As The Brooks Law Group went through the rebranding process last year, they relied on the feature-rich Tendenci Content Management System (CMS) to build a fresh modern look and an engaging interface that makes information readily accessible.
In addition to the fresh, mobile-responsive design, they are currently implementing Tendenci’s groups and newsletter mailing features to streamline the accessability to their legal and consulting services, as well as to disseminate information to individual subsets of clients.
We are proud to partner with The Brooks Law Group as they achieve their vision to provide aggressive representation and creative solutions for home healthcare and hospice providers throughout the country.
The Luxembourg American Chamber of Commerce, based in New York City, brings companies and executives from Luxembourg and the United States together to advance mutually-beneficial business opportunities. The organization, known locally as LACC, selected Tendenci as the AMS best suited for their membership and networking programs.
A few cool things in the land of Tendenci clients and open source users internationally to share.
Client Created iPhone and Android Apps
Kudos to www.hapl.org and the developer Jaime Lossada who created this application for the iphone and android on top of Tendenci. This was completely the work of Jaime so if you have questions please reach out to him directly.
We just think it’s cool to see what “Open” software enables people to do versus closed-old-world-options.
And we’ve had a few requests lately for translations via Transifex as well as new languages to add. Transifex it integrates with github and Open Source Projects like Tendenci.
To the T4 (Microsoft legacy sites) clients who are still running on limited functionality or no functionality for a few sites still. There is frustration and anger and I hear you loud and clear. We continue to work around the clock and reach out to trusted resources to help us in the rebuild. It just isn’t easy to take a web site up from Windows 2003 to Windows 2012 and reconfigure everything by hand to try to be sure the code it clean. Still, we have learned a lot so that we will be more prepared in the future and I’m extra committed to the migration to the open source Linux version. But what about RIGHT NOW?!
First – data portals are being configured with the sites that have been fully offline going up first.
You will be notified through the helpdesk via tickets as soon as we have yours up. We may get a few up as soon as this weekend, and then the speed will pick up as we can clone it and modify the authentication information for each client. Thank you for using https://helpdesk.tendenci.com as it has been the only way I personally could jump in and help with tickets and track progress. I know the phone is more personal, but when the bullets are flying overhead it is efficiency we need, and I think we can all agree that it wasn’t efficient enough and things are still going too slow despite automation simply because of the volume.
There are a few other obvious items that we are still working through.
Email notifications. With the changed IP addresses we are seeing some clients delivery rates drop significantly and need to update your DNS to send from an email address at your organization. This requires a site setting update on your site and your DNS provider to make DKIM and SPF record entries for email delivery. It’s tedious but has to be done. Spammers have made things complicated. Workaround – the system does record most notices as they are sent for administrators at /en/emails/search.asp on your site.
File uploads – the new web application firewall is much tighter than before, and I know we have had numerous requests to re-enable things like Word Docs and Excel files, but both of those document types support macros in vbscript and are executables. Until we can put them in a read-only bucket for now the only solution is to convert documents to eliminate all spaces and use lowercase and make them PDFs. Why? Because URL encoding can be used to trick people and spaces aren’t as secure.
Creating new pages and image edits. – Again this requires writing to the file system and we need to isolate every site further before this can be turned back on.
Broken images and missing files – not all, but most of those, had embedded code in the images. Unfortunately this also strongly suggests that for the clients experiencing this the most, there is probably a virus on your home or work network and we strongly encourage you scan and analyze your computers. You can use Trend Micro’s HouseCall for a free virus scan.
SITES THAT ARE STILL DOWN – we have NOT forgotten about you. This remains my top priority for the team and is being done either by a different group of people (I’m leading the charge on the few sites still offline personally) or it takes precedence over the items listed above.
To our Tendenci 5 clients, and the sales contact forms, and clients used to a higher level of service who are feeling, and sometimes are, being ignored by our team. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s simply the result of clients who are victims of the hack attack and they have to be our priority.
And lastly, as difficult as this time has been for all of us, because it was a crime and crimes are not victimless, I appreciate the patience of some, I understand the anger and frustration of others, but please know that we will get through this. Even the clients who left, we’re still going to restore your data so you can get it.
I’m hugely grateful to our team for handling the front lines so the technical people like me could focus on solutions instead of discussing them, which ultimately is what everyone wants. This whole thing saddens me and I can’t apologize enough, while at the same time it infuriates me that it happened in the first place.
At Tendenci we are aware of network outages at several data centers. They are being worked on. We are aware of it. We are working on it. Please be patient.
The image below is the world we live in and we are defending our network against it. Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t holidays around here – they are battle zones unfortunately.
We understand how critical your infrastructure is to you and take it very seriously. This is the world we live in now. (read more after the jump)
All of our technical people are working on bringing the clients on Tendenci 4 back online and not taking phone calls or emails as the issues are known. Some require moving large amounts of data which takes time. To not make backups prior to moving servers isn’t acceptable either.
The solution is, unfortunately, we will need to further bulk up load balancers and the already double and triple firewall, WAF (web application firewalls), virus scanners.
The best part about attending client events, well there are several really, but they include things like:
Attending a client event – It’s a chance to say thank you to our client! With over 300+ that we host it gets harder and harder to say thank you as I don’t know many of you personally. A while back we added up a count of users logging in different Tendenci sites just in our data centers (we have three). Just the totals of course with no identifying data, and it was over 1.2 million souls. It makes me proud and also nervous when we tweak the Tendenci user interface!
Attending a client event – I listen and YOU tell us how to improve what is both yours and our product! Yes, Tendenci is fully open source and you can download it from github at https://github.com/tendenci. So there may not be a direct financial benefit. Yet that is truly OK as Tendenci is clearly not just about the money. And a lot of y’all do host with us. We appreciate both the developers who use and tell us how to improve and the clients we host and manage everything for them.
Speaking of feedback – be sure to tell us how to improve the software on our new community discussion forum at http://community.tendenci.com. We talk to a lot of developers on github so the forum is more for…. you know… humans who use the software day to day. What are your needs? What would you like to see in Tendenci?
I’ll do another blog post about the Tendenci community forums soon. (This also means that we now have forums integrated with Tendenci. We found another great Django based open source project named Misago which works great with Tendenci given we also use Django. Next is the single-sign-on server process….
Every year, the American Marketing Association (AMA) gives out the coveted Marketer of the Year Award to companies in 26 different categories. Ranging from the Performing Arts or Healthcare to Restaurants or Sports.
For more than 125 years, the Y has served the community through health and wellness programs for children and families.
The Y’s mission to “put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all” is carried out through summer camps, community benefit programs and health initiatives.
Congrats on the AMA Houston Marketer of the Year Award for 2013!
The Children’s Museum of Houston has been a fixture of Houston since 1980.
With more than 14 exhibits, Children’s Museum of Houston has dedicated itself to “transforming communities through innovative, child-centered learning” and currently sees more than 850,000 people annually through its doors.
Twestival = Sharing Online Community Love Offline!
Twestival was born in 2008 out of a desire for people who are connected online on Twitter to connect offline for a good cause. It has since grown from that first meetup in London to a worldwide presence where local Twestivals happen in communities across the globe. Twestival organizers have raised over $1.83 million in total to support 307 charities! Wow.
Twestival Houston: Supporting a Great Local Cause!
Each year, Twestival Houston is organized by local volunteers. The Twestival team puts the vote up to Twitter to choose a local charity to support. This year’s nonprofit recipient was the Ronald McDonald House of Houston – who also happens to be a Tendenci client (their new site is in development, look for more coming soon!).
The event was full of local beer (courtesy of Buffalo Bayou Brewery), local food, live music, and lots of opportunities to support RMH Houston with donations and raffle prizes!
HUGE THANKS to Mandy Graessle (aka @favouritethings) and all the volunteers for all their hard work on putting this event together!!
Here are a few of our pictures from the event:
Tendenci Team Carla Fiorito and Caitlin Kaluza with RMH Houston Marketing Coordinator Catie Tuley!
Messages to the Kids and Families of RMH Houston
Our team got in on the raffle – ticket sales went to RMH Houston as well!
Live music + local beer from Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company at Twestival Houston 2013
Coming to Tendenci Websites in 2013: Event Management and Registration Features You’ll Love for Your Festivals, Galas, and Fundraising Events!
2013’s going to be a Big Year, and Tendenci’s working on new updates to your online calendar and event registration module because we want to make sure this is your biggest year yet!
On the 12th Day of Christmas, Tendenci’s Gift to You: Twelve New Updates to the Events Calendar Module!
Here’s 12 new featuresand updates we’re making this year to the Tendenci Events Calendar module to help you manage online registrations for your association programs and fundraising Gala’s.
** We’ve got even more event module updates planned for Tendenci’s 2013 Roadmap, and this list is just to give you a taste of the delicious treats we’ll be adding to Tendenci in 2013!
You’ll Love Creating New Events With These New Features
1) Import and Export Events
We’re super excited about this feature because it will make it faster for you to create multiple events simply by importing all of the text and dates in a spreadsheet, instead of having to create and type in all of this information manually for each event.
2) Default Custom Event Registration Forms
Now you have the choice of using the default event registration form, or our improved custom event registration forms. We listened to your feedback this year and the new custom registration forms now have predefined fields that integrate with the website’s database and user records for reporting and simplify the time it takes you to create and customize a new registration form.
If you want to use a custom registration form now, you already will find a default form with the standard contact information handy to add or remove to your form simply by checking a box. You can also customize which fields on the custom form also display on the event roster. Now you can ask what t-shirt size or special meal requests your guests have without the time involved with creating a brand new form.
3) Schedule Automatic Email Reminders to Attendees
When you create new events, you’ll find a new option that enables you to send email reminders to your attendees that you create and schedule. Tendenci will automatically send the reminder for you, so you don’t have to remember to remind your registrants!
4, 5, & 6) Three New Ways to Promote, Search and Display Your Events
4) More Search Options
We’re adding more searchable field filters to the events module so your members can find the events most relevant to each of them. You’ll be able to search your events by date, event type, membership and user group permissions, and more!
5) New Priority Event Feature
You’ll soon find a new Priority checkbox on your new event forms. When you check this, Tendenci will keep your events on top of your events search list, and add a Star icon to your month view calendar. Now you can highlight your main events each month to help your members decide which events to attend.
Here’s some fun ideas on how you can use the new Priority Event feature:
National Associations can feature a different Chapter’s programs and events each month to increase engagement from your different local chapter members!
Use the Priority events to promote membership engagement and offer prizes for those who attend every featured event this year!
Increase Corporate Sponsorship and Corporate Membership dollars by offering to add your supporting partners’ events to your calendar with the Priority feature setting for higher level packages.
6) Group-based Permission Settings for Displaying Events
This feature will enable you to designate certain events as “belonging” to certain user groups or membership types and allow you to do some really fun things with how events are displayed on your website. For example, one of your study groups could have their monthly study meetup on your event calendar and you’d assign the event to their study group.
Then, you could create a sidebar or box that would only display upcoming events from your event calendar that are assigned to that study group on the study group’s main information page. Members of the study group could visit the study group page and also see upcoming events specific to the group and you only have to add the event once to your calendar to share it in multiple places on your site!
Better Registration Experience for Your Users!
You want your website to be fun for your users and members in addition to your staff, and we’re making big changes across our website to provide better user experiences for your online community members. Here’s some of the ways we’re making registration for events simpler for attendees.
7) Fewer Steps to Register and Pay for an Event
We’re streamlining our registration form so that event registrants can go through as few clicks as possible when purchasing tickets and RSVP’ing for your association events. For most events, your users will be able to add multiple event attendees, select member versus non-member pricing, and view their total all from one registration page.
Adding new registrants is as easy as clicking a button – literally! Just click “Add Another Registrant” and a new section for the registration form will appear below the first registrant. Click to add as many registrants as you need and then submit just once to register and pay for everyone.
8) Your Users Can Find and Manage Their Events for You!
With the new “My Upcoming Events” option, your members and regular event registrants can now search for events they’ve signed up for, update any of their registration information, cancel events, and add the event to their calendar using the Event ICS option from one place.
Bonus for You and Your Staff: this empowers your members to manage their own event registrations, view outstanding balances, and make payments on your website. This means your event manager doesn’t have to handle as many of these admin tasks and she can focus on all of the important tasks!
9) Updated Email Template for Event Registration Confirmations
We’ve made a few small updates to the default system email template that your website sends to registrants and confirms their registration along with their receipt for paid events.
The new email template includes an image and uses more of the formatting from your events’ description fields to give your event confirmation emails a look and feel that more closely matches your website’s Event Page. We’ve also made some updates to the helpful links section of the email to ensure your event registrants can find all the information about your event details as well as manage their outstanding balances and registration information.
10) Your Event Roster Now Tracks Attendance
Your event roster has a new “Attend” checkbox where you can mark who attended an event from the roster on your website. If you don’t have internet and a web browser at your event, then you can also print the roster with the Attend checkbox. After the event, take your printout and update the roster on your website with who attended so you can better track and measure attendance for your events.
This is a huge benefit for large events where you have a team of volunteers handling check-ins. They can all be logged into your website and click to check off the people who they’ve confirmed at the event simultaneously! The next day, you can log into your site and see at a glance who attended and didn’t. You can even view what time they were checked in.
11) Search and Manage Event Registrants Individually
The Event Roster is more intended for you to use to manage all of your event registrants in a batch, and when you need to find a specific registration to cancel or edit – you’ll be seeing some updates here also. We’re adding more information about the registrants to the view, and we’re integrating the event registrant’s contact information and site activity with their user profile on your website.
12) Improved Batch Management for Events
On the 10th Day of Christmas, we shared our updates coming to your site’s Admin Backend. You’ll love the updates we’re making that enable batch filtering, editing, and deleting event types, custom event registration forms, and discount codes from the Admin Backend.
Here’s a preview of a new feature that will let you reassign event types:
You can quickly change all of the events of one type to another type. Most associations experience lots of changes as they grow and we see features like this helping you keep your website fresh and reflecting the latest changes without demanding lots of time from you and your staff.
Sign-Up for Tendenci 2013 Updates
Keep an eye out on the Tendenci Events Calendar because in 2013, we’re adding new training and workshops for our Advanced Tendenci users. We’ll also start posting scheduled maintenance and software updates, speaking events, and major announcements to help keep you in the loop with what we’re doing at Tendenci.
We are constantly exploring new ways to keep you in the loop with what we’re changing here at Tendenci. Let us know how you like to find out what’s going on here at Tendenci!
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM TENDENCI!
We’re celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas with daily previews of the all new Tendenci Features coming to your association website in 2013! Join us each day to “open new gifts” filled with feature updates for your website! Visit our Twelve Days of Christmas Main Page to find new gifts for each day from now until January 5th!
We love to hear your questions and comments about Tendenci, the open source CMS for Association’s – leave a reply below in our comments section or send us your thoughts via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.