If you've been following the CiviCRM blog, you probably noticed the reports from Google Summer of Code 2014: Siddhant Rajagopalan built a new CiviMail composition screen, and Aditya Nambiar built an A/B testing system. In late 2014, the core team extended this work (revising architecture, adding missing features, and fixing bugs), and 4.6.alpha1 is the first downloadable release to include the refreshed CiviMail. I want to give a quick tour of some of the UI's and changes.
CiviMail is a powerful tool with a lot of options. Of course, options come at a cost -- they increase complexity and make an application harder to use. In designing the revised CiviMail UI, we want a...Read more
When preparing an email newsletter, one part of it that is time consuming is gathering together all the content that is needed. In my experience, virtually all the content already exists elsewhere, such as in the local CMS, in CiviCRM, or on a blog, or some other online source. So I was thinking how can I make this process easier. What I did: I created mail merge tokens for CiviCRM that autofill a list of recent blog posts, stories, or any other type of CMS content. So the end-user sees a list of tokens, one for each content type, each term/category, each aggregator feed, and for each date range. Such as "Content of type 'blog' created in the last 7 days" . What is particulary powerful about this approach, is that if you are also using a CMS aggregator (such as the aggregator module in Drupal core) then virually any external RSS feed is turned into CMS content, which is now available as a CiviCRM token.
Some examples of how this new extension may help your...Read more
When generating mailing labels, CiviCRM users have the option of choosing the address to be used (e.g. you can select "Primary," "Home" or "Work") depending on where you want to reach your contacts.
CiviMail, however, does not provide this option. Instead, CiviMail automatically chooses the address for each contact - a process we can only control on a contact-by-contact basis by setting the "Bulk Mail" or "Primary" flags for each individual contact.
For many of us, the ability to only send to home or work email addresses has not been important because email addresses transcend location: we check our work email at home and our home email at work and have all made individual choices about which ones we are going to use regularly and which ones we selectively check.
However, there are use cases when choosing the right location is critical. At the Progressive Technology Project (PTP), one such use case arose in our work with the Vermont State Employees...Read more
There is a newly updated version of the native extension called "Fancy Tokens". This new version (2.1) includes enhancements suggested by the community. Specifically the request from Xavier to include tokens for individual event registration pages, where the event ID can be easily changed.
Have you ever needed to send an email from CiviCRM that includes a list of upcoming events? Then you know how much fun the copy/paste effort this entails, especially if you want to use a checksum in the links to register. Plus you know you get to repeat the whole exciting process for the next newsletter the following week or month. Or if you have someone else you need to train on this task, try explaining to a non-technical person how to hand-edit the URL query string to include the checksum paramaters. (is the contact ID query string param name "cid=x" or "id=x", well that depends....) And even if you do not deal with events, you can have the same fun teaching someone else to...Read more
Arete Imagine, Inc. is a creative services firm that is focused on understanding the dreams of our clients. Our vision is to be a leading authority on Branding, Design, and Promotion. We strive for excellence in creatively understanding and communicating the ideals and dreams of our customers.
Let me start by saying that when I took over the CiviCRM newsletter project I saw an opportunity to update the overall design of the newsletter. At Arete Imagine no matter what we create, whether it’s a website, printed marketing pieces, social media, whatever it is, it has to follow some basic rules. It has to be practical, beautiful, intuitive, and it has to respect the end user. For me there were a number of areas of the CiviCRM newsletter which didn’t meet these key requirements. It wasn’t responsive so it wasn’t practical or intuitive for a...Read more
Have you ever needed to send an email from CiviCRM that includes a list of upcoming events? Then you know how much fun the copy/paste effort this entails, especially if you want to use a checksum in the links to register. Plus you know you get to repeat the whole exciting process for the next newsletter the following week or month. Or if you have someone else you need to train on this task, try explaining to a non-technical person how to hand-edit the URL query string to include the checksum paramaters. (is the contact ID query string param name "cid=x" or "id=x", well that depends....) And even if you do not deal with events, you can have the same fun teaching someone else to properly use checksums when you need to include a hyperlink to a contribution page or a stand-alone profile.
If you want a much easier process for listing upcoming events with links to register, including links to contribution pages and stand-alone profiles, then try out the new extension...Read more
Wouldn't it be nice if Macilhimp was tightly integrated into CiviCRM?
Well, thanks to funding from Zing, work to better integrate CiviCRM to Mailchimp has begun.
We've put together the key functions we're aiming to deliver, taking on the existing https://civicrm.org/extensions/mailchimp-sync integration built by Derek Williams @ Science Gallery.
Please feedback on this wiki page.
I recently completed a conversion of about 8 years of history from a 5 year old Blackbaud Kintera site to a Drupal CiviCRM solution. Confused yet? Don't worry, all we be revealed in time. As a way of giving back, I am planning to share my experiences good and bad, what worked, what did not, what I learned and what I will and won't do next time.
Let's start with a little background. I have been the technology consultant for Women in Development, New York (www.widny.org) for the past 8+ years now. I started out as a member, graduated to a board member and in the end became their consultant. I have been with this organization since before they had a formal database to manage their members and before they had their first website. Back then, I used my own mail servers to send out their mass emails, my how the times have changed. In addition, to selecting and managing their original database solution, maintaining their first website and...Read more
As a freelancer, here are a few notes and an overview on how I solved a client's contacts consolidation when the data came from external sources:
My Use Case
- Client had ongoing events and conferences over several years which meant there were databases and mailing lists all over the place (many of which had crossover).
- I set up ongoing JSON exports of the contact data from the external sites, which could be queried by date range to get the latest changes.
- I had a contact consolidation script on the CiviCRM end, that took these JSON exports, and loaded them into Civ via the API.
- About 5 different source sites created about 1200 contacts
A Few Challenges
- The documentation can be quite scattered and it was difficult sometimes to find the right versions. I really pity whoever has to deal with this challenge though!
- It took me much longer than it should have to learn how to activate the API...
Two weeks already since civicon, the dust has settled and Amy Dobbs and the team at skillmatters have filmed and uploaded the sessions.
- For those that have attended CiviCon london and ended up the day desperate about all the nice sessions they missed, you'll be pleased to know that you can see them online.
- For those that missed CiviCon london, well, really, you should have been there, we missed you and we hope you'll be able to attend the next one.
- For the speakers, could you post a comment with a link to your slides? I'll update this article.
Anyway, the videos are online too, a couple needs some setting changes to be viewed, stay tuned and come back soon.
welcome to civicon state of the project & keynote
By Kurund Jalmi,...Read more