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Two Strips Of Latinum: A Rebirth For The Federation

While the relaunch has been pushed back 14 days, Federation president Russ Haslage feels it will be well worth the wait

Visitors to the site, Trekfederation.com have witnessed a countdown clock and the promise of exciting developments. This week, Russ Haslage, the president of the International Federation of Trekkers. gave us a slight glimpse into what is coming down the road.

The relaunch of the organization, which will be more commonly known as The Federation from now on, was originally set for June 1. However, the date has been pushed back to June 15. Haslage explained it was to allow for final adjustments before start up.

We didn't want to launch anything that wasn't completely ready for the fans," he said. "In our development process, we have been in contact with officials at CBS [who own the rights to Star Trek] to be sure that our plans met with their approval and that we didn't step on any legal toes. In the spirit of cooperation we tweaked our plans a bit and we didn't want to slap things together at the last minute. We want to make sure everything is done professionally and is the very best for the very best fans."

"Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry "told us to always conduct our business in a professional manner, and that is what we are doing here.

When asked about The Federation's interaction with CBS, Haslage described it as a working relationship. While the Federation has not been licensed per se, a relationship with CBS has been established where projects will be reviewed and subject to clearance by CBS before they are implemented, much like the relationship that IFT enjoyed with Paramount during the early years of the organization.

What will the relaunch reveal for The Federation? According to Haslage, it will entail more information availability along with a new magazine.

We've been working with suppliers to provide us with licensed Trek merchandise for our online store and for our convention tables," he said. "The new website is coming together nicely, complete with our own 'Spacebook' module that will allow fans to network with other fans.

We've cultivated relationships with other Trek websites like Airlock Alpha to provide the latest news to viewers at TrekFederation.com. We're developing the new membership CD ROM. We've renamed our e-magazine to Voyages, reviving the name from our old newsletter, giving it an upgrade to a world-class magazine. I've seen some proofs and I was wowed. Just wait until you see it.

"There's so much more coming together now than we had originally planned. I can't wait for everyone to see it.

I asked Haslage if he could give our readers a sneak preview of what is coming. He responded that while the new magazine is "going to blow people away, the new website will be quite impressive.

Our Federation seal logo has been tweaked a bit. The new website will have special members-only areas complete with a great game. I'm very excited about it. We truly will be going where no fan group has gone before, he said.

Haslage further reported that excitement about the relaunch has been growing with public reaction being very positive.

The response and excitement to word of the magazine has been tremendous. We've kept a lot of the new site under wraps, so not too many people have seen it," he said. "I check it everyday and I get more excited. And what is neat is we'll continue to develop new things from here. The Federation truly is taking Trek fandom to a whole new level.

When asked for an update about TrekUnited.com, which The Federation purchased weeks ago, Haslage reported that it has been moved to a dedicated server recently. He also related that there will be some graphics updates in the coming months.

It will be interesting to watch the relaunch to see what new developments in fandom come to light, and to see what the future holds for that organization, which was founded by Haslage with the assistance of Gene Roddenberry in 1984. Everyone is invited to keep an eye on their website for further developments. I'll have more information as it becomes available.

See you Monday!

About the Author

Dennis Rayburn is a professional fan writer, who lives with his wife Jill in Radcliff, Ky. His work appears on other sites on the net, most notably Roddenberry.com and continues his examination of science-fiction and space exploration.
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