Work has now begun in earnest on the revision and update of the entire Medieval Academy website. Over the past few weeks you will already have seen many updates: a cleaner interface and home page for the current MAA website, revision of much of our content, an updated and dynamic calendar of events, this revived and born-digital MAA News, and an MAA Blog that is now kept current with announcements of interest to all medievalists. Membership Coordinator Chris Cole has also added Twitter capabilities to the list so that you can follow us in any number of ways.
In the weeks ahead we will be completely revamping the site by using what is known as an “association management system” (AMS). This is a suite of coordinated web capabilities, supported by a dynamic “back-end” database that offers a host of features currently used by many other learned societies, including the RSA, AHA, MLA and CAA. We adopted the system “Your Membership.com” after long study, reports and recommendations by several MAA committees that included Grover Zinn, Lisa Bitel, Tim Stinson, Dan O’Donnell, GSC member Ethan Zadoff and others. This AMS will now allow members to directly enter their membership information, pay dues, post their relevant career information (including CVs and publications), virtually join or coordinate MAA committees, register for annual meetings, and access the many benefits of membership that the MAA now offers. The AMS will allow the council and the executive, publications, membership, graduate and other MAA committees the opportunity to organize online, to share information privately or publicly and enable MAA members to make known their views via surveys, online discussion groups and other postings and to rapidly, directly – and privately – access and update their membership status. It will also permit the MAA to realistically begin planning to offer a digital version of Speculum and other publications to MAA individual members and to create customized mailing lists, interest groups and many other forms of communication that will save time, effort and money and simplify many online interactions.
The new AMS is already in the early implementation stages and involves a team made up here of Eileen Gardiner, Ron Musto, Chris Cole and Sheryl Mullane-Corvi. While we maintain the current site, its content will be migrated to the new AMS. The current PayPal and membership modules will follow soon after. We hope to have the complete system up and ready for testing in the first two months of the new year and a functioning new web site and membership system operational in time for the 2012 annual meeting. Please stay tuned.