Walt Bilofsky

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      14 comments  ·  Wishlist » Members  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

      Jon, here's how I handle this: If the husband is fred@wa.com, then for his wife Nancy I use the login fred+n@wa.com.

      You have to disable all emails for Nancy, and if she wants to log in under her own account you need to set her password. But typically if they share an email address they don't mind sharing Fred's login.

      Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
    • 437 votes
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        208 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

        Sorry for the late update.

        The first step was finished and emails can now be carbon copied to contact’s alternative emails. To do so the contact fields which store the alternative emails must be explicitly marked on the email setting page.

        Unsubscribing will unsubscribe all alternative emails simultaneously because they all belong to the very same account. The person clicking “unsubscribe” is warned about this on the unsubscribe page.

        For now we paused the development of this feature. but not for good. :) So I’m changing this wish status back to “collecting comments”.

        Thank you everyone for a valuable feedback.

        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        I second Robin's call to allow selection of additional email fields for an email to be sent to.

        I just spent a lot of time preparing an email to go to a search of our members with children, only to realize that it will only go to the primary member and not the spouse, because the member info, including kids' names, only goes in the primary member's record. (Yes, we could duplicate all the member info for the secondary member, but that's a lot of work and has other drawbacks.)

        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        Thanks for the initial implementation of this in release 5.16: https://help.wildapricot.com/display/DOC/Release+5.16

        But this won't help us merge our husband-wife memberships. Having two emails is the only reason we use bundles for those, and that creates other problems.

        This feature won't help because typically the two people have different email preferences. If they can't individually reduce their email stream from us, members will either read fewer of our emails or else unsubscribe.

        For those who need invoices copied to a financial contact, it would be helpful for that contact not to have to wade through event announcements and email blasts.

        So I hope you'll work on the ability to set preferences for each secondary email.

        And how are you handling unsubscribe in this release? This should be in the documentation.

        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        If you're not going to allow the members to set separate preferences for primary and secondary emails, then at least do not let one email addressee unsubscribe the entire account.

        If a secondary email unsubscribes, it should remove "Automatically send copies to secondary emails." It should not unsubscribe the primary email. The unsubscriber(s) should be warned that all secondary emails will unsubscribe from all types of emails, not just the type they are unsubscribing from.

        If the primary email unsubscribes, and there are secondary email(s), they should be told that the secondary email(s) will also be unsubscribed and asked to confirm.

        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        Thanks for the redesign, which has a lot in it. It gives us some good tools, and there are obviously complicated implementation issues constraining what you are able to offer. I see one small and one serious problem.

        1. Can secondary emails can receive a type of email and the primary member not receive them? It's important to allow this. An executive might want to receive newsletters but only have his assistant receive event workflow.

        2. The serious problem is the Unsubscribe link unsubscribing all emails on the account.

        Member communication is critical to an organization. Unsubscribe handling must be accurate and not lead to undesired results. As designed, one email recipient can unsubscribe everyone on the account, cutting off all our email communication with the membership. An unsubscribing member is likely to be irritated and in a hurry, so may not take the time to read and understand what they are doing.

        Here's what I suggest;

        Currently clicking Unsubscribe brings up:

        member@org.com - please confirm: do you want to unsubscribe from email blasts?*
        [Submit] [Cancel]

        (* - or whatever type of email)

        Ideally the Unsubscribe link would only unsubscribe that addressee, not other addresses. Let's try to come as close to that as we can.

        The Unsubscribe link should not automatically unsubscribe all email addresses connected to an account.

        If the clicker is the primary address, or is the only secondary address on the account, then no problem, just unsubscribe their one address. This assumes you have taken my suggestion #1 above; if not, then you have to tell them that the secondary will also be unsubscribed unless they make it the primary, and give them some choices.

        If they are one of several secondary addresses on the account, then their Unsubscribe link would give:

        secondary1@org.com - WARNING: secondary.2@org.com shares your email preferences. So it is also subscribed to receive email blasts.
        Do you want to unsubscribe all these addresses from email blasts? [Yes] [No] [Explain]

        No or Explain gives:

        All the email addresses on your account, except for the login email primary@org.com, share the same email preferences. To only unsubscribe secondary1@org.com, you must remove it from your account completely.
        [Edit your profile to make that change] [Go back to unsubscribe all addresses] [Cancel]

        Finally, every email address that is unsubscribed should get a confirming email telling them how to resubscribe.

        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        Most of our members are couples (two person bundle). If the Bundle member doesn't want emails, we don't want to force the Bundle administrator to opt out too.

        So in order to make use of this feature, we will have to have two fields - one with the Bundle member's email address for our directory and the other that can optionally be filled in with the Bundle member's email for them to opt into emails.

        We could set this up initially by exporting all the Bundle members who have opted in to emails, and then importing their emails into the new Secondary Email field. (First it would be necessary to switch roles in those memberships where the Bundle administrator opts out but the Bundle member opts in.)

        Initially I filled out the survey (the comment field isn't working) that this wouldn't work for us. But I think this way we can make use of it. (And I'm glad of that because I always agitate for partial solutions soon rather than perfection eventually.)

        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        Thanks! One secondary email address would satisfy our club's needs.

        Please provide user profile settings for each email address to separately opt in or out to:

        Workflow emails
        Event announcements
        Email blasts
        Subscriptions

        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        It looks like only the primary member (what WA calls the Bundle Administrator) can renew a membership.

        So we have the touchy duty of telling our members (mostly couples) to please renew, but we only consider the husband (usually) qualified to do it. The wives might well find this offensive.

        I hope I'm misunderstanding this. But if not, could you please provide an option for all bundle members to renew?

        Or even better, implement the suggestion https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8825614-allow-secondary-alternate-emails-for-members so we can get rid of bundles entirely in our organization.

        Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        Katya, yes, my club needs the ability to turn emails on and off for each of the two email addresses, independently.

        But my suggested design gives even more control than that.

        And since it is an extension of an existing setting, it will be familiar to users.

        In our case, we need to create a second member just to have the additional email address. If you implement my design, we could export the existing preferences for the second member, tweak the spreadsheet, and import the preferences back as the preferences for the second email address.

        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        Your design says this is intended to cover cases where two people, such as spouses, share a single membership.

        That's our situation. However, in many of our memberships the primary member doesn't want to receive emails, and the secondary member does. Regardless of who gets emails, we want both the primary and secondary members' email addresses in our directory.

        This design does not allow for that.

        Here is my suggested addition to your proposed design:

        Currently each member has the following email preferences on their profile's email settings tab:

        Workflow emails
        Event announcements
        Email blasts

        I suggest that you add a fourth one - Subscriptions.

        Then provide two columns of check boxes, one for the preferences for the primary email address (login) and one for the secondary email address. The secondary address itself would be a system field.

        This separates the question of who is the login email from who gets which emails.

        It also gives the member better control over email flow. For example, an executive may want to receive announcements and e-blasts, but want workflow emails to go only to his or her assistant. My proposal allows that control.

        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        @Keith: I like that design. Then we could each name the field(s) appropriately for our organization. For us it would be "Spouse or partner's email," but for another organization it could be "Assistant's email".

        If adding a field type is a problem for WA, a less flexible way to accommodate more than one alternate email address would be to permit a secondary email address field like "tom@aol.com,dick@gmail.com,harry@yahoo.com".

        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        Ah, but that's not the only reason. We want the spouse's email in the directory for other members to see and email to her. We want it in the database when we export it to create our printed member directory.

        Of course we could make a separate field for it. But then when the spouse email changes, the member would have to update it in two places, and they would probably not know to do it, or not bother.

        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        Evgeny, if I'm understanding this design correctly, it lacks one point of flexibility.

        For our couples members, we need a field for the primary member's email and another for the spouse or partner's email. The spouse doesn't always want to receive copies of emails.

        Under this design, the spouse's email would have to be entered twice, once under "Spouse's email" and then again as this alternate email (if the spouse wanted to receive emails). This is a complication for the member maintaining their own profile.

        Can you enable the secondary email field for all contacts (or all members), but then put a checkbox in the member's profile so each member can decide whether the secondary email address will receive copies of emails?

        This would still not address John Schroeder's issue below, which our club also has, where both people in a couple need their own email preferences and identification. For that, they would both have to be contacts in a bundle membership. Not all memberships would need to be treated that way, although that would create a complication for the admin.

        This proposal would also not address the need for more than two emails for a membership. But it's a good start. Our club hopes it can be implemented soon.

        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

        We are coming up against a number of limitations in WA in doing our first membership renewal. This is one of them.

        We want to send out a renewal email listing all the contact information for both the member and spouse/partner, so they can update any changes. WA can not insert the bundle member's information into an email sent to the bundle administrator. It's silly to send out two emails, each with one spouse's information.

        The fix is to have one login for the membership, with both the member and spouse/partner's information. And we can do that - except that we need to keep the partner's separate account because of that email address.

        Please accommodate this situation in WA soon.

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          0 comments  ·  Designers  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          Walt Bilofsky shared this idea  · 
        • 242 votes
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            51 comments  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

            Alex, that didn't quite work for me. Can you email me at bilofsky@toolworks.com?

            Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

            Alex, thanks for any help. I don't know my CSS from my CSElbow, but can follow installation instructions.

            The event is at https://tyc.org/event-3076030. I've temporarily shortened the recurrence list to keep the button on the screen.

            Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

            The Case of the Disappearing Registration Button:

            I posted a weekly class through the end of next year, using the single recurring event. We need people to register for the series, so the existing implementation would work.

            Except - the Register button is 7 screens down, underneath the long list of 63 sessions. Sherlock Holmes couldn't find it, let alone our attendees.

            While we wait for this second scenario to be implemented, could we please have a fix for this button placement? Either put it above the list of time/dates if the event is recurring, or display just the first few time/dates with a "More" link. Elementary!

            Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

            @Amy - we have the same issue and I have a workaround for it.

            See our yacht club's page at http://tyc.org . We have race, cruise and social events. Each of those categories is an event tag. The tags are used to display the appropriate events on the corresponding page in addition to the main calendar.

            These one-off events also appear in Upcoming Events on the home page.

            For recurring events, I use the tag "recurring social". These are excluded from Upcoming Events and get their own upcoming gadget right below. That solves the problem you mention.

            I am not seeing the problem reported by Anonymous.

            Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

            @Schneibs: I see you found this thread with the workaround. For others interested, see https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308926-designers/suggestions/10173666-how-to-hide-session-label-in-event-title-from-up .

            Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

            Our old web site uses Calcium from Brown Bear Software. This has a simple interface for repeated independent events.

            When an event is created, an optional repetition can be specified, as you do for Scenario 1.

            When a multiple instance event is edited or deleted, there is a choice to edit or delete the current event, all the events in the series, the current and all subsequent dates, or the current and all previous dates.

            If an edit or delete affects multiple events, any previous changes made in those events is lost. The edited version replaces all the specified instances.

            The only drawback is that if some future dates have been removed from the series (for a holiday, for example), changing the series puts them back. But you could handle that case better.

            Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
          • 93 votes
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              30 comments  ·  Wishlist » Mobile  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

              As much as I love WA, that's not the brand that will build a connection between our club and the members. Having our club's name and logo on the app will impress them incredibly.

              And what a feature for WA to advertise: Your organization gets its own mobile app! (No, you can't say that now - all you can say is that members can use WA's app. Appearance is everything here.)

              Android has the ability to change icons and app labels. As soon as the member logs into the app the first time, it should replace the app name and logo with one that we can specify in the Member app admin settings.

              Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
            • 2 votes
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                0 comments  ·  Wishlist » Mobile  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
              • 7 votes
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                  1 comment  ·  Wishlist » Mobile  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                  This is already in the mobile app settings, for the features supported by the app. There is only one member directory but it can be customized.

                • 159 votes
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                    63 comments  ·  Wishlist » Account administration  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                    Can you at least move Account Administrator (Read-only access) from the radio buttons down to the multiple choice Limited administrator list, where it belongs?

                    I tried to give my Treasurer the maximum access to financial information, which is the not quite applicable Donation Manager, and then let him do Quickbooks downloads by also checking Account administrator (Read-only access). Quickbooks downloads is only available to Full and Read-only admins.

                    But you don't let me give him both!

                    It beggars belief that if the Treasurer is to be able to change any financial data and do Quickbooks export, I have to give him full admin access. I hope I am misreading the documentation on this.

                    Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                    Good idea, Evgeny.

                    For those interested in following that public Roadmap discussion, the new thread is https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/35539993

                    Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                    This would be helpful for us. We would like to give an event manager just the necessary permissions without having broad access to financial information, the ability to email the entire membership, etc.

                    Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                  • 17 votes
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                      8 comments  ·  Wishlist » Members  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                      Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                      Our initiation fee is different depending on the membership level. So it needs to be a parameter of the membership level, not an extra cost item.

                      And it would be nice to have an option when a member changes levels, allowing them to be charged either no fee, the full fee, or the difference between the old and new levels.

                    • 202 votes
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                        80 comments  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                        We started the development of this request.
                        During analysis, we defined a simple formula based on your comments: if registration unpaid – during some period – do something (send email, cancel the registration, etc.).
                        As the first step we decided to start with: if online payments only selected – payment was not received within 15 min – cancel the registration.

                        So, the automatic cancellation will work only in case the ‘Online only’ payment method is selected for the event. The user will have 15 minutes to complete online payment. If payment is not made, the registration will be cancelled automatically.

                        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                        Katya, I see a problem if the admin has to proactively select the Registration cancelled email. Many of us copy an existing event to create a new one. We may not have that email selected now. We won't remember about this new feature and that we need to select it.

                        (I have the same problem on user cancellation of registration. It's a great feature but I have to remember to enable it when I copy an old event.)

                        So I would suggest that if a registration is automatically cancelled, an email automatically be sent to the user,

                        While I'm thinking about this workflow - why doesn't Registration cancellation email default to enabled? That would solve most of this problem. (But only if it is applied to all existing events.)

                        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                        Katya, we would like the turn on/off option, but it should default to "on" as most users will prefer that.

                        A few of our members have figured out that they can pay by check under the current situation, and we can handle that.

                        With automatic cancellation, we would have to enable both online and offline payment. If more members choose offline, it would increase the workload for the organizer, who might have to chase more people for payment.

                        It would help if there were a way to send an automatic payment reminder to those who select offline payment but then don't pay right away. There is a wishlist item for that: https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/9360177-event-payment-reminders

                        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                        Katya, it's great that this is being implemented. Two comments:

                        Will a member whose reservation is automatically cancelled be sent an email notice? Otherwise, if there is a problem with the payment that the member doesn't notice, they may show up at the event not knowing their reservation was cancelled.

                        Also, what is the workflow for an online payment? Does the member receive both a Reservation pending and a Reservation confirmed email?

                        I suggest that if they try to pay online, then no email should be sent until they complete payment or 15 minutes elapses. Then if they have paid they get Reservation confirmed, and if not then they get either a cancellation email (if online payments only is selected) or a Reservation pending email (if online or offline payments are selected).

                        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                        Susan commented "Is there a way to change the color -- maybe to RED -- of the 'Confirm' button ... We have an issue with our members forgetting to click 'Confirm'."

                        Us too.

                        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                        This is important - really should be a bug fix, not a feature - but let's think about it a bit.

                        We only require prepayment online when an event really needs it. However, our members have figured out that they can reserve and then drop out of PayPal, and more and more of them are doing it - about 25% on the most recent event.

                        This creates work for the volunteer event organizer to chase them down, and then for the treasurer to clear the invoices after the event. So we need this feature.

                        But think about it: If 25% don't pay online, how many of those would we lose if we enforced payment? Some of them the event organizer might be willing to allow to pay at the door, or to mail her a check.

                        So here's what I suggest:

                        If a registrant doesn't complete payment, send an email to the event organizer with a link they can click to approve the registration and leave the invoice open, and another link they can click to cancel the registration. If they don't do either, then the default happens - automatic cancellation within X hours, or by the registration deadline, if the invoice remains unpaid.

                        Also send an automatic email to the registrant explaining that they are not registered yet, telling them the situation, and providing a link for them to contact the event organizer if they need to make special arrangements.

                        This makes the organizer's life easier while leaving them the flexibility to deal with each case and make exceptions on a case by case basis.

                        Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                        We run into this all the time. However, there is some utility to letting them register and have an open invoice, because some members insist on mailing a check. So they register and then have to contact the organizer and arrange payment. We are OK with that, but some organizations aren't.

                        So there should be an option in the event to choose what happens when a member doesn't complete a required online payment. He gets an open invoice, but either (1) the registration is in effect, as happens now, or (2) the registration is saved as pending, but only goes into the registration list when the invoice is cleared, and he gets an email explaining that.

                        If the event sells out before the invoice is paid, then pending reservations get cancelled.

                        Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                        Just getting our club online and realized that we need this. Glad it's scheduled.

                        How about letting the admin set the time limit, instead of hardwiring 15 minutes? Someone goes through the registration process, then realizes he needs to check with his spouse. Maybe we want to let him hold the place for an hour, or a day.

                      • 4 votes
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                          4 comments  ·  Wishlist  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                          Current Wild Apricot position on Public roadmap:

                          - our current Roadmap is what we are working on now – https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932/status/1547997
                          Our “Work in progress” list can take us easily up to year to complete and we constantly updating it. Whoever voted for an idea, will automatically receive updates when we update its status

                          - we used to publish our roadmap but цуку never able to fully follow it and it always produced tensions from customers following it; the roadmap was always perceived as a a promise even though we kept repeating it was not

                          - publishing roadmap requires some place to discuss it; people have different priorities, arguments happen, this all need ongoing moderation = time. We have no special place for it, except this forum – and its already serving this purpose.

                          - we use Voting system here to inform us on our customers priorities (the more votes, the…

                          Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                          Evgeny, thanks for your reply.

                          I suggest that the Work in Progress list is not a complete Roadmap.

                          The missing part - which I suggest adding - would be a status category for "Under Consideration": those items that are not yet in progress but are being considered most seriously or have been internally scheduled.

                          That category would give those hoping for a feature more of an indication of its priority, without promising any schedule. And it would allow those of us sophisticated enough to use the Status filter to provide design and priority suggestions before work actually starts.

                          I do understand the need to balance more accessible information against the staff time necessary to deal with feedback on it. Every hour spent on dealing with suggestions is an hour less on implementing them.

                          Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                        • 51 votes
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                            31 comments  ·  Wishlist » Online payments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                            I had advocated for switching our club to WA Payments. But someone pointed out that with PayPal, members can pay with the credit card linked to their account and don't have to enter all that information.

                            So I dropped the idea of WA Payments and am linking my credit card to PayPal instead.

                            Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                            Can you do this at least for Wild Apricot Payments? This would be a major incentive for lots of us to switch to your system (which I assume you make some money from).

                            Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                            Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                            +1. It's important to make member transactions as smooth as possible.

                            [quote user="epgremill3"]We'd even be happy to name our address fields something standardized (e.g. same as Wild Apricot payment page) to get this to work.
                            [/quote]

                            Seems like this is a simple solution to avoid another form.

                            You could have and state clear rules. For example, the first field that contains "zip" would be the zip code. The first member field that contains "address" but not "email" or "e-mail" would be the street address. This would accommodate many - not all - choices of field names. If our field names didn't work with your rules we'd have the choice of changing them or not enabling the feature.

                            Then give members a checkbox "Use member's mailing address" on the credit card form. Give admins the ability to enable/disable this.

                          • 231 votes
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                              156 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              Thanks for the clarification, Dmitriy.

                              I would strongly encourage you to first design a solution based on the original suggestions to expand forums to provide listserv functionality.

                              Then you can find more modern ways to implement or extend that forum functionality in the mobile app.

                              Why do I suggest this? Younger people these days - speaking generally - use texting and messaging apps to communicate. Older folks still use email and many do not take full advantage of smartphones. Lots of people use forums. All of these groups of people are represented among your WA end users.

                              If you begin a new design based on mobile functionality, you will cut off a large portion of your end user base.

                              So first fix the shortcomings of the functionality you already have, before doing something entirely new - even if it is more interesting.

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              Dmitry, what do you mean by "we mostly think about mobile solution instead of direct implementing listserv"?

                              Do you mean you are prioritizing resources for the mobile app now and deferring listserv?

                              Or do you mean that you plan to provide a mobile solution in the place of listserv?

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              Searching on "listserv" will bring up this much-discussed feature.

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              The Wishlist is set up for customers to give you input on specific missing features.

                              What we lack is a support forum more suited to exchanging tips with each other and with your support staff about ways we have found to use WA and work around issues and problems.

                              We've discussed this before, and I maintain it will cost you less staff time in the long run to have their answers visible to multiple customers instead of just the one who asks, and for users to be able to help each other and reduce the load on your support.

                              Lacking that forum, I'll do what I can here to free you up for managing improvements. :)

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              Thanks for your response.

                              We talk a lot on the wishlist about what WA doesn't have, and the things we need to work around, but overall it is a tremendous asset for us. Since switching, we've been able to advertise events, get registrations, have options for online and at-the-door payment, and look so much more professional than our old website with less effort, even though we are a volunteer organization. Our members are more engaged and our membership records more complete.

                              I also appreciate your plan to implement top wishlist items this year, and the features you have already added. I particularly like your workaround for color coding events; it has made our calendar more attractive and useful.

                              As a programmer since 55 years ago, I've always looked for the most results from the least effort. You at WA have a more meticulous and thorough process and look for complete solutions. This serves you well, and it's necessary in implementing large systems with hundreds or thousands of different users. I understand that it takes time and resources.

                              I'm just hoping to persuade you that my fast and cheap approach will be beneficial for this particular feature. :)

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              This feature has the 9th highest vote total of the suggestions not already being worked on. It can be largely addressed with modest development resources. I know you don’t like partial solutions, but please don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

                              With apologies for mostly repeating myself, here’s a design that can make this better, in two or three steps:

                              Phase 1:

                              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.

                              This will provide a lot of the functionality of listservs. It’s a big improvement for relatively little effort. It requires no UI changes or additional mechanism inside WA. It shouldn’t require much testing since it only affects the content of the email notifications and one subscription setting.

                              Phase 2: Provide some functionality for admins to mass subscribe members to a forum. For example, add a “Subscribe to forum(s)” function to search results. Or add forum subscriptions to member record export and import. No need to include mass unsubscribe; members get an unsubscribe link in notification emails.

                              Then later, or instead, implement "Managing email subscriptions to forum updates": http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8826331-managing-email-subscriptions-to-forum-updates-941 . The design is already there and just needs a little tweaking.

                              This will get almost all listserv functionality. The only difference is having to click a link to reply instead of replying by email, and there are advantages to having it that way: keeping the chatter down and reducing the email load on the servers.

                              I hate to beat on you guys. I know there are a lot more needs than resources. But doing at least Phase 1 gets you a lot of customer satisfaction for relatively small effort. I’m trying to get an online discussion going in our club, and the existing forums put up barriers that don’t have to be there.

                              Thanks for your consideration.

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              You say above:

                              "The biggest challenge is how to enable this without overloading our servers with email traffic. This can ramp up quickly."

                              There are two ways you can reduce this load:

                              1) Require the user to click a link in the email and go to the forum in order to reply, rather than allowing them to just reply to the email.

                              2) If you do allow reply via email, let the admin optionally set the forum so that email replies go to just the sender of that email, rather than to the whole forum.

                              I've mentioned both of these before, but want to highlight that they will help solve the server load problem.

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              Those needing this as a critical function may be interested in our interim workaround. Our old website used GNU Mailman. When we switched over to WA, we didn't want to lose that functionality and have people complain that the new site was worse than the old one.

                              So we still use the Mailman listserv. My co-webmaster implemented a nightly API task which keeps the mailing list synchronized with our member list in WA.

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              Another important detail (if it hasn't already been mentioned):

                              The Forum gadget needs to have settings for the default notification (immediate, daily, weekly) for subscriptions to (a) the forum and (b) individual posts. Currently the default is "daily" but for a good discussion listserv or forum it should default to immediate.

                              Note that a thorough implementation of this would actually have four notification settings in the Member profile: immediate, daily, weekly and default. So changing the forum default would change any subscribed member unless they had selected something else.

                              Reviewing the latest design (1/14/16):

                              I don't see the ability to specify whether replies go to (a) everyone and post on the forum, or (b) only the author of the post, and not be posted on the forum. As mentioned below, if you don't provide this then you have not provided listserv functionality.

                              You don't say that the subject line of the email notifications will be improved as Oleg and I discussed last year, down this thread. This is also important to get the users to pay attention to the emails.

                              I again note that if you implement everything in your design except the ability to respond by email, you will have 90% of the benefit of this feature with maybe 25% of the work. The message recipient will still have an easy way to respond using the link in the email. So if that can make this happen faster, I urge you to do it that way first and add email response (if it is needed) later.

                              Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              Evgeny, I just noticed a serious design issue in your October 5 comment below.

                              Kim had emphasized the need to allow for email replies to go to (a) the full forum, or (b) only the individual posting.

                              You replied "The design we created works simpler: email reply posts a comment (or event a new topic) into a forum and then each participant is notified according to their notification preferences on the forum."

                              So you only allow (a) - reply to the full forum.

                              This would not meet your goal to provide listserv functionality, which almost always includes this admin setting. It would create a problem in having effective group communication with forums.

                              As Kim said, "Almost always I choose (b) as the default to avoid the slew of reply-all's that just say "Thanks!" or "I agree." or similarly trivial messages that just annoy the majority and cause people to unsubscribe because of too many emails."

                              Please revisit your design and allow the admin to specify option (a) or (b) for each forum. All this requires is for the reply-to address on the notification emails to be set to the forum reply address for (a) or the email address of the poster for (b).

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              Good catch, Kim. Yes, very important. Choice (a) is for a discussion list. Choice (b) is for an announcement list. Both are needed.

                              Just to clarify choice (b): In this case the listserv sends an email with Reply-to the sender, but From is still the email address of the list. So Reply will go only to the sender. If someone consciously wants to reply to the whole list, they must use Reply All, which will go to the sender, any cc's (from a forum there won't be any) and the entire list.

                              In this Reply All case, the listserv needs to look at the other addressees on the email (for a forum, only the sender of the previous post) and not send them a duplicate email, even if they are on the list.

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              As I see it, there are three pieces to this (restating what I posted earlier):

                              1. Include full text of posts in Immediate forum notification emails. Include a link marked "To reply to this post ..." Tighten the subject line.

                              This should be simple and should be fast-tracked.

                              2. Implement "Managing email subscriptions to forum updates": http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8826331-managing-email-subscriptions-to-forum-updates-941 . This is already designed and should be prioritized.

                              At this point, you would already have full listserv functionality except for the requirement to click a link to reply (not a huge problem IMO, and will help keep the email traffic down) and moderation (not in the current design but should be, IMO).

                              Then at a later date, consider adding:

                              3. Post reply via email (and maybe moderation of posts?)

                              When our club goes live on WA this month, as a temporary workaround we will keep our existing Mailman listserv. We are implementing a cron job using the API that will automatically keep the Mailman mailing list synchronized with the email addresses and preferences in our WA members database.

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              Fantastic!

                              (Edit: The other half of the listserv functionality will be Admin control of forum subscriptions http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8826331-managing-email-subscriptions-to-forum-updates-941 , which the roadmap http://help.wildapricot.com/display/DOC/Product+roadmap currently shows in the development queue.)

                              Could I also suggest that you consider (now or later) tightening the subject line of the immediate notification?

                              Current header:

                              ("Members' Chat is the name of the forum.)

                              Suggested:

                              The From field is sufficient to identify the organization; it doesn't need to be repeated in the subject line. If we want it there, we could make the forum name "TYC Members' Chat."

                              "Summary" is still good for a digest.

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              [quote user="OlegN"]In scope of Listserv we plan to change subscriptions to forums, so they will contain full text of topic/reply.[/quote]

                              In view of the delay, can this be split off and implemented sooner? It seems like a low effort change.

                              You already include the full text of the post in a Topic subscription.

                              Could you please just do the same thing for Forum subscriptions? (At least for Immediate notifications; maybe also for Daily and Weekly.)

                              (Edit:) This would provide most of the full Listserv functionality with very small effort. The vast majority of members could just follow the discussion in the emails. For the few that want to reply, clicking a link in the email is a speed bump but not a huge one. (It might even filter out some noise.)

                              When we transition to WA shortly, there will inevitably be complaints about things that don't work the same as the old system. We need some benefits. This would be a big one.

                              Members have mostly tuned out on our listserv emails. This would let us set up different interest groups as announcement forums. Members could subscribe to just the email (forum notification) streams they want. But it needs the full text in the email.

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              [quote user="OlegN"]This is better to leave requests in related thread http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8826331-managing-email-subscriptions-to-forum-updates-941 if there is any or create new - otherwise it is nearly impossible to find and prioritize them. [/quote]

                              OK.

                              Another problem with forums and email is that the email only contains a link to the post. It should contain the entire text of the post or the first part of it.

                              I have posted this in the related thread http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8826256-forum-include-full-posting-text-in-email-digest , but note it here because most people following this thread are interested in the more general issue of member-to-member communication.

                              Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                              I hope this will be implemented swiftly.

                              This is the remaining stumbling block for our webmasters to propose WA to our Board of Directors. We're facing the same hassle as so many others in this thread of maintaining our existing listserv in parallel with WA when the whole point is to consolidate.
                              So we really need this and the associated Managing email subscriptions feature http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8826331-managing-email-subscriptions-to-forum-updates-941 .

                              Additional helpful features:
                              * Ability to link a particular forum to group membership, so that anyone joining/leaving the group will automatically be subscribed/unsubscribed. If I understand correctly, at present a forum could be placed on a group-only page, but the subscribe/unsubscribe would have to be done by the individual members (see #3 above). And could the member leave the group and still get forum notifications?
                              * Ability to moderate (pre-approve) forum posts. This becomes more important when texts of posts are included in email notifications.

                            • 25 votes
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                                16 comments  ·  Wishlist » Forums  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                                This is a component of a larger wishlist item with over 200 votes: https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8825587-listserv-i-e-ability-to-submit-forum-posts-by-ema

                                WA's usual approach is to delay addressing a problem until there are resources for a comprehensive solution. But there are some cases, like this one, where a small tweak can provide a significant benefit.

                                I encourage the resource allocators to move forward with this and the suggestions in the listserv thread.

                                Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                                Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                                Except for WA, I've never seen a forum email notification that didn't have at least a good chunk of the content of the post(s), if not all of it.

                                This and other forum shortcomings are going to force us to keep our listserv, at significant effort.

                                A platform devoted to membership organizations needs to do a better job on member-to-member communication.

                              • 37 votes
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                                  6 comments  ·  Wishlist » Polls / Surveys  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                                • 2 votes
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                                    0 comments  ·  Wishlist  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                                  • 12 votes
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                                      3 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                                    • 10 votes
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                                        2 comments  ·  Wishlist » Polls / Surveys  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                                      • 3 votes
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                                          4 comments  ·  Wishlist  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                          Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                                          Robin or Apricots - What is the name of the cookie? It should be possible to create a web page that deletes the cookie and redirects to the site.

                                          Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                                          Can you provide a custom URL that will always start us admins in Public view, even if we were previously logged in in Admin view?

                                          Usually when I go to our website, I want to start in Public view. But if my last visit ended in Admin view, I get to watch the spinning wheel for 20 seconds or so before it lets me do anything.

                                          Why make your admins start off frustrated?

                                          This was available prior to Release 6.1, which broke it. Please put it back.

                                          Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                                          Walt Bilofsky shared this idea  · 
                                        • 16 votes
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                                            12 comments  ·  Wishlist » Security / Privacy  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                            Walt Bilofsky supported this idea  · 
                                            Walt Bilofsky commented  · 

                                            I need to give our Treasurer access to the financial functions (invoices, Quickbooks export, etc.).

                                            Currently the only way to do that is to make him a full Admin. That is no way to run an organization or a website.

                                            What's really needed is the ability to create custom admin roles. There are so many different admin privileges that a limited set of roles will never suit the needs of so many different organizations.

                                            Lacking that, WA will continue to need to create different roles like this one.

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