As you all know, Jason and I have been doing a lot of work on the AISG website, a new look, expanded gallery page information, PayPal, current news and articles. We've also had our glitches. The forum switch wasn't as smooth as we had hoped, but the quirks are sorted out and we certainly don't get any junk postings any more. Our second faux pas, which I will take full responsibility for, was the membership renewal emails.
Part of the improvements to the AISG website was to reduce some of the work load, of the behind the scenes work. Jason and I have spent many hours discussing all the suggestions from members, AISG survey results, visiting other sites, researching how they might do things, using new technologies, current software and testing ideas, to really add value to the site.
One of the initiatives was to do bulk emails for the membership, regarding their membership renewals. One of the comments was about how "clique" a certain group can become, almost snubbing new comers. We took this to heart and tried to find ways to get everyone on a level playing field. One of the ways was to have the "computer software system" automatically delete members who had not renewed. The program automatically counts the days down until the membership has expired and removes the gallery page entry. We felt that his would be fair to all, showing no preference for those of long standing, or who are tardy with payment or those who participate frequently in the forum, news, or articles, over those who do make the effort to pay on time. The program also weeds out members who no longer wish to do stained glass, are retired, or have moved, but aren't interested in notifying AISG.
We also tried to decide on the appropriate lead - in time. Was 30 days notice, too far ahead that people would forget? Was 3 days enough in an internet world, with the PayPal feature a payment option? Would members feel we were being too pushy emailing more than once? What about members who hadn't used their password to gain access to their gallery page, to kept their information current, how would we contact them? Like many of the changes implemented, we had to start with some arbitrary decisions.
So for all of you who wrote emails or little notes, sent with their applications, please accept my sincerest apology. It was never my intention to offend, disrupt or create such an antagonistic response. Jason and I have answered every email and put to rights every issue that has come up. This is no exception. So I put it to the membership:
What is the number of days you would like to have, to act on their renewal?
Do you need more than one reminder?
How long a grace period should AISG offer those past their expiration date?
I look forward to your responses and promise that Jason and I will have taken everything under consideration, for the next renewal cycle. Thank you.