As we announced in December’s issue of Soft Top Hardtop, the MX-5 Owners Club have been developing a new online membership management system to link our website, forum, accounting, record keeping, and communication channels in one place to streamline the administration of the club, reduce the workload on our volunteers and improve the member experience.
And we’re proud to say that the system is now live!
Forum users, please be aware of the following:
- Existing users will be required to create a new password when logging in for the first time after February 3rd. Your MX-5 OC online account will now work as a single sign-on across the entire MX-5 OC website for all functions, for example, for paid-up members to access members-only content like back issues of Soft Top Hardtop.
- Existing forum usernames will be carried across, just follow the link to create your new password. If you have any problems, follow the relevant steps on the Support Page.
- The only historic data that we will not be bringing across to the new forum are car details, demographics and interests because a large proportion of the information currently held is either incomplete or out of date. The email guide will show you how to bring it all up-to-date.
- For any problems or questions, please first check the Support Page, and then follow the details to contact the Helpdesk if your concern has not been resolved.
Why do we need a new forum?
We have moved the forum to a more modern platform called Discourse. The primary advantage of this software is that it is designed to be fast and accessible on smartphones and tablets. More than half of our forum traffic now comes from mobile devices and this is a trend that will only increase, so upgrading to Discourse moves the MX-5 OC forum firmly into the future.
Traditional desktop users will enjoy a cleaner and simplified design, and Discourse supports single sign-on integration with other functions of the Club’s website. This means that you will be able to seamlessly link from the forum to read a Soft Top Hardtop back issue without being required to enter a second password, or you can renew your membership without having to enter your personal information each time.
What will the new system offer me?
Other than a simplified forum and website experience, you likely won’t notice much of a change, initially. But as the largest MX-5 club in the world with over 7,500 members and events attracting over 2,500 cars, administration of the club is an enormous task and this new system will save the time of paid staff and relieve the burden on volunteers, saving on operating costs and allowing them more time to enjoy their MX-5s.
Rather than having many separate and unconnected systems for things like member records, event registrations, shop sales, and mass email, the new system enables us to integrate all these functions and thus serve members better. Everything will be hosted online, and the club’s website will act as the visible front end of this new system. For example, it means that at the click of a button the club office can produce the financial reports required for its accounting and compliance obligations.
The building of this rich dataset will allow the club to gradually improve the member experience, and this is what you’ll notice in the coming years. In a matter of seconds, the office will be able to see what the spread of membership is throughout the country, enabling better and more convenient events to be planned.
Or it could find out how many 10th Anniversary Edition Mk2s are in the club, making the organisation of a dedicated 10th Anniversary Run a simple task. You’ll also begin to receive better digital communication from the Club and regions because doing this will be a far simpler and less time-consuming task for the office and volunteers alike.
It won’t take more than a few minutes to get yourself up and running, and our Support Desk is on-hand to answer any questions you may have.