Social, Progress Tracking Improvements to Website

I’ve made a few changes to the website, which I hope members will find to be improvements. Some of this as a result of feedback I’ve gotten from officers at other clubs, through the WordPress for Toastmasters open source software project derived from the website customizations originally created for Club Awesome.

One club webmaster in particular wanted to experiment with using BuddyPress, which adds social software features to a WordPress website. One thing we get by adding that to is a better way of adding profile photos, along with more Facebook-like member profile pages. I figured out a way of adding events like “signed up for Speaker” to the social news feed. This also replaces the earlier “update your status” feature on the members page.

On the Member Access widget in the upper right hand corner of the website, a couple of new links are now displayed to “Set Your Status” and “Change Your Profile Photo” (only visible when you are logged in). Please take this opportunity to add a photo to your member profile if you haven’t done so before now.

New links in Member Access widget

There is also a drop-down menu under Members that points to the BuddyPress feeds and profiles, as well as our Facebook group.

New member options
New member options

Here is what the social version of a member profile looks like, with the profile picture and “cover picture” set.

Facebook-like profiles

If you go to the member dashboard, you will see some other changes. The new Toastmasters menu includes a report for progress toward Advanced Awards, in addition to the Competent Communicator and Competent Leader progress reports. I have worked on trying to clean up some of the data, but you can help make it more accurate by signing up for speech roles online and making sure the manual and speech project are specified.

New Advanced Awards report
New Advanced Awards report

Take a look at the changes and let me know if you agree they are improvements.