Website Updates

Hello TCPP Members!

The updates and changes to the website are long past due.  Our goal of the website and also our social media sites are very simple:  Be open with our community in regards to what TCPP is doing a very timely manner and allow the community to provide feedback on their terms.  We also wanted a website that allowed our members to have the ability to manage their data without playing e-mail tag with us, and allow membership payments online without forcing a member to wait for an event, meeting, or having to mail a check.

The first version of the website started on the path we set out for ourselves.  Unfortunately it ran into some issues, including some from our hosting provider we were using.  Our new site might look the same but we’ve made some major changes, which we hope will make our online experience with us better for you, our members in the long run.

Here’s the list of changes:

Domain Name:  So is very long to spell out when typing.  We’ve shortened it up to to make life just a bit easier.  We’re currently working on getting the old website domain to forward to the new one.  Our old hosting provider is kinda fussy about things like that. Speaking of hosting providers…

Change of hosting providers:  We’ve moved from using Go Daddy to DreamHost.  DreamHost is one of the most respected and reliable web hosting providers on the internet, and unlike our old provider, won’t take our site down any time we do service updates to the site.

Online member management:  Our old online membership management was fully integrated into our website.  After an update from Go Daddy, the membership system stopped working as expected, causing delays in processing applications.  On top of that, we didn’t have a way of exporting out the information if we ever had the need to.  Our new membership system, powered by Admidio, now sits right next to our website, on the same server, instead of being integrated into our primary site.  The new platform carries the same capabilities as before and introduces some new abilities, such as a member’s only event calendar.  This is the largest change to our site and operations as it affects our membership roster.  If you’re a member, you’ll be receiving an e-mail update detailing when you can start using the new platform. If you’re reading this and not a member yet; A) What are you waiting for?! and B) You can go ahead and use the new system right now to sign up for a membership.

Wiki Site:  You’re probably asking us, “What does TCPP need a wiki for?”  Simple answer: openness.  We are actively working to upload our bylaws, amendments, meeting minutes, and meeting agendas to the wiki, so that you are kept inform in a timely manner of everything that is happening with TCPP.  We understand that not everyone can make it to our meetings.  This is our way of giving you the information that you deserve so that you can be an informed member of the group. You can also make comments in the Wiki as well to provide feedback if you can’t make meetings or have questions regarding the contents in the wiki. The days of getting information second hand, or late are over with this new tool.

Events Management:  Not gonna lie on this one, event planning can be a pain in the ass.  We’re deploying Eventbrite as our event management tool.  This allows us to post our event to all of our social media accounts and website very quickly.  It also allows us to know how many people are going to be there and just also who is going to be there.  As you know, full members are requested to attend at least two events per year, and as a group that likes to learn from it’s membership; By RSVP’ing to our events via Eventbrite, it allows us to reach out to our attendees to gather feedback.  So the next time you see a TCPP event online, don’t be afraid to RSVP via Eventbite, as it really does help us build better events for the community.

Social Media:  So we love Facebook.  It’s our primary platform.  But we have two other platforms that we have, but don’t use.  Twitter and Instagram.  We’re currently looking at both these platforms and are working out ways to start using these two communication tools to better serve our members.  If you have suggestions on how to do this, let us know!

These are just some of the major changes that we’re pushing out for our site.  Other changes such as online invoicing for memberships, and online payments for memberships are currently in the works and are being deployed once all the pieces of those puzzles are put together.  Some of the changes today are a bit rough around the edges, but are far enough along to where we can deploy them and work on the fit and finish as we move forward.

TCPP is also working on some other exciting things right now for the community that we can’t talk about just yet.  Some of these are some long term projects that we think you’ll be happy with and that we believe will bring more value to your membership and to the community as a whole.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the changes we’ve described today, please feel free to drop a comment, use the feedback form, or reach out to us directly in person.  We always welcome feedback from our community.

-Pup Dingo

Public Relations Director, Twin Cities Puppy Pack

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