Tech Update April 2011
As I mentioned last week, technology will play a pivotal role in helping IAP2 USA achieve its goals and provide value to its members. Over the past few months, we’ve been making good progress on a number of tech-related issues. Below are the key take-aways I shared during our Board meeting on Friday. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or feedback. Thanks!
Member data migration
The membership data we received from IAP2 back in December 2010 has been imported into our new system. Except for a small number of pending items, all transactions that have come in since then (for new and renewing members) have been processed.
We’re in the process of setting up our organizational members so that they can do most of their administrative tasks themselves (update profile information, swap out individual members, renew and upgrade their membership etc.). We’re about half way through and expect this task to be completed later this week.
A few minor data clean-up tasks remains (e.g. missing or invalid email addresses for some contacts, missing chapter affiliations), and we’ll address those over the coming weeks and months with a final completion expected for June.
This has taken a lot more effort than we had hoped, but we’re now at the point where we can hand over day-to-day management to our staff.
As of last Thursday, we have a total of 531 contacts listed in our database, 470 of whom are IAP2 USA members.
Roll-out of member-only website
The roll-out of our member-only website has been going very well overall. To date, we have invited ca. 150 contacts to use the site. 49 have already logged in at least once, and 10 have opted into the public directory. Now that the data migration is complete, we plan to invite the remaining members and contacts by the end of this month.
Our online application form went live in March and is fully operational.
There are a number of tasks remaining (e.g. usability improvements to the application form, activation of automatic renewal reminders, a spiffy HTML template for our member newsletter etc.), and we expect those to be mostly completed by the end of May.
IAP2 USA domain
On March 22, we successfully took ownership of our official domain http://iap2usa.org (which IAP2 had reserved for the US Affiliate). We have an interim splash page up that links to our various web properties. Over the coming months, all of our services (blog, wiki, member-only site) will be moved under this domain.
Web & content strategy
Due to scheduling issues, the Technology & Communications committee has yet to hold its ﬁrst full meeting. We hope to produce a draft strategy by the end of this month. This document will be a prerequisite for the development of our ofﬁcial website.
We’re working on assembling an editorial team and hope to establish a simple process for surfacing, creating and publishing all the good content that’s available from members, chapters, committees and other sources.
We’re looking for volunteers to join our team! If you have editing or social media skills and you’d like to get involved, please contact us. We promise to keep individual work load to a minimum of your choosing.
Following the member data migration, this will be our next big project: building a new web presence that supports the internal and external needs of the organization. We’re just getting started, and there’s no hard timeline yet.
Things are also steadily progressing in social media land. Since its launch in September 2010, our blog has seen a 20% monthly increase in traffic, and 51 readers have already subscribed to email updates. We have 95 followers on Twitter, including a number of neighboring organizations in this field such as NCDD, AmericaSpeaks and the National Civic League. More social media channels are likely to be rolled out over the coming months.