Thursday, July 14, 2011
Posted by: Mark Gilfand
The biggest change one will see when the new web portal "goes live" is a new look and feel for our 60 year old Association. We will be putting on a 21st century makeover to take advantage of the social media tools now available in web pages that were not available when we last retooled our web presence.
The following features & functionality will be rolled out with the initial launch of the site in July:
Basic site content using standard templates for branding.
Online membership application, new and renewal.
Import of all current member records with their current login (you will be asked to re-establish your password).
Landing page for each chapter and region in good standing similar to the one on the current website.
Broadcast email tool to email your chapter or region members.
Basic training materials (How to use this site and Group Admin Guide & Training Videos)
Other robust features and functionality will be rolled out in Phase II (August-December) including sub-sites for those chapters and regions who desire to eliminate their current local external websites and use the national sub-site functionality.
Goals of the Web Migration Team:
Reduce costs significantly by replacing three current disparate systems with one integrated platform.
Improve website security and reduce web administrator(s) effort to maintain website(s)
Ensure replacement does not represent a loss of functionality that cannot be overcome by reasonable workarounds.
Provide administrative tools for Chapter and Region leaders to manage their local operations.
Ensure future strategic requirements for all levels of the Association can be achieved and implemented.
What Chapters/Regions/Leaders Can Expect
A "Landing Page" (i.e. Group Home Page) has been created for each Chapter in good standing or at risk. It is the intent of the Web Migration Team that we not post any chapter information that is not relevant OR current. Therefore, we have chosen not to display some of the chapter information for those chapters which are in the "inactive" status. The Region and Chapter Support Service Area is working with the Region Presidents and Chapter Leaders to validate which of those chapters (professional and student) are viable and in the process of being re-activated. The Web Migration team will be able to access information on the previous domain server but the general public and the membership will not be able to and will need to contact the Web Migration team.
The Landing Page includes a welcome message and the Association logo. We are encouraging chapters which have an external site to no longer perform dual entry of chapter information. Therefore, the Landing Page template for a chapter who has an external local site includes a brief statement about the chapter including the regular meeting date with an "enter site" button linked to the chapter/region's external site for more information.
We have also created a template for chapters who wish to migrate all of their information to the new portal and do away with their external local site. The Landing Page has the ability to list up to 10 additional "Group Pages" which are custom pages designed by the chapters. Some of the pages that we recommend are a chapter officers' page, a listing of student chapters supported, sponsors and partners information, upcoming events and registration, chapter history, and any other information that is important to your chapter.
Even after the system "goes live", the chapters have the ability to modify the Landing Pages and custom pages through a Group Admin account which has been created by the Web Migration Team. The Group Admin login can be shared among chapter members; however, a primary email address must be supplied for system administration.
There will be additional training scheduled during the summer to assist chapters and leaders.
We are excited to be so close to sharing with you, our membership, new portal. As with any change, it will take some "getting used to". We are available for questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Web Migration Team is led by Bill Fly, Keven Webb, Elaine Miller, Deborah Lovell, Darlene Gerber, Mark Gilfand, and Doug Fogle. The team is also supported by the Smith Bucklin Headquarters team of Melissa Reznik, Scott Beitzel and Melissa Lapsansky.