had a phone directory with every business in Bragg Creek and all the public services. When the government unlocked the dot CA domain, I was on it. I hoped to provide one-point access to everything Bragg Creek.
I sat on the executive of the Chamber for 6 years (we raised $110K to rebuild the Bragg Creek Centre) and we worked hard to build relationships with locals. I even sat on the board of the Community Association for a while. I helped create the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association (I designed their logo), I was part of the Bragg Creek Environmental Coalition. I sat on “important” committees and built relationships with local businesses and with regional tourist associations. I co-founded the Banded Peak Challenge. I thought I had a handle on Bragg Creek; that I could represent what a wonderful place it was and give it a place on the World Wide Web.
I redesigned the site. It became the “Gateway to Kananaskis” and I headed for the hills. Most of my traffic was looking for info on the Elbow Valley. I have hundreds and hundreds of pages on the place. I had a Bulletin Board where people could discuss what it was like to live here and find out if they wanted to move here. Internet connectivity was always the big issue.
I took on the logging issue in 2003 and I fought to get the loggers out of Kananaskis for 7 years (I’m still taking potshots). But, that fight took a toll. Nobody likes to see a fight unless it’s between two big bruisers in the ring. So others began to develop a prettier picture of Bragg Creek and Kananaskis and I lost some of my audience.
I’m a Web 1.0 guy – I resisted Facebook and Twitter as long as I could. I’m pretty antisocial and the social web was not something I wanted to deal with. But, I decided I had to protect my investment in this new environment so I got social and even opened a Youtube channel too. That has over 300,000 views. Then came the flood of 2013 and I realized I had to do all I could to help Bragg Creek recover and remain a popular tourist destination.
Now I’m tired of Google telling me that the site isn’t mobile friendly. So, I offer you something new and fresh. Check out the Welcome to Bragg Creek page and the Bragg Creek Walking Tour along with about 200 pages of high value information about who we are and where we live. Thanks for reading.
Rebuilding the site is a daunting task. I know I’ve missed some broken links and there’s a lot I don’t even know here. If you can help make the site better, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org Or you can tweet to @braggreekCa. I’m on Facebook at: braggreekCa. If you prefer the phone, you can call 403-949-4274. I’m not hard to find.