Dreaming About the Future of Abort73…
I recently put together the initial feature list for the new Abort73 website and sent it out for consideration and comment. I thought it was worth sharing with all of you who take an interest in the work we're doing. Please pray for us during the development phase. This is no small undertaking!!
Proposed Changes to Abort73.com
ABORT73 USER ACCOUNTS
I want to offer 2 types of user accounts. The first would be for anyone who joins our mailing list. The second would only be available to those who buy Abort73 gear or make a donation.
Mailing List Account
These accounts would be open to the general public and would ask for name, age, address (optional) and email. There would be check boxes to identify students and pastors. They would also specify how they want to be contacted: email and mail (recommended), email only, or mail only. Once the account is created, I'd like users to have the ability to login and manage their info (make address changes, change their notification preferences, or delete the account). The main submission page would be linked to MaximumVapor.com and to an online archive of past email updates. Once they submit their info, they would be redirected to a page highlighting more ways to get involved (which would again link to the email update archive). They would also receive an intro email / mailer (depending on their stated preferences) that would further introduce them to Abort73's resources and strategy. Ideally, the information they enter would be directly exportable to whatever database software we use to manage our lists, so that the data wouldn't have to be entered twice. Even more ideal (if it's possible), would be if the information went directly into our database, somehow, without even having to be exported or imported, so that as soon as the information was entered or edited online, it would be in our system.
I want pastors and church staff to be able to sign up for a free info pack that would either be directed towards student ministries (poster, DVD, etc.) or towards the general assembly (depending upon what kind of information is requested). I'd like church members to be able to sign their pastor up to receive an info packet as well.
Partner Accounts would have the same base features as the Mailing List Account, but would only be available to those who have donated or made a purchase. Each account would include a publicly viewable profile page (similar to MySpace) that would include their picture, age, location, school (if applicable) and brief description of how they learned of Abort73 and why they got involved. I'd also like them to be able to link to other personal sites they maintain as well as to any other sites they recommend. I'd like Partner Account holders to be able to privately message each other, and I'd like all Partner Accounts to be publicly searchable by age, location or school.
For those who purchase Abort73 gear, I'd like them to be automatically enrolled into a group-blog that would be a forum for them to highlight their experiences wearing or distributing Abort73 gear.
I would like all Partner Account holders to have access to a password protected portion of the website that would provide key traffic, purchase, and donation data, so that they could better keep up with our needs and our growth. If there is a way to automate the assimilation and display of this data, that would be fantastic. Otherwise, we'll have to assemble it manually and update the info, maybe once a week. I currently use Google Analytics and Urchin Web Stats to monitor web traffic.
Finally, I'd like Partner Account holders to be able to track packages and view their individual purchase or donor history online, much like you can with Amazon.
There are a number of things I want to improve about our ecommerce system. First, I'd like to be able to take CCs directly, as well as PayPal or Google Payments. Volusion.com is a service I've been looking into, but haven't gotten too far with yet. I want there to be built in inventory management. I'd like to be able to directly output payment data to Quickbooks or similar. Whatever works best. As I mentioned above, I'd like buyers / donors to be able to track packages and view past orders or donations. I'd like there to be a separate shipping scale built in for international shipping. I'd like to be able to set up bulk discounts that would calculate automatically based on what is in the shopping cart. I'd like to be able to give out coupon codes that the recipients could redeem online, and I'd like people to be able to buy online Abort73 gift cards. Finally, I'd like people to be able to post comments and rate all of our Abort73 Gear, much like is possible on Amazon.
General Page Features
I'd like to automate some of the features that are already included on most of our pages:
Print Page. Instead of linking to a separate PDF file (as the site does now), I'd like to somehow link to a style sheet that would re-format the basic content of each page into a print-friendly format, stripping all the extras out.
Email Page to Friend. I'd like this feature to work much like it does now (minus the individual hand coding I had to do for each page).
Give Us Your Thoughts. Again, I want the basic functionality to be the same as it is now (initiating an email to us with the page title automatically generated in the subject line), without having to individual code each page.
Post Your Comments. Link to appropriate section of the Abort73 Message Board.
I do want some kind of "More to Consider" and/or "Dig Deeper" links on the bottom of each page (similar to what is there now), as well as a related links section. I'll need to specify those individually and am still working out the basic site map. It will be changing fairly dramatically from what is online now.
I like the idea of expanding this to include multiple authors. I'd like to go that route. I'd also like to bring all of my past blogs into the new system. Separate from the main blog, but along the same lines, I want to archive all of the Abort73 email updates online (mentioned earlier).
It would be great to be able to transfer users and posts from the old Message Board into the new Message Board. I'm not sure if that's possible. I'd also like to add two new Message Boards, one for the testimonies of women who have aborted, and one for the testimonies of those who faced an unplanned pregnancy, but decided not to abort. We'd have to keep a close eye on these to ensure that all off-topic posts are quickly removed. I think it would also be beneficial to have a more internal Message Board that would be limited to Partner Account holders and would be devoted to brainstorming about new marketing and outreach ideas.
Eventually, I'd like to make Abort73 more internationally relevant by including country-specific versions of our Abortion Facts, Abortion History, and Abort73 Video sections. This isn't really an issue yet, but I'd like the site to be able to remember where non-U.S. visitors are from and appropriately direct them when they enter the country-specific sections of our site. I'm envisioning a drop-down menu somewhere near the top of each country-specific section that would say: "Change Location". Once the location is changed, I'd like that to be remembered from page to page.
Michael Spielman is the founder and director of Abort73.com. His book, Love the Least (A Lot), is available as a free download. You can also find him on Facebook and Google+. Abort73 is part of Loxafamosity Ministries, a 501c3, Christian education corporation. If you have been helped by the information available at Abort73.com, please consider making a donation.