Freemasonry in the 21st Century
This article previously appeared in the printed version of the 2016 Spring Trowel.
The summer of 2016 marks an exciting time for the digital presence of the Craft in Massachusetts. The Grand Lodge is proud to introduce an updated version of our public website, located at www.massfreemasons.org. This is merely the first part of an exciting new web presence for our organization.
This project is the result of many months of preparation, research, and development that was coordinated by Wor. Robert Huke, myself, and our creative agency, Small Army.
One of the first questions we asked ourselves when we started this process was, “who is our target audience?”, and the answer was simple. This website has two primary audiences: Master Masons looking to learn more about the Freemasons of Massachusetts, and non-Masons who are looking to find more information on how to become a Freemason.
With this in mind, we set out to deliberately re-purpose and re-utilize content from our existing marketing domain FindMoreInMasonry.org on the website. This content helps us attract and retain the interest of potential candidates for our lodges, and has been effective since it was launched last Spring on the “Find More” domain.
We also made an effort to modernize, re-purpose, and re-invent content from the previous Grand Lodge homepage for the benefit of our Master Masons audience.
The result, we feel, is a website that accurately portrays the Craft, its tenets and its values to our Masonic and non-Masonic audiences. Freemasonry seeks to proclaim its principles as widely as men will hear them; our website, in turn, emphasizes the tenets of our profession: brotherly love, relief, and truth.
With excellent insight and assistance from our creative agency, we’ve designed a web experience that is consistent with the expectations of internet users in 2016 in both form and function.
We now have the ability to repurpose content from this very magazine by enabling the Trowel staff to post interactive articles labeled as “from Trowel” on the website. All news articles give users the ability to share content on their social networks directly from the article pages themselves.
Our special thanks are due to Rt. Wor. Elliot Chikofsky and the Information Services & Technology Committee, who have taken over hosting of both our marketing website and this new homepage. We’ve set up the ability for each lodge’s individual page to dynamically pull contact information from each lodge’s list of Officers in our central membership database thanks to Rt. Wor. Bro. Chikofsky in particular. Our success moving forward would not be possible without their hard work, dedication, and cooperation.
You may be wondering why the main domain is now www.massfreemasons.org (our other domains will still drive to this destination, not to worry!)—the answer is the best way to tell the story of our fraternity is to focus on the people, and not the institution. While Freemasonry in Massachusetts has been going strong since 1733, it is our Freemasons in our constituent lodges that have been the principal drivers of our success. Moving forward, we aim to focus on our brethren and the impact our fraternity has had on them as men, and enabled them to grow in many different ways.
We believe that Freemasonry is the best for men of good character because of its commitment to service to others, helping communities, and most of all, helping men become the best version of themselves. This is the greatest gift our collective association provides: the opportunity to find more within us.
In its own small way, we hope this new digital face to our fraternity will enable us to share the gift of Freemasonry as widely as men will receive it.