Ever wonder who the man (or woman) behind the curtain is on your favorite Convio powered site (sort of like the Wizard of Oz but in a less ruby slippers are more online strategy kind of way)? Well, today we’re going behind the curtain…errr computer screen… to introduce you to Andrew MacKay—one of the fabulous Convio administrators at the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF). The elevator pitch for Canadian Wildlife is “CWF helps protect wildlife through conservation education, awareness and outreach.” Say it with me!
I’ve never met Andrew, but we talk from time to time (you see, I’m the CWF Account Manager at Convio—meaning I spend my days chatting with Convio admins and their colleagues) and until last week (when he sent me THIS photo), I didn’t even know what he looked like. I did, however, know that Andrew is a Convio genius, really cares about wildlife, and takes advantage of the resources we offer through the Convio Community. (Fun fact: Andrew lives in a remote area of Northern Ontario surrounded by deer, black bears, and moose!)
So, I sent him a few questions to get our “interview” started (because I really want to be Oprah when I grow up). Here’s what he had to say:
EG for CC: How do you describe your role at CWF to friends at parties?
AM: I work on the organization’s web sites as well as email campaigns. I have a programming background so I work on the more interactive components of the web sites including setting up and building custom web applications.
EG for CC: Of Convio’s online resources, what have you found most useful?
AM: I often look for answers to questions that I have in the Convio Community. If I can’t find the answer in an existing post there then a new post of the question will lead to answers from other knowledgeable Convio users and staff.
EG for CC: What are you most proud of regarding your use of Convio with CWF?
AM: As a Canadian organization we have been able to recommend improvements to some areas of the systems to meet the particular needs of Canadians, and we’ve been able to work with Convio to arrive at solutions that will benefit all Canadian organizations using those components.
EG for CC: Share an anecdote about a project or specific campaign you worked on through Convio that was particularly exciting or interesting or productive. (I know you’ve got ‘em!)
AM: The site that we setup last year for National Wildlife Week comes to mind. We created a custom “Walk For Wildlife” application that allowed users to track the distances that they had walked, and showed each person’s contribution toward the overall goal. This site utilized Convio’s Login API which allowed us to use the existing login/constituent functionality of Convio. We are currently in the process of building the 2011 version of the site which will also include a TeamRaiser component to allow users to collect pledges related to their walks.
EG for CC: If you had advice to share for a new Convio admin, what would it be?
AM: Look for training resources in the Convio Customer Center and at the same, time just try things out in the system and see how they work for you. There are context sensitive help files along that way that are handy as well. If you have questions that you can’t find the answer to then you can post it in the Convio Community and also work with your account manager for other suggestions.
Editorial note: I didn’t tell Andrew to say that.
EG for CC: What’s one secret tip or trick you’ve picked up along the way related to the COM platform?
AM: For those of us that don’t have fiber optic speed connections to the internet, my experience is that the Convio CMS administrative tools are faster running in Firefox than in Internet Explorer. Working from home, I find this makes a difference in my user experience.
And that’s that! Thanks, Andrew. And thanks to CWF for all your hard work to protect Canadian wildlife.
If you or your Convio admin colleagues are interested in being featured on Convio’s Connection Café blog, just make a note in the comments section of this post.