This month’s memo is an update on our work to transition the overall responsibility of our network to Wisconsin Lakes, our state-wide nonprofit “Speaking for Lakes”. We are now working closely with Northern Graphics Operations (NGOPS), a web services business in the Twin Cities. NGOPS has professional experience with WordPress networks and is assuming the techy tasks associated with our network. Its current focus is updating the lakekit.net home-base site and preparing a new basic startup template site. The home-base site will be redesigned to better reflect Wisconsin Lakes’ ownership and member help options. The new basic template site will be the starting point for those who attend the morning workshop on Building Websites for Lake Organizations at this year’s lake convention. The new basic startup template will use a new theme, introduce a drag and drop approach to building a site, simplify the administrators’ menu, and eventually replace the current template-a. These changes are needed to keep the network secure and stable as it grows, and to make building and maintaining a site as simple as possible. All existing members may continue to use the Weaver Xtreme theme and will not need to make any of the new changes to their site for the rest of this year. Sometime later this year, a conversion of current member sites to utilize the new changes will likely be recommended. NGOPS is targeting to have the converted sites’ appearance very close to existing member sites if that is what they want. We will keep you updated on recommended timing for this conversion as this transition continues. With the transition to Wisconsin Lakes management, volunteers will continue to be a vital network operations partner along with Wisconsin Lakes and Northern Graphics Operations. Volunteer participation is likely important to help our mission to keep expenses as low as possible and satisfy member needs. A few ideas a core volunteer group could take on are:
- Screen member troubles, help resolve the issue, and create a ticket for NGOPS to resolve if needed.
- Help train new members.
- Participate in a Wisconsin Lakes Advisory Group for the network – recommendations to improve operations, ways to minimize expenses, coordination, overall site designs, user friendliness, quality evaluations…
Shanda Hubertus, President, Waterways Association of Menominee an Shawano Counties Karen Reynolds, President, Gilbert Lake Advancement Association Pam Ahles, Treasurer, Pike Lake Chain Lakes Association Marty Wilke, website manager, Waushara County Watershed Lakes CouncilThese testimonials will be used in various ways to promote our network.