We Hear You
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
by: Lavinia Plonka, FGNA Board Vice President

Section: Board of Directors News




The Feldenkrais Method® is evolving and growing. When FGNA was created, there was no such thing as the interweb. There were no websites, or even email addresses. Yet Moshe envisioned a time when people all over the world would tune in and take lessons. Somehow he saw possibilities that were not in most people’s imaginations.
 
The first FGNA website lasted a long time. Too long, because there were many conflicting ideas of what a website should do. When we finally got a new website in 2013, everyone celebrated that now people could register online instead of having to print a form and mail a check. Members could post events and an online directory with a radius search was created.
 
But it wasn’t perfect. You’ve made that clear. One thing we’ve learned is that our organization is unique in its members’ needs. We are a “member association” and we also have a “public face.” The current website is trying to serve both and while our membership management software is great for the office, it isn’t as good at serving the public. Work is going on now to improve both the Practitioner Search and the Event function. Keep in mind that each time someone searches for a practitioner in say, New Mexico, that request has to go through a database of our 1400 members, and then find the match. Unfortunately for humans, machines are not always intuitive, so some searches have been frustrating. We have received many excellent suggestions from members and we see a light at the end of the tunnel. Same with the Event function. Each event has to be connected to a member in addition to all the other info. Virtual, FGNA’s management company, is working on a better platform. It should appear as effortless as putting your foot on your head at the end of an ATM® lesson. But we’re still studying how to raise the foot.
 
Many, many members have told us that the current website is not public friendly. And we have received many suggestions. After weighing all the advantages and disadvantages  of trying to make a member site work for the public, our plan for 2017 is to split off and create a website just for the public. It will link to the member site where appropriate. We are very excited about the prospect of creating a beautiful, intuitive, and informative website that will be a major marketing tool for the Method and therefore for your practice.
 
It is a big job. We want to create individual pages for the many applications of the Feldenkrais Method. (Sports! Children! Dance! Animals! Etc, etc.) We need people who willing to write copy for these pages, create educational videos, and provide photos that illustrate these marvelous applications. (Of course anything we publish will also link to you!) We want to offer free sample audios, links to SenseAbility articles, and more. We need people willing to help choose categories, organize menus, evaluate materials, and work with the designer and programmer. We need bloggers and social media mavens. No one can assess the accuracy and quality of our work better than the people who are teaching this amazing work. If everyone would take a chunk of this project, it would be easy and elegant! As the Hopi saying goes, “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”
 
So if you have a passion, a skill, time, or a good set of eyes, we’d love to have you on the team. There are a few people who have already volunteered to head different aspects of the project, but we have lots of room to grow. If you are interested, email me. Tell me how you can be part of the project.  I will be organizing the branches of the project so we can all be working separately and together. We can make this happen by 2017.
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Comments (4)
Gillian Franks
8/16/2016 10:29:27 AM
I have worked as a an informal beta tester in the past, and am happy to serve that role her.


Julie Francis
8/14/2016 5:14:46 PM
looking good! I love the simplicity and the splitting of public and member sites. Bravo.


katherine wieseman
8/11/2016 2:13:21 PM
I am willing to help but don't have the time at this precise moment to say how. I'm more of a writer than techie type. Perhaps it would be wise to settle on a framework for the site (ie. navigation) like an old fashioned outline to know what it could look like first. Of course it could be altered as copy gets written, but the way I think it would be helpful to have a sense of the whole before study of the parts.


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