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Linn's report of APS meeting in Portland  
 

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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 08/17/2016   08:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I wonder if APS's reluctance with the web site is related to the experiences and management of getting the current web site up and running. It took far too long to get something that was out dated when it was launched.
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Al
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Posted 08/17/2016   09:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add knuppster59 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I know I am only one person, but I agree with Don. I am in that 30-50 age group (34) and a workable mobile site is a must. If the site is clunky or doesn't function on a mobile device I will not visit it. I will visit when on my laptop, but the time spent on that is minimal compared to time on my smart phone/tablet.

Again, chicken and the egg scenario, but a site that does not work properly on my phone is a barrier for entry and access.
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Posted 08/17/2016   09:46 am  Show Profile Check Petert4522's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with almost all that has been said here. I want to add something. I am one of the "grey" folks, beginning to approach Methusalem's age. One thing I do not like on the APS website is the login. It is so small I have to use a magnifying glass to see what I am doing. I like a website where the login is large, readable and without a whole bunch of clutter around it.

Peter
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Posted 08/17/2016   10:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add scb to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree that the long-term vision requires a more or less total rewrite (technology gets old, legal requirements regarding privacy change etc) of the website and its content, but making the site behave and appear responsive/adaptive does not require big changes, big investments or slow roll-out. A quick patch requires a single developer building some well-crafted CSS-mediaqueries - nothing more, nothing less. Graduates seeking work experience do stuff like this for 400-500$ range (even for sites such as APS), and even professionals (like yours truly) come in at $1-2000 price range. True, it would not fix the deep running issues or every rough corner, but it would swipe worst issues under the carpet for a year or two giving some more time to tinker with the real agenda.


-k-

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Collecting the world 1840 to date one stamp at a time.
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Edited by scb - 08/17/2016 10:22 am
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Posted 08/17/2016   11:01 am  Show Profile Check adcaplan's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add adcaplan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Fixing the website to make it mobile friendly is one thing, but going deeper, their needs to be content on the website that makes people want to go to it. The content needs to be fresh, and needs to be updated on a regular basis. Is it a site that people are going to visit once, or is it one they are going to come back to on a regular basis? If the content doesn't change, there is no reason for them to come back. New content should be added on a daily basis.
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Posted 08/24/2016   6:04 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I would add one additional point. The APS/APRL currently relies pretty heavily upon PDF files. PDF is not responsive, trying to view PDF files on mobile devices is difficult at best. At this point it does not look like the PDFs will be responsive moving forward; this is due to the use of fixed fonts in the PDF itself. Currently most are recommending moving away from PDF format altogether although I think there will eventual be a way developed to recompile existing files into a more responsive PDF format (read as costly and time consuming). Has APS done any discovery on the potential risk/cost of being so heavily invested in PDF technology? Has APS made the decision to not move towards supporting mobile devices?

I again encourage APS to consider getting some in-house IT expertise immediately. A good IT person would save their salary many times over by providing vision and preventing APS from going down some of these paths. More and more time/money is being spent on Information Technology and I do not understand how good decisions can be made without this in place.

Investing in IT is a long term activity. You are not planting seeds for a crop in a few months; you are planting tress that will bear fruit for decades to come.

Is there currently a perceived need for an IT professional on staff or am I wasting my time yapping on this topic?
Don
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Posted 08/25/2016   07:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Is there currently a perceived need for an IT professional on staff or am I wasting my time yapping on this topic?


It is about leadership by the board. I am sure the rationale is APS cannot afford it but the board had its mind set on a new ED and found $200K per year so I find those excuses as self-limiting.

As I also posed before without a response, if APS had $100K on membership recruiting how many people (a range is ok) would they think they can get? Realize that $100K is 2222 members so one would think they need to recruit many times over. Net, unless some dramatic change, all membership efforts despite all the best intentions are really treading water. All the hirings for development have never earned their own salary back in funding or members.
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Al
Edited by angore - 08/25/2016 07:02 am
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Posted 08/25/2016   08:10 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Good point, Al.
Or put another way, APS spent $16 million on beautiful new facilities. As a percentage, how much are they spending on the other critical path of it's future, its digital and online resources? How many people will use the new physical facilities vs. using its online or digital resources?

It should be said that APS is not that far behind the other major philatelic organizations. I have asked for input from the players in the Philatelic Librarians Group since they are some of the more technology-aware people in our hobby. Several have replied that their organizations are also behind the curve.

I am putting a lot of hope in Scott at APS. As an 'outsider' I am hoping that he is bringing fresh, modern opinions and can convince the 'old school' folks that there is an immediate need to apply the IT resources that are needed. The time for a simple, marketing based 'web presence' site past about 10 years ago; APS needs an IT champion to bring it current and capture the new breed of hobbyists that exists.
Don
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Posted 08/25/2016   08:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add knuppster59 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As for using an in house IT person, it's not like there isn't a massive state university 20 minutes away full of high level IT students or even grad assistants who could potentially be available to run the show.
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Posted 08/25/2016   10:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As I see it either the board needs to direct Scott to prepare a real IT strategy or Scott should take the initiative on options to improve the IT. These plans should not be constrained by existing spending so you can see the results. That is, not a plan based on the existing budget but choices based upon different levels: for $100k we can do this, for $200K we can do this. This is similar to my membership proposal. If someone had money what could be done. Exhibitors of tomorrow start as collectors of today.
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Al
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Posted 08/25/2016   11:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add uboatnut to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
APS already has one tremendous recruiting tool that could be optimized. I speak of the insurance offered by Hugh Woods to APS members only. The icing on that cake is that Hugh Woods only requires you to have an inventory of your collection; formal appraisals (expensive) are only required for an item worth $25,000 or more.

Most standard homeowners' policies only cover $250 for valuables like jewelry, stamps, coins, antiques, etc. As we all know, even a new collector can quickly burn through that.

Food for thought.
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Posted 09/06/2016   10:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I just re-visited this thread today. Don & Scott: belated thanks for your replies back on August 16. Steve
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