COPA 3 - Report to the Board - COPA 3 Website Upgrade - COPA Admin - Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association

COPA 3 - Report to the Board

COPA 3 - Report to the Board

Today we had a project review with the COPA Board of Directors. Below is a summary of what was presented:

Overall Summary

The project is now where we would have liked to have been about 2 weeks ago. By missing that window, we have slipped into a period of higher usage, had a longer impact on user experiences, and have entered the window that is critical for scheduling and launching 2014 activities. Recovering momentum in those activities is our new top priority.

Review of COPA 3 Objectives
The motivations behind this upgrade are of course multiple. A big one has been the organization has for years faced an absolutely staggering turnover rate in membership, on the order of 25% per annum. It is not visible in the forums with the long-term presence of many members, but it is a huge factor for the organization. Multiple initiatives have been launched to "Add membership value", as that lack has been identified in surveys of lost members. Of course, by definition the Forums as they were did not provide that value. Not denigrating them by any means, the forums have always been at the center of this upgrade, optimizing workflows and streamlining their performance. But we needed the facility to add additional value around them for the non-forum-centric.
That is what the blogs and wikis do. Their primary use is not in their traditional sense, but providing a Content Management System to allow COPA volunteers to build content that goes beyond forums. Thus, weather pages, About COPA, Safety, and Tech pages are now member-volunteer editable instead of being in the hands of webmasters. The value of our capture-to-wiki feature is to over time build a 'best-of' of the forums which is not behind our firewall, thus providing useful search results and pushing COPA up in web visibility and providing a better magnet for potential members. And the search benefits for the forum members are a benefit as well.
The Join/Leave capabilities are also a less-visible feature right now, but they will allow us to create new kinds of Special Interest Groups that won't be in general members' streams to annoy them, but will be available to be Joined, to provide better 'attractant' to make the site sticky to 'alumni' and other high-value members.
And, it is essential to provide better support for Regions. Integrating calendars with Region-specific forums that are now in Members views, along with Blogs of past events etc. gives the platform the Regions have needed.
Speed issues
Have completed speedup.  Initial page load 4-5 seconds. Subsequent loads and core pages 1.5-2 seconds. After initial page load, about 300-500ms slower than COPA 2.  Believe we have acceptable performance now, validated by private outreach to some of COPA's loudest voices on the subject

Comparison with top 100 sites on the internet by GTmetrix shows COPA in line with best performing sites, except for Amazon which is a stellar performer. Report available on request.
Site Traffic:
Nov 1 - Jan 9 2014    The down-spike represents cutover to the new site:

Prior year, same period:

(note change of vertical scale from 30,000 pageviews in 2012 to 40,000 in 2013 between the two graphs)
Decline in traffic from the time of the Interregnum Dec 5, 2013, picking up this week. December clearly affected prior to cutover. Effect after cutover is hard to separate from holiday lull that starts around 12/20 as seen in 2012 traffic. But no cliff evident, and traffic seems to have recovered to early-November levels.
Social Engineering
Real Names -
Hover capability has been added to the Reply compose screen
The Board will consider the proposal to change to DisplayNames from UserNames as discussed in this thread.
Badges - Decision to eliminate the current "Leaderboard". The Board will consider the appropriate use of badges and leaderboards.
Member emailing - The Board will consider the options for enabling member-to-member email capabilities

Information Density -
Post list has been tightened, 2"vertical removed from each post. Font density is maximized.
Thread list remains sparser than old site; still 20 threads per page, but scrolling required. No further action planned at this time.
Regions and Safety Program schedules now top priority. Need reliable calendar, emailing capabilities, better styling of key pages. The Board will join the design team for Regional functions.
The Board will consider policies before the enabling of Autorenewal, currently disabled.
Key bugs to be cleared this week. Considerable instability has been occurring due to pace of updates, they will slow considerably now.  

Top priority bugs are:
Member search result incompleteness (believed fixed)
Missing data in admin Membership reports (fixed)
5 minute downtimes on software updates (appears fixed, more testing needed)
Extra emails on renewal
IE11 incompatibility (fixed)
Deleted calendars still show up in ROL integration

Bugs/Issues under investigation
MP4 video play under IOS
Red numbers for unsubscribed topics roll-up into top-level counts

Some deferred bugs that will be awaiting long-term solutions from Telligent:
User's can't turn off signature displays
Errant mid-frame play bar appearing in html5 IOS video playbacks
Uploading a 2nd image to a post fails under IOS

Feature requests not budgeted:
Compact forum thread display
Thread print all
Confidential email
Real Names not visible to visitors
add "Impersonate" button to admin Directory Search results

  • Curt and team:

    Good report. I would add that we acknowledged the progress, however we concluded that we now need to focus on regaining the functionality to support scheduling and communication related to training programs and regional events. In the next several days those on the team involved in this important aspect of COPA are going to make a full court press to get this funtionality in place ASAP.


  • For me as a user and what I do on COPA, I'm getting more and more comfortable navigating and reading threads.  I would like to see more people using the "Like" button.  The like button prevents threads of being bogged down by "thank you message" responses that really don't add value and slow the ability of one to read through all the posts.

  • Andy,

    Thank you for the update.  

    "Information Density -

    Post list has been tightened, 2"vertical removed from each post. Font density is maximized.

    Thread list remains sparser than old site; still 20 threads per page, but scrolling required. No further action planned at this time."

    I had posted a question previously about reading "all" posts in a thread button that we had on COPA 2.1  Not sure if the above addresses this.  Can you or the team clarify if we will be getting that feature back?  When one gets behind, reading "all posts" cuts down on scrolling multiple pages and saves time.

  • David,

    That functionality is included in the "Print All" function, which is listed under 'unbudgeted'. We have not found a ready alternative to provide that capability in this release. We are continuing to investigate changes we might make to ease getting to the next page of posts or threads; the current buttons are rather small and potentially confusing.