Exciting news: website refresh, calendar update, membership functions

Our systems are your systems – so here’s some stuff we’ve done to help both of us.    A key Technorama aim is to review technologies that we need and that radio stations use, then research and implement those we think might be best of breed.  From there we can make recommendations to our members and the Sector.

We don’t sleep!   Over the Christmas break, TRITS (the TechnoRama IT Subcommittee) has been focused on two applications that go to the heart of every radio station:  the website and our membership system.

Web: it’s all about the content

You’re looking at the new Technorama site.  It’s still WordPress run from our private hosted account, and very little of the underlying content needed to change for the refresh.

What we’ve done is implement “Content Views” to manage the way stories appear and how the site is formatted.  CV truly is a piece of  magic.  Migration to a post-based process from the previous architecture (largely using pages) has taken less than a day of activity and an hour or so of backup and cutover.  There’s a small bit of paradigm you need to understand, and then it’s all downhill and easy work.

Memberships: life WAS meant to be easy

Technorama’s membership system is based on Zenbership, a really well integrated and highly functioned system that we’ve been using since January 2017.  There are three reasons we recommend Zenbership:

  • it requires pretty much NO administrative overhead to manage our members
  • there’s a huge amount of function entirely applicable to community organisations, and
  • it’s open-source and zero cost to run.   That’s the whole shebang.  No charge.

However like all full-function systems it’s tricky to learn, and after using it for a year we’re only just getting around to enabling some of the extended parts of the application.

The signup for the TX Blitz day was managed using Zenbership’s Events subsystem, including the mailout and registration payment.

At last: a calendar

A byproduct of building events is that we’ve started to populate a calendar, using Zenbership.   This is fully integrated with the membership system, so it’s better than a standalone plugin or offline diary.  It only took a single link to make the calendar available on the Technorama website, and you can check that out.  Depending on your display device, the calendar will either be near the top of the sidebar, or in a sidebar menu that appears on handheld devices.

Moving forward…

We’re in the process of upgrading Zenbership from V107 to V115, which will add function and fix some bugs.  We’re looking forward to getting that finalised.

Expect that the software toolkit and how you manage it with volunteers will be a topic of discussion at TR18.