Listserv i.e. ability to submit forum posts by email
Discussions and collaborations between members can currently only be handled online (within forum or blog pages)
Listserv functionality where members can mail-in comments and receive email summaries of all comments
1) The biggest challenge is how to enable this without overloading our servers with email traffic. This can ramp up quickly.
2) We are starting the work on forum email notifications, this handles this need at least partially.
Please review results of our analysis and design:
Post your comments/ideas right here. Until we see major disapproval, this is what we will develop in one of future releases.
Adoree Hatton commented
This is still desperately needed!
BAWSC WebMaster commented
Personify the lack of Administrators being able automatically subscribe members to forums as our members would prefer is the number 1 reason we are considering moving to a competitors solution. Changing the default to be "subscribed" instead of each member having to manually subscribe should not be that hard of an enhancement to implement as members always have the option to unsubscribe and/or change their notification settings in their profile.
Other membership management software such as Club Express has the ability to send and email to a forum from outside the software. This allows you to respond to a forum from your email system of choice such as outlook and then that email will go to all members of the Forum. This would also let you initiate an email that is sent to the forum so that it could be used as a distribution list. Optional membership settings in the forum would handle spam issues.
It would make forums much more useful. In lieu of that, how about distribution groups that work in a similar manner.
Just thinking that rather ironically whatever platform this Wishlist is built on would be a great solution.
Every time someone other that myself posts to a topic that I have voted for - I get an email with the full details of the post. Only if I want to respond to I need to click on the topic.
I face the same issue that you have in that my membership is just not interested in going to the website daily/weekly to see what updates there are in a forum and added to that the notifiers that something has been posted are so generic.
Additionally - there is no way for an admin to add a user to a forum - even with some default setting. Really sucks and clearly the dev team at WA (who actually originally started this thread in 2008 and then proposed a solution in 2016) really have no intent of ever implementing anything other than some vague comments about implementing it on mobile about 3 years ago. That will not resolve for many of the 262 who have voted for this.
That aside - you mention that for 1 of your associations you created an email list on another service. Could you please elaborate on that. Maybe it was something like Yahoo Groups? Of course something like that also means that you have to maintain a duplicate set of email addresses on that service.
I have actually been thinking of using the Groups feature of WA as my 'forum list' and then from my domain registrar settings redirecting inbound emails addressed to *@mydomain to an Integromat webhook. Then a scenario in Integromat strips out the forum part of forum@mydomain - uses that to retrieve all the members in that group and then forwards the original email to all the members of that group. At least that eliminates the need for duplicate address lists. But it does not give me any form of daily/weekly summaries unless I figure out some other process for the summaries. Responding to a specific item in a summary would also be tricky.
Glen Mills commented
I believe Personify owns both Wild Apricot and Memberclicks. I'm a president of 2 professional associations, each with around 150 members and I run both sites. Whenever people ask me which is better I say that WA has a better interface and website features but Memberclicks has an e-mail list-serv. The perfect system would be Wild Apricot with the Memberclicks E-Mail list feature.
We had zero users of the WA forums and many users of the e-mail list. I had to create an e-mail list on another service for the association that uses WA because that was the only way people wanted to keep in touch. That same association is affiliated with an international association and when they switched to an online forum from an email list engagement fell like a stone. Some people wanted this because that association is much larger at approx. 4,000 members but for those ideal sized groups of 150 active community members (Read Malcolm Gladwell on Dunbar's Number) an e-mail list is invaluable. For those who like less email they can unsubscribe or get a, "Daily Digest" - some associations also create multiple email lists so that people can pick and choose topics they want to hear about but ignore the rest.
A lot of people are in their email every day anyways and prefer not to have to log in to other places. Anyone at WA or Personify who thinks forums, that require yet another login, are superior to an e-mail list doesn't know what they are talking about.
WA is great for managing memberships and events but it sucks for keeping members fully engaged. Memberclicks is just okay for managing memberships but it is great for keeping conversations going. If I could find a system that worked like WA and Memberclicks at a reasonable price I would dump both of these systems immediately and switch.
Manhattan Twins Club commented
The lack of this feature is what causes me to be unhappy. In our old system, members (who can chose to use a anon username) would post to a Discussion Group (your Forum). Members can chose to receive updates via email either weekly or daily or when there is a new post. When there is an update email (new content, daily, weekly), the name of the Discussion Group (aka Forum) is shown, along with the OP subject head & content and then most recent post. If there is more than one OP, all are shown for each Forum. Members can then click to respond via email, or to go to the site.
Manhattan Twins Club commented
This is an URGENT need for us. Per my comment on this topic in the other related post, since we moved to WA and can no longer do this, we have seen our Forum activity go to almost zero, and have lost members, or had them very unhappy. This used to be one of the main benefits of our group - we are a parenting support group...
This is actually an urgent need. If anyone has suggestions on ways to do this, please let me know.
Currently, I can create and e-mail sub-groups of our membership (ex: Executive Board, Volunteer Committee, Communications Committee) but all of those communications are one way, and they can only respond to me. We need a way to create e-mail groups so that participants in a group can "Reply All" - this would be incredibly helpful to create e-mail conversation chains, and to re-create new chains on different subjects.
I gather that the plan for this has been discarded since the Google Doc link in this forum is no longer available. I've pretty much given up hope that this fundamental feature will ever be implemented by WA, so I was wondering if there is any option for using a 3rd party add-in that would allow some of the same functions. I have no idea how or whether that is even possible, but we really do need something if we are to continue to be able to use this service. Even the "forum email notifications" mentioned in the header for this idea would be better than nothing, which is what we have now.
Craig Norberg-Bohm commented
A Listserv feature where members may be easily added and removed from email discussion lists. I would use these for committees and projects that engage member participation. A London concern, now nearly out of business called Group Spaces, implements this. Would compliment Discussion Forums.
Doug Cooper commented
Currently our organization has to use Google Groups for intra-committee emails/discussions, as there is no equivalent option available within WA. This becomes a major headache when one has members self-editing their personal profiles, including, for example, committees of interest. We have to periodically compare many committee interest checkboxes for our members to the mailing lists on our admin managed Google Group lists. Huge headache reconciling the two and thus a major impediment to prompt response to the selected preferences of new, continuing or departed members. The best workaround to your so limited email system is to set up group or committee specific email templates, each with a BIG button for "REPLY TO GROUP HERE". That button can have a group or committee specific email address that goes to all who have made the self-selection in WA. Any further replies to the replies then, of course, go just to that specific selection. This might work, but is cumbersome for the committee chairs, etc. So, please brainstorm on how to incorporate a more equivalent function to Google Groups!
So original post of this idea was from a WA team member in 2008 (almost 12 years ago). Then a proposed solution by another WA team member in 2016 (about 8 years later) and about 4 years ago.
Walt - do not hold your breath for anything here.
What I would suggest is that to create a free workspace on Slack.
You control who is invited to that workspace and can have any number of channels on different areas of interest. You can have public channels (public within the workplace) that any member can follow or private (that only explicitly invited members can follow).
Anyone can post/view in channels that they are members of and responses to individual posts are threaded below the original post.
Slack can be accessed from any device (mobile or desktop) or thru a browser, but the actual App works better than a browser. If anyone is already using the Slack App - just add in the additional workspace.
I already have my groups Slack workspace and have added a few trial members. Today is the day that I will be adding in my remaining members
BTW - some folks might suggest using a Whatsapp group. However Slack is a corporate grade application and much more robust than Whatsapp (and who wants to be using a Facebook owned app anyway and still expect any sort of privacy)
Walt Bilofsky commented
My club president just asked me to provide a facility for members to exchange needs and thoughts during the pandemic, while we are all staying home and our club is shut down. All I could offer is the forum, which as discussed for many years does not fill the need.
Here's what would:
1. Include full text of posts in Immediate forum notification emails.
2. Include a link marked "To reply to this post ..." that goes to the post.
3. Tighten the subject line to feature the topic subject and remove unnecessary words.
4. When a user posts, automatically subscribe them to that topic with frequency Immediate.
5. Default topic subscriptions to Immediate instead of Daily.
These are from my post three years ago.
Is this something you would be willing to prioritize in the next release, to support your customers and our members at this incredibly stressful time?
I agree with anonymous on 10/6/19 - this is our number one request, and seems critical to support. We are looking for alternatives to Wild Apricot as our members need to have email communication, vs. forums.
This is the number one request for a feature from our members and is currently driving us to consider alternatives to Wild Apricot.
What is the latest on this, clearly there is a huge demand for this functionality?
james Millar commented
This functionality is a "must have" for us. Members are currently communicating with each other by email, and are unlikely to change their workflow to accommodate the limitations of the WA platform.
Glen Parker commented
Yes, our organization could use this function.