As you may recall, I changed the hosting provider for our site from Netfirms to Squarespace in mid-2012. I am relatively pleased with Squarespace as performance is never an issue with them. At the end of the summer, Squarespace introduced their new publishing platform Squarespace 6. It is completely new and different and while most pages and functions will come across to the new platform there is a lot that will not. That's annoying, particularly since any kind of continuous development on Squarespace 5 has stopped completely.
In order to keep the site fresh and to better consume social media services, I will be building the site (again) on Squarespace 6. This will entail a number of changes for you, our members.
1. The Discussion forums page will disappear. Use is minimal at best, and based on research and guidance, we will leverage the Google Plus page for the Newmarket Camera Club as our discussion area starting today. Gabe, Bryan and I have been using this service for a while and it allows for more flexibility in the future. Bryan and Gabe are doing Daytripper Webtalk on Google Plus to great success and at some point, the club may start hosting Hangouts there as well. Thanks for your support of the Discussions page and to Gabriel who has done great work as its moderator. If you would like to be an author on behalf of the club, please let me know via email. Any topic of interest to Club members is awesome.
2. The Marketplace will also move to Google +. If you would like to post something let Gabe, Bryan or myself know.
3. I use Mail Chimp as our email communications vehicle. It is marvelous and very powerful. However under Squarespace 5 we have multiple user databases that I have to maintain and this is a pain for me and often confusing to new members. Squarespace 6 integrates directly with Mail Chimp whereas Squarespace 5 does not. i will be using Mail Chimp exclusively as the member registry once the change in site design is complete.
4. This will mean that the need to sign in and remember IDs and passwords for the club website will go away. While it does provide exclusive access to our content, it is also discouraging to people who may be interested in the club and what we do. My intent is to work hard to keep membership open and free and having a walled garden doesn't help with this. I will take measures to prevent right click downloads of your images in the galleries, and continue to recommend physical and/or digital watermarks on images you submit to the club.
5. Effective today, meeting preregistration is no longer required. We have a great room at the Community Centre and we have room for more tables and more rows if needed, Issues with Squarespace make booking attendance a real pain in the butt, and it is unfair to ask Bryan to maintain lists so we won't be doing this any longer. Want to come to a meeting? Awesome! Come on out, seats on first come, first served basis and we have never had to turn people away.
You'll see the changes completely transparently and with no downtime. All existing articles and posts will be preserved when the cutover happens, except as noted where pages will go away. Thanks as always for your support of the club.