Release Notes for StampoRama Website - Sept 2023
This document describes the things that have changed on the StampoRama website in the September 2023 software release.
The Dropping of Membership Dues
The obvious big item is that Membership Dues have been dropped and have been replaced by voluntary member donations. This has affected everything right across the website.
- You will no longer be asked to pay membership dues.
- When you login it no-longer checks to see if membership dues are paid.
- The Auction Lists now list all lots, not just those for members who have paid their membership dues. The same with Approval Books.
- The Relist function no-longer worries about membership dues
- Neither does the Bulk Loader
- All reference to membership dues have been taken from the Member Edit function in the Members Area
- The Join function has been appropriately modified along with the emails that are sent to the new member
- If you were a member prior to membership dues and left, you just need to login again to reactivate your membership
- Someone who hasn't been on the site for 12 months will have their membership account placed in suspense mode. This is just to give us an accurate count of members. To take their account out of Suspense mode, they just need to login again.
- The "Pay Membership Dues and Donation" function has been modified to "Make a Donation". All mention of membership dues and due dates have been removed. The screen focuses much more on easily making a donation. Payment Types are still PayPal, Check or Money Order.
- When you make a donation of any amount, the system displays a little red heart icon next to your username to indicate that you are supporting StampoRama by making a donation. This icon is display for 12 months after your donation. If you do not want the red heart icon to be displayed, there is a switch in your membership profile (Edit function in Members Area) that you can use to turn it off.
Still to Come
- Starting at the end of January 2024, there will be a financial report available to all members which shows the month by month situation of income vs expenses vs budget. We will all know just how we are going with our donations and what the expected expense levels will be.
- Once a year, probably in May, each member when they login one day they will be taken to their membership profile and asked to check that the information there-in is still correct. This will only happen once each year.
- For both Auction Lots and Approval Books, the first time that a member creates either, the Auction Lot or Approval Book will be placed on Auctioneery Check Hold so that one of the Auctioneers can take a look at your first Auction Lot or Approval Book to make sure that you understand the system and your Auction Lot or Approval Book isn't going to have problems or cause problems for the Auctioneers. You only have to go through this process the very first time for each. Once you have been through the Auctioneers Check you are free to post Auction Lot and Approval Books to your hearts content.
- The Bulk Uploader is not available to you until you have posted an Auction Lot manually and been through the Auctioneers Check.
- Many of the facilities on the site that provide mostly philatelic information such as the Articles, the Exhibits, the Rambler, History Articles, the FAQ area etc, have all been moved to a new area called the Research Center, which is accessed from the main menu on the homepage.
- A new Announcements area has been added to the homepage. This has a maintenance facility behind it that enables announcements to be made and posted on the homepage without any coding by the webmaster. This will help with communication to members and the public about things happening on StampoRama.
The Happenings Blog
- The Happenings Blog has been added to the homepage. It will be used to highlight different aspects of the site. It could be a particularly useful posting on the Discussion Board, it could be a new Exhibit that should be noted. This will also help with communication and will help bring attention to the site because it means the homepage will not just be static.
The Left Navigation Color selection
- The Left Navigation area on the home and many other pages has been drastically trimmed down.
- The default color of the Left Navigation area has been changed from the deep blue/green that it has been for many years to a light blue.
- But, for a bit of fun and because the webmaster can't help himself, you can change the color of this area to one of 10 different colors. Go into the Edit function in the Members Area and towards the bottom you will see a color selection area. Pick a color, click on Save at the bottom of the screen, and then click on the home link at the top and the color of the Left Nav Area will change to your selection.
- Only your screen will change to the color that you have selected. Your choice does not affect anyone else.
The Code of Conduct, User Agreement, and Rules regarding the operation of the Auctions, Approval Books and Discussion Board have all been merged into one document that has hot links into it from the appropriate parts of the system. The purpose for doing this was to get all the Rules and Guidelines into one place to stop the confusion that existed by one document saying one thing and another document in a different part of the website saying the opporsite.
The Bylaws have been changed, voted on, and published to reflect these changes.
That's it. If you have any problems with any of these changes or if you find any reference to membership dues that should not be there, please contact the Webmaster who will fix the problem ASAP.