Hurricane Harvey Hits the Gulf Coast and Houston

Hurricane Harvey Update from Tendenci – Monday Sept 4, 2017

A large part of our small team lives in or near Houston TX where Hurricane Harvey hit us with more rain than any storm in US history.

For those near us, we all know it’s not over yet. The roads are still flooded. Power is going on and off. And we are the *lucky* ones as so many lost their homes and over 60 people lost their lives. It’s important to keep in perspective.

We have been pushing updates *as urgently needed only* on twitter and facebook regarding Hurricane Harvey. The quiet messaging is what I was taught in Crisis Communications – don’t muddy the waters.

Tendenci’s servers and our diverse multinational team maintained and all is well.  I do have some minor requests from us to the Tendenci community:

  1. The current policy of prioritizing client requests by the impact in the disaster area remains in place. Please be patient if you have a normal request that doesn’t get addressed as quickly as usual. I expect this to last another week. However don’t forget tendenci is open source and another developer can use the template interface to pretty much fix anything you need if we aren’t available immediately.
  2. Position 1 also obviously applies to the tragedy unfolding in India, Nepal, and Pakistan  as well, although I’m not sure if we have any clients impacted in those areas. I do know Tendenci has numerous open source users in Nepal and our thoughts and support are with you.
  3. If a particular hosted client is in a difficult situation regarding this disaster please contact us.
  4. For those of you not impacted by Hurricane Harvey – please consider a donation to the charity of your choice that you believe will benefit those suffering the most.

For more information on Hurricane Harvey in Houston please check:

  1. https://www.houstonemergency.org/
  2. https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-harvey

Thank you all for your understanding.

Ed Schipul
CEO, Founder

Hurricane Harvey Radar

Eye of the storm:

#hurricaneharvey #helicopters

But those are just a few from my camera. Check out the full story by looking at the AP photos at:

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2017/08/hurricane-harvey-leaves-houston-under-water/538215/

Photos “A Celebration of Entrepreneurs” Gala, Honoring Raymond Plank

Houston Technology Center's Annual Gala
Houston Technology Center's Annual Gala
HTC’s – A Celebration of Entrepreneurs Gala, Honoring Raymond Plank

Photos from a recent client event – “A Celebration of Entrepreneurs” Gala, Honoring Raymond Plank by the Houston Technology Center.

I was honored to be one of the recognized Entrepreneurs although definitely not in the same league as the people crossing the podium!

While I always joke that I live on an airplane, Houston is home. So it is still such an honor for me to know that to know our Open Source Software serves clients like the HTC and learn firsthand just how amazingly funny but determined a man like Raymond Plank is.

 

And this last week I got to see an inspiring and truly amazing personal friend of mine speak. None other than Grace Rodriguez who now works with TED. She spoke at one of our other client’s luncheon this month, the American Advertising Federation of Houston. A few of those photos are on the Tendenci AMS site as well and cross posted to the AAF-Houston site. I am a former board member and have been involved in AAF Houston for years.

Grace Rodriguez photo gallery
Grace Rodriguez Speaking at AAF Houston

The best part about attending client events, well there are several really, but they include things like:

  1. 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!
  2. 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?

What is your priority on our Roadmap for example?

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….

Onward! And have a great Friday y’all!

Ed

Open Source = Unemployed, & This ROCKS! – A 2014 SXSW Interactive Talk

Portrait of Sarah Worthy
Portrait of Sarah Worthy
Sarah Worthy

Join Sarah Worthy, Director of Product and Chief Experience Officer (CXO) at AuthorizedCV, a health IT startup in Houston, and Ed Schipul, CEO of Tendenci for their 2014 SXSW Interactive workshop: Open Source = Unemployed, & This ROCKS!

Worthy and Schipul will give their predictions about the effects of open source software/hardware on the economy and the implications it has for tech giants like Microsoft and Intel.

The workshop will take place on Tuesday, March 11 from 9:30am until 10:30am at the Courtyard Marriott on 300 E 4th Street.

To register, go to the workshop’s page. We hope to see you there, and don’t forget to hashtag! #sxsw #thisROCKS

Translating Data: Making Sense of the Patterns

Graph showing visitor engagement on different applications on the site

If you lived through the 70s and the 90s,  you know that trends are cyclical.

How many times have we seen bell bottoms and big sunglasses make a come back?

 

Picture of Woman with Big Sunglass and Man in BellBottoms3220590102_3b880061a8126654542_72801c1990  

Of course this isn’t limited to fashion. A detailed look into your Google Analytics charts will reveal that your organization has cycles, predicable ones you can plan for.

So how do you read this data and equate the data to your organizations live campaigns?

1) First, collect your data. (Everything you do on a recurring basis including dates). Create an aggregated list of anything involving donor/volunteer/member communication including:

a. Events

b. Newsletters

c. Fundraisers

 

2) Find your data store. (Google Analytics is free to install and has a lot of useful data.)

3) Choose your relevant date range. I like to look at two or more time frames. Typically a year’s worth of data, a smaller three month period of activity, and a one month period.

4) Run your analytics for the type period then look for patters in your data!

Types of patterns you are looking for are

a. Spikes

b. Sequential Dips

c. Dead Spots

 

Case Study:

We partnered with one of our clients, a large nonprofit organization, to increase donations an engagement of their audience in nontraditional ways.

To achieve this we turned to the data recorded on their website:

Disclaimer:

The graphs below are pulled from a report in the Tendenci software (the cms software is free for download on https://www.tendenci.com/ – click on “For Developers”). These same practices can be applied with Google Analytics or whatever your analytics of choice is.

This graph shows site activity grouped by module/plugin (for example any event page that was clicked on during the time period would show up as orange)

This key shows which colors are associated with activities on the website

 

This is an engagement graph of activity on a client website.

Graph showing visitor engagement on different applications on the site

 

What we noted:

  • We see a huge increase in site visits on the 4th-6th
  • Followed by a huge increase in site visits to photos on the 11th
  • And then a decrease in site activity after the 12th

So what did we find when we matched up the engagement graph with our dates of activities

Saturday, 6th was a large event

Thursday, 11th a newsletter goes out to members

When we compared to another month with a large event, we found the same graph shape.

The data tells us:

  • Before the event and day of we had lots of people on the site looking for information and directions
  • After the event we had a dip in activity but we had a lot of people visiting the photo pages to look for images of the event
  • The newsletter contained links to the images for the event so we had  a huge increase in visits to the photo page. 

So what types of actions can an organization take based on this data?

  • Have upcoming event information on your website loud and clear. People will be looking for it
  • Make sure to be taking lots of photographs at the event – photos generated a huge amount of traffic to the site
  • Newsletters or an email post event drive traffic.
  • Add a call to action on your photo pages. These pages get huge amounts of traffic post event and people are reliving the experience – make sure there is a call to action to donations or volunteering.
  • Engagement is low post event. Brainstorm ways to reengage audience after the event excitement is over.

 

The patterns are there, you just have to look for them and connect the pieces of the puzzle.

 

Want more info?

Ed Schipul is the CEO of Tendenci and will be speaking on Data Analytics at NTC 2014 in Washington DC on March 15th (Online Fundraising Strategies to Take Advantage of Your Donor Events)

 

 

Photo Attribution (in sequential order):

rchappo2002 “Mr Hicks – 1971

Betty Tsang “vampire?

Mick “Super Models and Big Sunglasses

 

 

Episodic Event Focused Nonprofits vs Associations Drumbeat Events

Episodic Nonprofits vs nonprofits that have a drumbeat of events and activity. I did my best to anonymize the data while still showing the radical difference in what the servers see for episodic versus ongoing. It really is hit or miss for episodic non profits.

Ongoing Organization Event Focused

Some organizations have ongoing focus on events and audience outreach. For these organizations we see consistent dip and upflow patters surrounding events and consistent high levels of traffic.

Episodic Event Nonprofit fundraiser example one:

Note most of the traffic below is informational and prior to the event (it was a Saturday event.) And the day before had more overall traffic. A follow up newsletter with photos also generated more traffic than the day of the event.

Photos are the number one element of most sites. If they are not, it is typically because the client isn’t posting photos as opposed to a lack of appeal for a particular industry in my experience. (So go get a DSLR!)

Episodic Non Profit Example 1

Some organizations will focus on outlets that will reengage audiences post event but not have consistent PR and outreach. For these organizations we see a u-shaped curve around the event followed by a consistent decreased linear pattern.

Episodic event number two:

Note they did a great job of building up a drumbeat before the event and again the traffic is seeking information. This event also saw almost 50% mobile traffic suggesting that users were accessing schedules and maps of the event the day of the event.

Episodic Non Profit Event Example 2

Some organizations focus primarily on event based engagement. For these organizations we will see steady curve upwards leading up to the event, followed by  a drop off.

Modules used by many of our non-profits are partially listed in the menu screen grab below. Note that this is a partial list and varies by client.

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 7.44.06 PM

This legend explains the correlation between the colors which are the same universally for all Tendenci clients. I blurred the numbers but all of the charts are scaled to print. So 1,000,000 events, if that is the max in a given module will be the same height on the reports as 1,000 events on a smaller association or NPOs site. This is just to help explain it.

legend

For more on Tendenci and how it can help your non-profit, visit www.tendenci.com. It is also completely open source so feel free to try the demo at http://demo.tendenci.com and developers can download and extend it at www.tendenci.org .

 

Ed Schipul is the CEO of Tendenci and will be speaking on Data Analytics at NTC 2014 in Washington DC on March 15th (Online Fundraising Strategies to Take Advantage of Your Donor Events)

Video: Tips for Transitioning Your New Board to Tendenci with Brian Potter

We work with a lot of Nonprofits and Associations, who often have Boards and volunteers who are responsible for keeping the website up to date. As these board members change from year to year, we want to make sure they are able to get up to speed on the website software as seamlessly as possible!

Our latest video features Account Exec Brian Potter as he outlines tips for transitioning new board members to Tendenci. Read more about these tips in our latest Help File: Transitioning Your New Board Members to Tendenci

7 Tips for Transitioning Your New Board Members to Tendenci:

1. Use a Shared Google Doc to Document and Save Important Information About Your Website

Get started at Google.com/docs

2. Attend Our Next Intro to Tendenci Class!

See the full training calendar at tendenci.com/events

3. Get to Know the Tendenci Help Files

Visit Tendenci.com/help-files and click on a Category to see all of the help documentation around that category

4. Check Out Our New Users’ Guide for Getting Started with Tendenci

 Our New Users’ Guide to Tendenci lists the top 10 help files that cover the main modules of Tendenci to get you used to working with your Tendenci site

5. Subscribe to Our Newsletter to Get the Latest On New Features and Updates 

Want to get the latest on new features we’re rolling out? Sign up for free at Tendenci.com/newsletter!

6. Consider Personalized Training Options

Tendenci Support

To learn more, contact us for pricing options.

7. Get to Know the Support Portal 

Contact our support team by logging on to our Support Portal at support.schipul.com! Our support time is billable, but we can always provide a quote for how much or how long we think your request will take.

Read Full Details of these tips in our Latest Help File!

Introducing the New Tendenci Dashboard!

We Are So Excited to Introduce the New Tendenci Dashboard!

The Tendenci Dashboard is the very first page you see when you log in to your Tendenci website. In the past, the Tendenci Dashboard has contained a list of Tendenci modules and corresponding icons. With the NEW Tendenci Dashboard, you will now see a whole console of helpful metrics that visually show stats from your top Tendenci modules!

Our goal with Tendenci is to build software that gives you insight into your online and offline community. The new dashboard provides valuable information about what is happening across your website!

The new dashboard will begin rolling out Monday July 1 to Tendenci 5.1 sites.

Old Tendenci Dashboard:

Previous Dashboard View

New Tendenci Dashboard:

New Dashboard View

Available Tendenci Dashlets

The charts that make up your Tendenci Dashboard are called “dashlets.” The new Tendenci Dashboard is launching with the following dashlets:

Memberships

Members shows a graphical breakdown of Memberships by type.

Active Membership Graphs

 

Corporate Memberships

New, Renewed, Expired, and Upcoming Expired Corporate Memberships show activity in each of those categories for the last 30 days.

Top Corporate Memberships lists your top 5 Corporate Memberships by active users.

Top Corporate Members Dashlet

Events

Upcoming 5 Events shows the next 5 upcoming events on your calendar and registration stats.

Upcoming Events

Top 5 Events shows the most popular events sorted by event log views over the last 30 days.

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.06.14 PM

Forms

Top 5 Forms shows the most popular forms sorted by number of submissions over the last 30 days.

Top 5 Forms by Submissions

Pages

Top 5 Pages shows the most popular pages sorted by event log views over the last 30 days.

Top 5 Pages by Views

 

Customizing Your Dashlets

You can customize your Dashboard by setting these dashlets to show or hide, and reordering them.

To customize your dashboard, click the top link labeled “Customize Dashboard Statistics.”

customize your dashboard

From here, simply check the boxes to show and hide dashlets you want to see. Use the drag and drop arrows on the left to reorder the dashlets, and click Save to set your changes.

New Tendenci Dashboard Customization

Miss the Tendenci Icons?

As you get used to navigating your site with the new Dashboard, you can always display the Tendenci icons by scrolling down to the bottom of the page, and clicking “Show Tendenci Icons.”

Dashboard Icons

More to Come!

We are constantly working to improve Tendenci, and will continue to expand the functionality of your dashboard.

Have questions or specific suggestions you’d like to make? Let us know! Contact our Support team at (281) 497-6567 ext 411 or by contacting support@tendenci.com!