Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Everybody needs a HUG!

Coming soon -- our Higher Logic online communities which will be a Y-UGE improvement over our current listserves.   Our staff is working closely with Higher Logic in their Higher Logic User Groups (called “HUGS”) to set up the best user experience possible.  The online communities are a way for members to share their collective wisdom, stories, and forms, and ask questions among their peers.  The migration will allow the conversations to be archiveable and searchable and will also allow the creation of wiki-type references among colleagues. It will also provide a convenient platform for us to communicate with our members and post events.

VBA staff Lisa Maxfield and Laura Welcome went to a complimentary two-day intensive training with Higher Logic in Arlington, VA.  They have returned ready to hit the ground running.  All of our member database and individual listserve databases have been exported into the new system.  Lisa, Laura and Jennifer have completed the community name, logo, tagline and theme of the site.  Without giving too much away before the “big reveal,” keep your eyes peeled for an invitation to VBA Connect!

We are very aware of the limitations of our current listserve service in terms of being able to find old conversations or even keeping strings of conversations straight.  And who hasn’t fallen victim to the too often embarrassing “reply = reply to list” error?  Let’s also not forget the periodic hold or bouncing of listserve emails.  Fret no more!  This new system will allow users to be engaged as little or as much as they’d like, allowing them to receive emails as they come, daily, weekly or by group.  It will also allow users to create their own profile page, and there will be a user-friendly directory.  Not only will there be searchable community discussions, but there will also be a library both universally and by group, for members to share forms, cases or documents.  The whole design is well laid-out and easy to use.

Once test groups are satisfied, we hope the system will be open to the membership by the annual meeting in October.  We trust that all of our members will soon learn, as is known by the very active real property listserve group, just how valuable (and simple) sharing collective wisdom is! Our intention is to have a demonstration station set up at the annual meeting so members can see our HUG in action and come give the communities a try.  Remember, we’re talking virtual HUGS here, although our members will be so happy with the product they will want to give hugs all around!

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