At NACDL, we know that a great many of our members value the
listserves in their current format. We understand a reluctance to change a system
that works well. But in this case, our current listserve platform
is less functional than it may appear. Following are some of the reasons why NACDL has to change the listserves to NACDLConnect, and why it has to be done now.
Lack of Integration Support with the current listserves
- The current listserves are based on a platform built by Lyris. Because of changes in Lyris’s corporate direction and the small size of our account, we have serious concerns about their ability and willingness to continue supporting systems like ours.
- Lyris is moving into large-scale email transmission systems – in fact, Lyris is the email system underlying Higher Logic - and they are no longer providing meaningful support to small individual organization listserves. As a result, we have cancelled our support contract with Lyris.
- Our current integration between our membership database and Lyris has issues that cause frustration to members and an enormous amount of manual intervention for staff to manage. For example, members stop getting messages from the listserve for no apparent reason, or they start getting individual messages when they are supposed to be getting the digest. This requires staff to trouble-shoot the problem, fix it, and respond to the member. This happens many times each week.
- Further, we are at the upper limit of traffic
that the current system will support, so an upgrade had to be part of our
operations strategy in order to better serve members.
- Higher Logic (the platform on which NACDLConnect is built) is a partner with ISSI (our association management system) and provides synching at a system level that will be automatic and allow more information to flow from the membership system into NACDLConnect.
- This will result in an improved member experience, including a single login and login page across our three core systems – IMPAK, the website, and NACDLConnect, and allow the member to remain logged in for 60 days.
- It will also mean that management of member listserve subscriptions will be more reliable and automatic, cause fewer dropped subscriptions and require less manual intervention from staff.
Better User Experience
- Higher Logic is designed, ground up, to be a community.
- Members will be able to easily move through different discussions and communities, see a whole thread at once, and pass over posts that are not relevant for them.
- The look and feel allows for a great deal of customization, and we can tailor it to fit the larger NACDL Community, as well as individual communities.
- Members can also, if they wish, create contacts with each other, include links to their Twitter feeds, blogs and social networking profiles, and upload a photograph of themselves so they can get to know other members better.
New and Improved Features
- We are not eliminating anything – and in fact, members can still send and receive messages the way they always have using NACDLConnect’s “Legacy” mode.
- For people who want it, we are adding a more elegant, more interactive, better organized interface with greatly enhanced search capabilities and document management.
- The bottom line is that Lyris lacks the capabilities our members and board members have requested, and to sustain the NACDL community. This transition has been managed with the full input of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Membership Committee.
- Higher Logic has quickly become the premier community management system especially for associations like ours. When ASAE migrated from Lyris to Higher Logic, they saw a 300% increase among member CEOs, a demographic which resembles ours.