Robin Sapiro

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  1. 310 votes
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    69 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    For a basic 'contact us' form (ie allow a visitor to send a selected contact an email without revealing the recipients address) have a look at my site: HODToronto.com - down at the bottom you will see my name in the footer - click on it and you will see the Captcha protected option to email me.

    Although I must say that of late some of the content that I have been receiving makes me think that the Captcha schema being used by WA (the very original design) is being hacked by a robot. WA does need to update this to more current type of Captcha like those where yo select all images with a car in them or even better where you just click the check box that says 'I am human' - the logic behind those is really interesting.

    I have just BTW had this running since the site first went live in 2013.

    It is out of the box WA functionality

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    So while not actually implementing forms in WA, consider the following.

    With a free GMail account you can create forms (https://docs.google.com/forms). Log on with you GMail ID.

    Data entered into a form is stored in a Google sheet in this account.

    Integromat has a function that will pick up any new rows added to a Google sheet, so you even have the option of adding the data added through the Google form to a WA contact record.

    For access to the Google form, you can either embed this in a WA web page or provide a link to a stand alone copy of the Google form.

    If you are using the standalone version - consider customizing the form with your WA web page banner.

    Also of interest is that you are using the standalone method, you can also create a URL that that will prefill any fields that you select. So for example if sending out the URL in an email from WA, you can use the email macros to embed any of the existing membership data into that URL

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Just 1 thing to consider about allowing anonymous submissions.

    You open yourself that way to spamming.

    Any anonymous option should be something that each site admin can turn on/off. Default should be off.

    Anonymous submissions should also have the option of requiring a captcha - captcha option by default to be enabled

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  2. 51 votes
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    24 comments  ·  Wishlist » Contacts  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    So following on from my previous comments about sending emails on the first day of the month to all my members with birthdays and anniversaries in the month through WA, once the Integromat integration was provided, I actually wrote my own scenarios to process my member records and send an email to each member automatically at 8am on the day of their birthday or anniversary. I preferred this to the sample provided by WA.

    As far as cost is concerned - I am running on the Integromat free plan. For my membership this provides me with enough capacity to send all of these emails. Guess a big factor is going to be how many members you need to send these emails to each and every month - but I am well inside the limits. I am sending out about 150 of each per year. Obviously this will present a variation every month.

    And just BTW - it is always possible to run more than 1 Integromat free account - all of them referencing the same WA implementation if you have too many members. I think that you will just have to use a different email address for each Integromat account.

    When I set up my Integromat birthday/anniversary emails - I just sent myself a sample email from WA of each. Then on my PC - saved the email as HTML and used that HTML for my email body in Integromat. Just substituting member name and date fields from the WA data as required. Interestingly with Integromat you can also calculate the number of years between the date of birth/anniversary as part of the scenario and then wish the member a happy 25th or whatever birthday/anniversary.

    Just remember that as much as the folks at WA try - if they build automatic birthday or anniversary emails they are going to have to create some sort of 1 size fits all system. That is NOT going to make more than about 30% of customers happy. With Integromat you get EXACTLY what you want.

    If you want a hand with this - I am open to doing some consulting/development work for you ($$$)

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Following on from last comment. When I extract the birthday month, I also extract the birthday so that in the email which goes out before the start of the month the wording is something like 'Happy Birthday for July 23'. The 'July' and '23' are extracted from the member record.

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    My current solution to this missing ability to search on the month part of a date field was to add in a new field 'Birthday Month'. This field has a drop down list of months: January, February, March ...

    I then have a saved search where I select the upcoming month and send all of those members a birthday wish email on the last Sunday of the month.

    BTW - do the same for anniversaries.

    Want to do a quick load of this new field to all your members?

    Export for all members their member ID and date of birth to an Excel spreadsheet.

    Use the Excel (or Open Office) functions to derive the month name from the date of birth into a new column.

    Upload the resulting spreadsheet back to WA with the import function.

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Hi Dimitri,

    One of the things that I do is send each of my members birthday wishes in the month of their birthday (usually the last Sunday of the previous month). To this end I have a field which is their birthday date this year. This allows me to have a saved search for all birthdays next month or this month as applicable. This means that every year I need to update the birthday date for the current year as well as recalculate the recipients age for the birthday email.

    Currently I download the membership list into Excel, add in the calculation columns to calculate the updates and then import back into the member data base.

    All very cumbersome, time consuming and error prone.

    Ideally we have fields in the DB that are based on the values of other fields in the DB using standard Excel like functions.

    This would also be useful for concatenating and substringing character fields

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    We send out birthday wishes emails to our members. In the contact DB we have fields containing date of birth (month, day and year)

    Ideally we have a function in the email editor of calculating a value based on any of the contact fields

    eg

    Dear {Contact_First_Name} {Contact_Last_Name}, all the best as you turn {Current_Year - Contact_DOB_Year} on {Contact_DOB_Month_Full} {Contact_DOB_Day}

    Ideally Contact_DOB is the date of birth and the DOB_Year and DOB_Month_Full and DOB_Day are extracted from that so that the above line resolves as

    Dear John Smith, all the best as you turn 45 on August 24

  3. 57 votes
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    8 comments  ·  Wishlist » Polls / Surveys  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    So with the same issues mentioned by many others in this thread and having tried Survey Monkey, I finally settled on using Google Forms. It is free if you have a GMail (free) or GSuite (paid) account.

    What I really like about Google forms are the following:

    1. No sign on required
    2. Questions can be conditional based on answers to previous questions
    3. You can have the responses automatically go to a Google sheet and once that sheet is defined, you can add any of the usual formulas to that sheet to keep track of various column data
    4. You can optionally configure if you want to be notified by email whenever anyone responds to the poll.
    5. Because the results are already in a sheet - you can copy these to an Excel or Open Office sheet on your PC at any time
    6. (And this is the best) if you are sending your members/contacts a link to the form, you can actually build that link in an email (for your members and contacts anyway) to prefill selected fields in the form with their personal data from the WA database, so no need for them to type in their name or email address etc (if these are required) when responding to the poll.

    You can always of course send links with no prefilled data for people not on your WA database.

    I have also switched to using these forms for event registration (most of our events are free to members) and really all that I need to know is how many are attending and if there are any dietary preferences.

  4. 17 votes
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    5 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Another possible solution is to use Integromat.

    Do your original email in WA and only send it to yourself.
    When you receive the email - save as HTML from your email client.

    Now in Integromat (assuming that you have already integrated with WA) set up to read through your contact/membership by whatever criteria you want.

    Send everyone an email from a GMail account. For the email body, paste in the HTML previously saved and then Integromat will allow you to add in conditional text base on your criteria (could be content of any field in the WA contact/member DB).

    So rather clunky again for 1 off emails - but works great for recurring emails. I send all my members wishes on the day of their birthday and anniversary (if married) like this. Runs automatically every day at 8:30am

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    So this wish item is only just over 3 years old and only has 17 votes - so don't hold your breath waiting for this.

    In the interim you can achieve this by creating a field in all profiles that is used just for special text in an email.

    Then export all contacts and members with Contact ID, membership level and this field to an Excel spreadsheet.

    Edit that sheet to insert the required text for the different membership levels and import back into WA.

    Now use that field as a macro in your email.

    Yes - really clunky but it does work. But also my experience is that if you import a spreadsheet into WA and any cells are empty and the corresponding WA filed already has text - this text will remain.

    Also if you do embed an empty field into an email you will either get a double space somewhere or an extra blank line.

    One way around this is for the blank fields - import a space into them, for the fields with content include both the leading and trailing space and then in the email don't put any spaces before or after the macro.

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  5. 251 votes
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    164 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    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)

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Full details of forum post should be in notification email for daily/weekly summaries as well as for immediate notifications.

    Having to click through a link and maybe even sign on is a big show stopper in getting my users to look at forum posts. Also getting immediate updates is annoying to my members who complain about too many emails and would prefer to receive daily/weekly summaries.

    Finally - this design was published over 2 years ago. When can we expect to see it being delivered?

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    What is the current status of this? I read the article referenced by Apricot Kernel on Feb 12, 2016. Design looks great. But 2 years later - when will it be implemented?

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  6. 21 votes
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    7 comments  ·  Wishlist » Contacts  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    While talking about Excel like function for the fields - we should also have the ability to add in Excel like formulas so that 1 field can be derived from the values of another. Example - if you have a date of birth field, the members current age can be calculated by subtracting the date of birth from the current date.

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Instead of having a single (or a few) formatting options - what we really need is formatting such as found in Excel (or the freeware equivalents) which besides providing a list of standard formats also allow for the implementation of custom formats.

    Any field of any type should be formatable.

    Now that being said and not to say that this sort of formatting does not need to be available, consider from time to time exporting your full membership or contact list to Excel or freeware equivalent - use the spreadsheet functions to format the data and then upload back to WA

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  7. 311 votes
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    132 comments  ·  Wishlist » Members  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    We almost complete the development of the first report – the number of active members on a date and changes in this number for a period. We expect to make it publicly available in May.

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    @Alex, thanks for the clarification of your connector and the pricing.

    @RLM - what Alex is offering would only be a conflict of interest if he was employed by WA and was then selling services to WA customers as a sideline for his own profit.

    All that he is doing is offering a solution that is free out of the box, but could cost you $$ if you needed him to do customization. The worst that you could accuse him of doing is using these forums to advertise his solutions. Seen as that these forums are managed by WA, if they did not like what he was doing - they would remove his posts. In reality he offers additional functionality to the WA product and this is beneficial to WA as it helps to improve their customer retention.

    Also note that you always have the option of flagging any post on the forum as inappropriate and that would bring it to the attention of the forum administrator who would then decide if it needed to be removed

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Hi All,

    So this item has now been open for almost 10 years and has a sizeable number of votes.

    It also been a 'work in progress' for over 2 years now.

    Both really long periods. Now typically I am not at all impressed with the response time (if any) from WA to customer requests (and I have no relationship with WA other than being a user), but I have been in the IT industry in various roles for longer than I care to remember. As such I can say that reports for customers are probably the most difficult things to provide. Even when you are producing custom reports for a specific customer they typically are looking for all sorts of weird information that makes the reports very complex to develop.

    When you are trying to produce a generic set of reports for a product, you can be 100% assured that these reports will only satisfy a very small % of your customer base. Every single customer will have different needs. And that is when you have a product that has standard databases or tables.

    In the WA world you can be 100% sure that each and every customer will have different custom fields in their membership tables. So how on earth can any development team produce a set of reports that will satisfy more than a few customers? It is virtually impossible.

    So Alex from NewPath Consulting mentions his membership dashboard - I have not seen that at all - maybe that can be customized on a per customer basis to give each customer what they are looking for. Also no idea what Alex will be charging for this.

    What I would suggest to all of you waiting for this report is that you consider the following options.

    1. Setup a GMail account (free) or GSuite ($$) - either of these give you access to Google Sheets (like Excel but in the cloud) or open an Airtable account (both free and $$) - also a data base in the cloud but far more powerful than Excel or Sheets.

    2. Open an Integromat account (free or $$ depending on your volumes).

    3. Take a current dump of your WA membership data (use the Export option to export selected members (or all) and selected field (or all) to an Excel spreadsheet (even if you do not have Excel - these can be viewed etc in Open Office or Libre (both free)).

    4. Dump the initial data download from 3 above into Google sheets or Airtable as your base dataset.

    5. Build a scenario in Integromat that monitors (watches) for any changes in your contact tables. This kind of scenario fires within moments of any changes. capture in this scenario the fields that are relevant to your organization and again with the Integromat integration with either Google Sheets or Airtable - add this change as a new row (record) to either of these.

    6. Now whenever you want a report - just extract the data that YOU want from either Sheets or Airtable

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Hi Steve,

    So whenever a member renews (or any other change is made to the contact/member record) if you use the new Integromat integration your flow can monitor for any contact changes in your WA DB. While this module only returns limited data - it does return the contact ID. This can then be used with the get contact details module in Integromat. From that module you can extract whatever fields your want and then write them to a Google Docs sheet.

    You can then sort or select whatever data you are interested from the Google Docs sheet.

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  8. 198 votes
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    163 comments  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    So we had our Wild Apricot site integrated with PayPal. We also received membership payments by cheque, cash, Interac (Canadian electronic funds transfer system) and Square (cards swiped or numbers provided by phone). Other than the WA/PayPal integration, all methods allowed for partial payments. They also required our treasurer to manually record such payments.

    When Wild Apricot introduced that 20% membership surcharge gouge last year for online payments other than their own system for US and Canadian customers, we looked very closely at our payment method mix over the last few years. We observed that only about 20% of our membership were paying through PayPal as opposed to the other methods. So the decision to just drop the WA/PayPal integration was really a no brainer. We also preferred to stay with PayPal rather than being forced to make the change that WA was pushing.

    So in order to allow our members to still pay through PayPal, we simply created a PayPal button and posted the link to that on our invoices and also on a page on the website. Seen as that we were doing that anyway, we also decided to create a few additional PayPal buttons for recurring payments. Example: 2 recurring payments of 50% of the membership fee, 3 recurring payments of 33.3% of the membership fee and so on.

    We felt that the added effort for the treasurer to record these PayPal payments manually (as was being done for other payment methods) was worth the saving of the 20% gouge, and at the same time we got partial payments with online payments.

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Would suggest that a relatively simple solution would be to invoice the full amount, but when member makes a payment through PayPal, first present a panel with the full amount owing, but allow the member to edit that amount and make a partial payment.

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  9. 8 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  10. 94 votes
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    79 comments  ·  Wishlist » New features  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  11. 9 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  12. 98 votes
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    52 comments  ·  Wishlist » Online payments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  13. 34 votes
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    26 comments  ·  Wishlist » Security / Privacy  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    This is really only 1 of several limitations with the menu system and page access.

    What I have done for many of my pages now is within the WA menu structure to NOT place them in any menu.

    Then I build my own initial pages (either public or restricted) and on those pages manually add the links to whatever pages I want to make available.

    This has a few advantages.

    It gives you a totally open hirachy in respect of what is accessible from where.
    Your links to these pages are always visible if the member or public have access to the parent page, but if they do not have access to the target page it will give them a message if they try to access that page.

    Also have a look at the system pages - it may be possible to customize those errors when someone tries to access a member only page as public and/or a member page that their membership level is not authorised to

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  14. 136 votes
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    8 comments  ·  Wishlist » Mobile  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    If you are looking for direct member to member chat type messaging I actually think that requiring that a member be on the WA site is a disadvantage.

    Consider setting up a Slack account for your organization (both free and $$ versions are available - their site will give you the differences).

    Then you simply invite all your members to join Slack (those who are interested in using this chat feature). Within Slack you can set up multiple channels, eg complete organization, just the executive team, various committees and so on. Access to these channels can be managed. Slack also supports 1/1 (private) chats and adhoc group chats.

    You can use Slack with any of the following:

    Through your web browser
    A Windows desktop client
    A smartphone App

    Slack has integration with Integromat (as does WA), so you could easily use that integration to add/invite members to Slack, automatically send Slack messages based on event activities etc

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    For what it is worth - I am now using Integromat to pick up events from my GMail calendar and then pulling applicable list of members from WA and integrating with MessageBird to send the desired SMS message.

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  15. 125 votes
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    70 comments  ·  Wishlist » Gadgets  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Roger,

    Why not then just make your Box or Google Docs etc folder shareable to anyone with the link to that folder and then add that link to a page on your WA website (presumably on a WA page that has restricted access).

    We have been using this approach for a long time now to provide member access to our photo galleries which we host on SmugMug.

    To keep these rather ugly looking links more usable - just bury them behind some text or a graphic.

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    As an interim workaround for the missing 'Library Gadget' - I have created a forum for meeting minutes. Currently you can add up to 20 documents to a forum topic, so I create a topic in the forum for each calendar year. I only allow select users to create topics and from the Public View - only the owner of the topic can edit (add more documents). Any admin with sufficient authority can edit from the Admin View.

    Take care when adding documents as they are displayed in a sequence of first added to last added

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  16. 188 votes
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    72 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Agree to some extent with last post, however the default for all these system emails should remain the same as at the moment so as not to push any changes to existing setups.

    Also consider that a template beyond the header and footer includes a lot of other stuff that would essentially be different for all the different documents.

    What is really required is that we could define headers and footers separately from the actual templates. That we can define multiple headers and footers. Then in any email template we should have the ability to select from any of the defined headers and footers.

    With this approach we then just change our 'global or default' footer as and when required and this gets populated across all templates that use that footer.

    Of interest, it should also be noted that any images included anywhere in an email are resolved at email read time rather than at email send time. That is when you send an email where you have included an image as your header, what is included in the outbound email is actually the URL of the image rather then the actual image.

    Recently, I changed my website banner on my page templates. I use the same banner as a header image in all my email templates. I made this change by dropping in a new image into my system files structure with the same name as the previous.

    When composing a new email, the original image still shows (strange), but once email is sent and opened in email client, the new image displays. What is really interesting however is that when reading emails sent long before the header change, these now also the new header

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Ability to send an email from directory search results on a Public page.

    This ability would need to be enabled by the web page administrator when setting up the directory search gadget (default would be OFF).

    If turned on - it would need to specify the template to be used.

    During the processing of the email workflow - user sending the email would only have ability to edit text and then send (no ability to edit the recipient list).

    Would also suggest that while the template may include macros and links that ability for user edit/add macros and links not be available.

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    As well as Save without quitting - add Quit without saving

    Add ability within the email flow to specify additional email field(s) to apply only to the current send of the email

    Add ability within the template definition to specify additional email field(s) to be always used for that template. Of course with the ability when actually sending the email to edit that.

    We have the ability to send a specific email at a future date and time. How about the ability within the template to on a recurring schedule - say first Sunday of every month, or every Monday and so on - essentially the typical functions that you have in a calendar for scheduling recurring events.

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  17. 11 votes
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    8 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  18. 37 votes
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    16 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    While rather limited in function - you can try the following either in an HTML gadget or also in an HTML Snippet within a regular text gadget.

    <script type="text/javascript">(function() { var container = document.querySelector('.loggedName') || document.querySelector('.loginBoxProfileLink'); if (container) { document.write(container.innerText.replace(/[\n\r]/g, '') || 'Guest'); } else { document.write('<div class="userClass_FirstName"></div>');

    WA.PageParsed(function() { var container = document.querySelector('.loggedName') || document.querySelector('.loginBoxProfileLink'), out = document.querySelector('.userClass_FirstName'); if (out) { out.innerHTML = (container ? container.innerText.replace(/[\n\r]/g, '') || 'Guest' : 'Guest'); }}, window);}})();</script>

    For a signed on member it will show their full name.
    Not at all sure where I found this or if it can be tweaked to show any other data relating to the member

    Robin Sapiro supported this idea  · 
  19. 90 votes
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    10 comments  ·  Wishlist » Members  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Robin Sapiro supported this idea  · 
  20. 304 votes
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    102 comments  ·  Wishlist » New features  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Hi Carolyn and others.

    With the use of the new Integromat integration and my existing Message Bird account - I now have a very neat SMS messaging process running.

    Every users needs are going to be slightly different. For myself I generally send 2 different but otherwise consistent SMS messages out per month.

    For this in each instance, I pull my list of contacts meeting my selection criteria from my WA database. Included in that data is their complete cell phone number in the context of +14161231234 and also their name and any other filtering criteria that I may need.

    Then for each instance, I send my specified message to Message Bird using their integration module.

    I also embed each members name in the SMS message as part of building the SMS text. This is optional.

    To trigger the messages, I initially look in a specific GMail calendar (another Integromat integration module) for certain meetings. I let this trigger run every week day at 8am. While our meetings are usually on a specific day of the week and week of the month - sometimes due to circumstances they are rescheduled.

    For those circumstances where my text would be different on each occasion, I would have a scenario that I would run manually and modify the text manually each time before sending.

    Yes this is outside of WA but the key thing here is that I still keep all my contact and SMS numbers inside of WA - so no duplication of contact data in another location

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    123456@pcs.rogers.com as an example, also works in Canada. However not all mobile carriers provide this function. My cell provider (while being a subsidiary of Rogers and using their network) does not offer this.

    In addition for this to work, as well as knowing the member's mobile number, you also need to know their carrier. And good luck with them updating that info when they port to another mobile carrier.

    My recommended solution for this as mentioned earlier is to set up an account with Message Bird and then the message gets sent to 12345@sms.messagebird.com. Message Bird is carrier agnostic.

    Of course the next challenge now is do you want to send ALL emails as text messages? If you do - great - change the members email address to their phone number. But most probably you do not - so then you add an SMS address field to each member record and when you want to send an SMS message - add that field as an additional field. Send your message - wait for all messages to be delivered - then turn off the additional field again. Challenge with this of course is that there is no logging of what messages were sent to any additional addresses.

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    Possible simple method of doing this would be to to route the SMS through a service such as Message Bird. Message Bird as well as providing a web based interface also supports the sending of an email to 14161231234@sms.messagebird.com or group@sms.messagebird.com

    Yes, you would have to have a Message Bird account - but cost of messages - per 160 characters is about $0.01

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    Robin Sapiro commented  · 

    This would be a great option to have - both the sending of a voice file to a phone as a bulk dialler. Ideally customized with the members name and the ability to send a merged SMS text. Great for last minute reminders of events etc. Should use a similar interface to the current email blast interface (macros).

    Robin Sapiro supported this idea  · 
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