The BMLT (“Basic Meeting List Toolbox”) consists of a suite of tools for managing NA meeting lists. As of December 2020, known BMLT instances include 27,915 total meetings, across 1136 service bodies, which is 36% of the 76,075 known meetings in the world. BMLT offers many advantages over simply pasting a list of meetings on an area website, including better search capabilities, a web form for doing meeting updates, tools for automatically producing printed schedules, helpline support, easy synchronization of meeting data with NA World Services, and more. A BMLT installation consists of a “root server” that holds a database of meetings, and “satellites” that display meetings for a given service body.
The WSZF Technology Workgroup would like to support the use of BMLT in our zone, with the long-term goal of having BMLT used widely (and ideally for all regions and areas in the zone). There are already several service bodies in the WSZF that provide BMLT root servers, but overall there is currently considerably less use of BMLT here than in other parts of the US. (See the meeting map on https://tally.bmlt.app.) We want to change that. Here are specific steps toward that goal:
- We have deployed a zone-wide BMLT root server (https://bmlt.wszf.org/main_server).
- New regions and areas in WSZF that want to use BMLT are invited to make use of the zonal server for their meeting data. The Technology Workgroup can help you come on board, including technical assistance and also potentially helping to enter meeting data.
- Regions and areas in WSZF with existing servers should feel free to continue using their current servers indefinitely if they are happy with that way of doing things. We will work with these regions and areas as appropriate, for example, if looking at the data from a zonal level turns up data issues that we can report back.
- Alternatively, regions or areas in WSZF with existing servers can migrate their data to the zonal server if they prefer, and we would work with them to do that. The BMLT community is seeing an increasing number of zone-level servers — other examples include the Southeastern Zonal Forum, the Brazilian Zonal Forum, and the Plains States Zonal Forum. The advantage of joining the zonal server is that you don’t need trusted servants at the regional level who can maintain a server and keep it backed up, as well as potentially some cost savings.
This being NA, of course no region or area will be required to use BMLT, but we hope the advantages will be convincing, and that in time the zonal server along with regional ones will cover the entire zone.
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