Both will be @ Compucorp in Shoreditch, London and start at 6pm.
The meetups are designed for those looking to find out more about CiviCRM or considering it for their organisation. There is always a mix of experience levels represented and are a great forum for asking your questions or meeting current users, implementors or developers who can help with your project.
We’ll be following the usual format with an introduction to CiviCRM and one of the main CiviCRM modules followed by some other follow up sessions and whats new in the Civi world.
Then the big one… the annual 2 day CiviCRM European conference held in London. Get your tickets now for earlybird discounts:
CiviCON London: Thurs 25th and Fri 26th Sept – Register here
The full CiviCON website will be up shortly with details of sessions and speakers.
There will also be London based training before CiviCON:
London user and administrator training: Tuesday 23rd and Wed 24th Sept – Register here
And the unmissable after conference sprint in the beautiful Derbyshire village of Edale:
Edale After CiviCON sprint: September 28th to October 4th – Register here
The first talk was by Graham Armfield of Coolfields, who is known as Mr Accessibility. But this month he almost managed to talk about something completely different! Accessibility came in sideways with an aside about captchas vs logic puzzles.
Graham’s talk was about handling user generated content – this means input to the website via a form or upload box – without requiring a login. Grahame gave us a run down of the steps needed to take input from a form on a wordpress website, process it, allow an admin to moderate it and then publish the data on a page. He used a gig guide as an example.
Another useful tip was the the popular Ninjaforms plugin offers a logic puzzle anti-spam test, which is apparently much better from an accessibility point of view.
Using WordPress to find clients
The next talk was from Rob Cubbon and entitled “Using WordPress to find clients”. In practice this talk was about optimising your site or online presence to attract and then convert vistors into clients. Rob talked about carefully choosing keywords with buying intent, creating specificity in your pages, not generallity. Example being writing detailed tutorials on how to do something – a subject hopefully you are an expert and authoritative on. Creating a call to action on every page. Adding key phrases to page titles and headlines. He also recommended creating in-depth profiles on social media sites for freelancers as it’s likely prosopective clients will research these when selecting somone.
Duncan Stuart gave us all a wake up call with his fascinating talk on WordPress Security. Duncan’s company works mostly for government departments or agencies and they spend a lot of time working on security. Duncan began with telling us that the well-known Jetpack plugin, has been suffering from a security weakness that allowed spammers to publish their own content on websites. He then went through a set of examples of types of attack and some well known plugins that have (in the past) had vulnerabilities that have allowed these attacks.
Duncan then gave some advice on improving WordPress security. The first point of call being the Hardening WordPress Codex page. He recommended choosing plugins carefully as these can be a very weak part of the WordPress ecosystem. Look for high numbers of downloads, recent updates and an active support forum.
He wrapped up with tips on writing a good plugin or theme so that our own work does not become part of the problem. His company runs a free resource at https://security.dxw.com/
After a break, the final talk was from Adam Onishi. The company he works for recently built the new iteration of washing powder brand Persil. It was a great insight into a complicated build that spanned 20 countries with many competing requests from different parts of the Persil marketing departments.
Adam’s mission was to keep the site management under as tight a control as possible so that updating and changes could be made as simple and straightforward as possible. To this end, the entire global prescence of 35 websites runs from a single WordPress multisite installation.The second vital ingredient was Parent/Child themes. This has allowed extensive localisation of design and content.
Adam went through some code examples, the tools he and his team used to build the site, the most useful plugins that were used, and how he now is working alone on building out the individual country sites.
CiviCRM is the CRM system designed for non-profits. Not only is it an Enterprise level bit of software, it’s also open-source and free to download and install. Investing in a CRM (constituent relationship management) for an organisation of any size is a major undertaking, as it will likely underpin all the actions that organisation takes in relation to its supporters.
Therefore it’s best to evaluate the shortlist of CRM software in as much detail as possible. One way of doing that with CiviCRM is to go along to a meetup – an informal gathering of people intersested in the software. Usually led by an expert, meetups can take different formats. Here we present a typical line-up at the London CiviCRM group.
“The meetups are designed for those looking to find out more about CiviCRM or considering it for their organisation. There are always a mix of experience levels represented and are a great forum for asking your questions or meeting current users, implementors or developers who can help with your project.”
Introduction to CiviCRM
Case study (often presented by someone non-technical from a organisation using CiviCRM)
The London user group is especially lucky in that it is attended by several of the core development team of CiviCRM so it’s a fantastic opportunity to talk with them.
We at 2020Media have attended CiviCRM meetups and found them refreshingly non-techie, friendly to all skill levels, with many newcomers at every meeting (so there aren’t of those cliques of old hands who eye suspiciously any new face!). Many of the developers who are there especially like to talk with actual users and implementors (as do we, as a specialist CiviCRM Hosting Service Provider).
We started off with a follow up to the security conversation from February. Joe and Phil from softforge.co.uk had laid a trap for a hacker who’d managed to implant a malicious file on a out of date Joomla site. They modified his file so that they could trace what actions he was taking. The feeling of having control over the hacker, even after the effect, was a very nice indeed!
The next item was a preview of Joomla 3.1 beta. The main topic was Tags. This led onto a discussion about keeping urls the way you want them. After this came Zoo shopping cart options with YooDocs and Zoolanders.
Finally the floor was opened to general discussion and many Joomla problems were raised and then dispatched with the usual expertise from those present.