Gordon

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  1. 24 votes
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    8 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
    Gordon commented  · 

    We share the frustration with the failure rate of emails within a blast.
    When these failures happen the system is fully aware of it and suggests that the admin attempt a re-send to the failed addressees. The re-send typically corrects the failure.
    Occasional failures are endemic within communications systems and any well designed system handles them automatically as an essential feature of its design.
    In this case, Wild Apricot :
    1. knows exactly which failures have occurred, and
    2. knows exactly how to correct them - do a re-send.
    It's unfortunate that the WA designers chose to off-load the responsibility for correcting this system failure onto the admin.
    In my communications with the WA help desk, I'm told that this results from the way WA sends blast emails and, unfortunately, there is no correction scheduled.

  2. 13 votes
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    8 comments  ·  Wishlist » Members  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
    Gordon commented  · 

    I was almost embarrassed to submit a trouble ticket to find out what oversight I'd committed that allowed bundle members to not need email addresses.
    I'm now embarrassed on your behalf to think that someone thought this was a good idea.
    This issue goes back to 2011. Please explain why the system is improved by having members without email addresses.

  3. 10 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon commented  · 

    I've always dreaded having to try to read the Impenetrable Mass of HTML in the WA HTML window. I thought it might be a lot easier to create my own solution that to wait for WA to provide us with one.

    My first solution was to run the HTML through https://dirtymarkup.com/ and paste it back into the WA HTML page. This works fine, but I wanted something that was less of a hassle..

    So I wrote this windows batch file that does most of this for me.

    :: HTML_Tidy.bat
    :: in batch file/command line use: html_tidy > html_tidy_log.txt > NUL 2>&1
    @ECHO OFF
    nircmd.exe clipboard writefile "unformatted_HTML.html"
    tidy.exe -config tidy1.cfg unformatted_HTML.html >formatted_HTML.html
    nircmd.exe clipboard readfile "formatted_HTML.html"

    This uses two utility programs, both available on the web. Both are well documented.
    nircmd.exe is a command line utility, I use it to copy data files to and from the clipboard.
    tidy.exe reads the unformatted HTML, and writes formatted HTML to an output file.

    You could run this batch file from the command line but it is much easier if you convert to batch file to an executable (google "convert batch file to .exe") and then move it to the Task Bar.

    Then to format the HTML,
    1. Copy the WA HTML to the clipboard
    2. Click on the HTML_Tidy task bar icon
    3. Paste the formatted HTML back to the WA HTML window..
    A better way to do this would be to use an AutoHotKey script and bypass the copy and paste steps but I could not get it to work.

    Gordon supported this idea  · 
  4. 9 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Wishlist » Forums  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon commented  · 

    Yes, Yes, Yes.
    We're a bike club and members are frequently posting rides they plan but have no way to attach listing of the planned route. This could change much of what we do.

  5. 116 votes
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    46 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
  6. 14 votes
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    8 comments  ·  Wishlist » Gadgets  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
  7. 5 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
  8. 12 votes
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    4 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
  9. 6 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Wishlist » New features  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
  10. 11 votes
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    7 comments  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon shared this idea  · 
  11. 245 votes
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    142 comments  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Even though it is not a direct implementation, I hope this could be helpful:

    We just launched integration with Integromat platform, which helps to build automated workflows. We also provide several templates for quick start, and one of them allows to copy google calendar events into WA events. So if you share a google calendar for events submission, then the scenario could copy submitted events into your Wild Apricot account.
    You can try this integration by this link https://www.integromat.com/en/integration/2275-copy-google-calendar-into-wild-apricot-events

    Gordon commented  · 

    Excellent, Marvelous, Bravo !

    This will be very useful, thanks.

    Gordon supported this idea  · 
    Gordon commented  · 

    Wonderful, thank you so much for your progress and work on this. Looks great.

    However, there is one feature that appears to be not present that would be very useful to us - the ability to upload a document with a link to it from the event description area. This would be the same as the "file" icon in the current admin version of the event editor.

    We're a cycling club and we like to provide a document containing turn by turn instructions for potential participants to bring on the ride. We use this feature for all our current events and it would be extremely valuable in the member submitted events too.

    Gordon commented  · 

    We too could make good use of a way for members to post their own events.

    One way to approach this is to require the admin to set up a profile for the event that fixes some of the parameters - tags, enable registration, registration form, registration types, emails.

    Then, the member sets up an event using this template and provides the remaining details - event title, date, location and event description....

    Many of the comments here have discussed the need to have admin approval of these member generated events. I agree that this facility must be provided, but it should NOT be required. We're a bike club and I'd love to be able to give the members an option of posting a notice "I'm going for a ride on Tuesday, who wants to come?". There is normally no need to have posts like this monitored.

    However there will be a few members who may abuse this privileged - It would be great to be able to put these folk in a group and specify that members of this group CANNOT use this event posting tool.

    Gordon commented  · 

    I too would love to see this feature. Giuliano's description of the design from last January would work just fine for us.

    Gordon

  12. 19 votes
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    11 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
    Gordon commented  · 

    In version 5 we can easily manage pages that are listed in a menu.

    However, I have many pages that are accessed through a link from a menu page but the linked page is not in the menu. This allows me to keep the menu area fairly clean but still provides access to the linked pages.

    You provide a section in Page Management called "Not in Menu" which seems to be the obvious place to save these pages. However when we select the Reorder Pages option, the Not in Menu section is specifically excluded which means that all these linked pages are in random order that cannot be managed.

    The page management issue would be much easier if we could leave the linked pages which are not to appear in the menu in the same hierarchy as the menu pages they belong to.

    To do this, I'd suggest that you::
    1. Rename the current "Not in Menu" section to "Page Archive", and
    2. Provide a way to allow any pages that are in the Menu area to be flagged as "Do not Include in Menu".

    This would allow us to place pages that are not currently in use but may be revived in the future in the Page Archive. It would also allow us to keep the active linked pages logically associated with their parent.

  13. 20 votes
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    19 comments  ·  Wishlist » Contacts  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    This is on hold as of now. We analyzed and even prototyped a solution some time ago, but our priorities changed and now we’re focusing top-voted items – and this one has to wait its turn. But we will get back to it at some point, just cannot tell when yet.

    Gordon supported this idea  · 
    Gordon commented  · 

    I suspect that I was the one that originated this post years ago.

    The request was to provide a field that requires numeric input. This means that any attempt to enter a character that is not in the 0-9 range is not allowed.

    For instance, I could have an "Age" field in my member database. When people enter the age they are liable to enter "21" or "21 years" or "Too old". When I export this to Excel I may want to calculate an average age for my membership. With the current setup I cannot do this without going through the entire file and removing the non-numerics by hand.

    I cannot see that specifying limits on the (greater than. less than. etc) would add significant value beyond plain numerics and would greatly complicate the setup.

    To answer your questions specifically.
    * So people don't enter alphabetics when we want numbers.
    * Not if it delays implementation
    * They should be able to enter 2.5, not sure if that's integer or decimal;
    * Not if it delays implementation

  14. 126 votes
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    59 comments  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
    Gordon commented  · 

    Yes, that would be a better way to do things. However in your post here http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8827180-event-manager-for-specific-events-only-with-limite you stated that the topic "Event-specific administrators [10260]" was now considered closed after the release 4.4 which enabled an event manager to receive copies of confirmation emails. In my opinion, the ability to cc an event admin on a confirmation email does not constitute "Event Specific Administration".This thread "Event Manager for specific events only with limited access to other events [2548]" sounds a lot like thread 10260. My suggestion to provide an event admin a way to get a dump of the registrant database falls short of full admin capability but (maybe) is a less challenging task and could be implemented on a more aggressive schedule. I hope that these threads are not closed and that we can look forward to seeing some meaningful improvements how events are managed.

    Gordon commented  · 

    We use the event registration system as a way to have members volunteer for committees. For a recent event we had 72 different committees, each with their own event and committee manager. The committee manager needs to be able to develop an email list to communicate with the committee.

    In release 4.4 (?) we got the ability to direct a copy of confirmation emails to a member (committee manager). This appeared to shut down all the related requests to allow a member limited management authority over an event. This need still exists.

    Many of the requests to have a member manage volunteers could have been met by providing the committee chair with the ability to request an "Export Registrants" of the committee they manage.

    Whether this is implemented as part of the member system (like a group) or as a by-product of being the recipient of confirmation emails (or by an API?) does not matter but this ability would completely change the way committees are managed.

    The basic need is for an event manager to be able to retrieve a list of attendees and their email addresses.

  15. 9 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Wishlist » Security / Privacy  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
    Gordon commented  · 

    I really wish I could give more details - that's the whole problem. I tell them what (I think) they should do and the customer may say it does not work and I have no way to investigate further - without asking for their password.

    My typical recommendation is : "You can pay for a registration by logging in at the club website at http://www.srcc.com . You should have got an email from the system containing a password at the time you registered. You can log in with your email address and that password and you'll see a payment screen or click on "View Profile" (top right) to complete the payment process. If you can't locate the email with the password you can use the "Request New Password" option in the login area.". Maybe that is the wrong instruction!

    One frustrated customer sent me his password with a "Hey - you try it" suggestion and he's right, it does not work. I reported this under ticket 216-16F6168A-F763. This may have been a system error but I had no way of helping him (or notifying you) without his perspective.

    I can understand the audit issue and how this might complicate error diagnosis and maybe my solution is not a good one, but the problem remains.

    Gordon shared this idea  · 
  16. 9 votes
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    5 comments  ·  Wishlist » Emails  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
    Gordon commented  · 

    A scan for invalid macros would wonderful if we could do it at a high enough level. If there were a single button that invoked a scan of all emails and checked the validity of all macros, I'd say YES, even if it only scanned membership new/renewal related emails.

    However, if the scan is invoked as a by-product of the "Save" function after an email is edited, I'd prefer the color coding scheme I described initially.

    These broken macros are at the bottom of a cascade of design issues. Wild Apricot does not provide a way to name data fields in the member/event databases. When an membership entry form is being built we describe the data we need and that description is then used as the field name. For instance, I have a membership field "Family Member 1, do not include yourself (First and Last name) (and age if under 18)". This entire text string then becomes the field (or column) name. A year or so ago I added the comma to this description/name and in doing so broke the membership confirmation macro in twelve of my membership emails. Someone pointed it out to me last week.

    So, to be of value a scan for broken macros would have to be a high level, perhaps an additional option under Settings -> E-Mails.

    Of course it would simplify the field naming issue if we had the option of adding descriptive text to the data entry forms with a tool similar to the current Section Divider but without the limitations of the Section Divider.

    Gordon shared this idea  · 
  17. 9 votes
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    15 comments  ·  Wishlist » Members  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
    Gordon commented  · 

    Glad to hear that archived members will be able to renew.

    In reviewing the actions taken after a member fails to renew, there are two opportunities for us to have the system make changes - after x days and again after y days.

    After x days we can change membership level and/or change the renewal period to Never. After y days we can take these same actions but also lapse a member and/or archive him.

    With the ability to have members renew from the archive, my preference would be to lapse a member after 30 days and archive him after 60. But the current tools do not allow me to lapse a member after x days, I have to wait until the y date.

    Could we make the x day options the same as the y day options?

    Gordon commented  · 

    I agree it makes no sense to have a member renew and still be overdue. This can only happen if the member is late by more than the membership period. A member who is five weeks late and renews does not present a problem if the renewal period is annually but does present a problem if the renewal period is monthly.

    One solution would be to force the member's data into the archive when the member is overdue by the duration of the membership period. Thus a member with a monthly renewal would be forced into the archive when they are a month overdue.

    In his post of 5/23 in this thread, Chief said :
    To make this more flexible we decided to use Active/Lapsed status as administrator-controlled switch on whether to renew member from his prior renewal date (Active status - this situation assumes member kept using his membership privileges and thus owes back dues) OR renew from date of current renewal (Lapsed status).
    This seems like it would be the best solution and the implication is that is is already available. Is this the case? I'm unaware of it.

    Regardless of the solution selected for this issue, the problem created by member's data in the archive preventing a member from renewing (discussed above) remains at the top of my list of renewal related issues.

    Gordon commented  · 

    I understand that when a member does not renew they fall into a "Lapsed" state but at some time their lapsed period expires and they are archived - which marks the beginning of my problems.

    The presence of a member's abandoned data in the archive prevents them from being able to renew and they only get a cryptic message (email address in use?) which they cannot get past. The result is that they either give up (most likely) or use a different email address or occasionally contact me and and ask what is wrong with the system. None of these alternatives is ideal or even acceptable.

    For me, the ideal solution is that their membership could be automatically re-activated and their renewal date set to today's date. This is essentially what happens when I have to retrieve a member from the archive and reset the renewal date - except that I have to do it all manually and then only when the member contacts me.

  18. 9 votes
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    5 comments  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
    Gordon commented  · 

    We desperately need a drop down list with extra costs for event registration.

    We have several events each year where we sell clothing as part of event registration. We are forced to use Multiple Choice with Extra Cost or Radio Button with Extra Cost. By the time we have added a couple of items, each with many sizes, the registration page gets so long that it becomes unwieldy and we have to restrict the number of items we sell.

    A drop down list with extra charges would solve this problem. Can't happen soon enough !!

    Gordon commented  · 

    The Event Registration process currently supports sale of additional items through Multiple Choice and Radio Button lists but each option in these lists requires an additional line on the registration screen. When selling several items (Clothing?) each with several choices (Sizes?) the registration screen can get very long. Users get confused since the "Continue" button is at the bottom of the screen and they have to page all the way down to find it.

    A "Pull-down List with Additional Cost" option for the Event Registration page would allow us to dramatically reduce the screen sized when selling multiple clothing items because each sales item would only take a single line on the screen.

  19. 79 votes
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    37 comments  ·  Wishlist » Finances  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
    Gordon commented  · 

    I was disappointed to see that the financial upgrades in version 4.0 continues to lump income for an individual member into a single bucket with no breakout as to source.

    Specifically, membership fees and extra charge items purchased during membership signup/renewal are reported as a single lump sum. In my case I have membership levels at $20 and at $25 but I also have an option for members to have their newsletter delivered by surface mail for and extra $5. I may have $500 in membership fees at the end of the month but no idea how to divide up the revenue between membership and newsletters.

    Granted, we can export the membership files and do the whole thing manually but we could do that before version 4.0.

    Also, as I understand it, the same is true for Events. Extra items purchased during event registration are lumped in with registration income and we have to go in at a detail record level and break out these charges manually.

    The reality is that Excel is still the best reporting tool.

  20. 258 votes
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    Work in progress  ·  111 comments  ·  Wishlist » Members  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Gordon supported this idea  · 
    Gordon commented  · 

    Dmitry -

    I currently produce a membership report from a program I wrote that scans the membership Export All file and counts the stuff that's important to me and my board. But this is a report that is personalized to my needs and whose content and format is not relevant or of interest to other WA customers.

    I suspect that any attempt you make to come up with a fixed format membership report will satisfy a few WA users but fail to meet the unique needs of all the others. I urge you therefore to not produce membership (or any other?) reports but rather to provide tools for your users to produce their own reports.

    There is a great example of a flexible and very powerful reporting tool in the Wild Apricot Event Registration Report. This is a wonderful tool that could fill the vast majority of membership reporting needs and it automatically adapts itself to the unique characteristics if each user's data.

    It would be a great first step for you to provide this tool to report on membership data. It may be necessary to produce additional reports where this general tool falls short but this reporting tool would satisfy most general reporting requirements.

    There is one other absolutely essential feature of any report - it must be exportable. All of these reports must have a "Copy" button or some way for them to be pasted into Excel or directly into emails or other documents. The preferred format for these reports would be tab delimited .txt files. Without the ability to export or cut 'n paste these reports they are just data on the screen and are of no particular value.

    My membership report is shown below. While I concede that many of the items on this report could not be produced by the Event Registration Report the important details are the number of members falling into the various membership categories which is exactly what the Event Registration Report does so well.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    SRCC Membership Report as of Wed May 12 17:06:17 2010

    Count of Individual Memberships is 538
    Count of Family Memberships is 290

    Total Memberships 828

    Count of extra family members is 484

    Total memberships + family members 1312

    Count of 1, 2, 3 yr, reccur memberships is 777, 12, 14, 25.
    Count of new members last month 27
    Count of email newsletters to members 684
    Count of print newsletters to members 144
    Count of Complementary memberships is 42
    Count of newsletters to Comp members is 38

    The average age of 360 members who have reported is 51 years and 318 days.

    # of members by age range is:

    0-10 years = 0
    11-20 years = 1
    21-30 years = 8
    31-40 years = 46
    41-50 years = 99
    51-60 years = 119
    61-70 years = 73
    71-80 years = 13
    81-90 years = 1
    91-99 years = 0

    Gordon commented  · 

    The Wild Apricot membership, contact, event and donation systems contain vast amounts of hugely valuable raw data but there are few tools to summarize this data and no way to distribute it.

    The Dashboards are valuable but contain limited information and no distribution tools.

    The report generation tools for Events are quite wonderful. They are flexible, customizable and do a great job of summarizing data. However their value is minimal since there is no way to capture or distribute the information they provide.

    Could you please:
    * Provide a reporting tool for Members similar to the reports for Events
    * Provide these and all other reports with an "Export" button.

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