The future website

The ASC website has been overdue some serious attention for some time. We’re currently over-capacity for server space, and our ability to host a breadth of resources or support updates to lists has been very limited.

In addition the member-management system currently doesn’t fulfil our organisation’s needs anymore. Billing for conferences or running online events isn’t as smooth as it should be. Ask anyone who’s tried to change their branch!

Dealing with this is something various committees have been working on for the last several years.

Today we’re proud to announce that we’ve commenced the project of integrating the membership system with a new website. It’s going to take some work to complete, but we hope that in the end our systems will be easier to maintain, while giving more benefit to members and the broader scicomm community.

As part of this work, we have defined a set of principles for our digital platforms. They include:

  • simple – for members, staff and the public, to use, update and maintain
  • integrated – as few platforms as possible, and multiple platforms readily connect to share required information
  • automated – with simple actions to prioritise staff time on complex cases
  • flexible – to adapt to the needs of the organisation into the future
  • supported – help from suppliers if/when it’s needed, and ideally in time zones reasonable for our volunteers and staff
  • sustainable – financially affordable, yet not afraid to invest money if it saves significant paid staff time
  • secure – meet Australian (and ideally global) privacy laws and legal requirements

Our decisions moving forward have been based on how well any option meets these. To that end, we have chosen a new Australian membership platform supplier: Membes

We will keep you up to date with detail as it comes available.

What does this mean for me?

In the immediate term – we will start the work of setting up the membership software to suit the ASC. We ask that if you have an active membership, that you consider logging in to update any details so that when we get to porting information to the new system, we do so with up-to-date information. You can do this at the webpage.

Over time we will start to port member management over to the new system, as well as the ASC official website. We will communicate with everyone this process, but aim to ensure that the switch over will impact very few, if any, members.

Finally, once we have pressure-tested the new system, and established a new integrated member website, we will retire the current systems and archive them for future research purposes.

By the end of this process, the hope is that we will have one unified member site as the home and host for all ASC material, resources and event registrations. We want this simplified system so that we can focus on engaging with each other, rather than spending all our time on making systems talk to each other,

If you want to be involved in the process, please reach out to the office inbox and we’ll connect you with the project team. Also, if you have got to the end of this blog post thinking ‘oh I have always wanted the webpage to have a _______ section’ – now is definitely the time to quickly shoot us an email.

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