Lakekit Memo – December 2017

Hi again to Lakekit Members, We have important news to share!

Network Operations Improvements

We are extremely pleased to announce that Wisconsin Lakes (statewide non-profit working to protect our lakes) is taking on overall administration of our network. In addition, a web services business will transition next year to doing most technical network tasks. These changes will position the network to grow and improve, yet keep expenses low. We will keep you updated as this transition takes place. Over the past two years, we demonstrated together the value of a network of lake organization websites. As we continue to grow in the number of member sites, confidence that the network is safe and kept up with the constant internet evolution requires that a professional web services provider is involved. Wisconsin Lakes, UW-Extension-Lakes, and our reserve fund will provide the 2018 expenses to make the changes involved in this transition. We expect increased membership will offset most of the increased expenses associated with obtaining professional services. The membership fee will remain at $50 for 2018. Going forward, membership size will be a large influence on the membership fee. Our current membership projections suggest a fee of $100 for 2019, still very low considering the total benefits. Our web services business will present a new-member workshop next year at the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Convention with help from existing members. With this workshop, changes will be introduced to streamline the workability of the network for the long term. These changes will mainly involve adding a new theme and plugin. The new theme will offer less complex settings and faster loading. The new plugin will bring to us a popular “drag and drop” approach to building and maintaining pages. Our current plan is that existing members should be able to continue with their current theme/plugin set up or convert to the new theme/plugin setup. Our goal is to continue to make building and maintaining lake organization websites as easy as possible. The web services business will likely utilize a ticketing system to resolve network-wide issues, generate sites for new members, and convert existing members’ sites to the new theme/plugin. To keep expenses minimal, we hope to avoid using tickets for common site-level problems. Network members will be encouraged to help other members with content and simple design issues probably using the LakeKitTalk Facebook group, emails, and phone conference help sessions. And we intend to maintain the lakekit.net home-base site as help resource.

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