Dear (Contact First Name),
So, what have we been up to at Genlighten? To put it in musicians' terms, we've been woodshedding. I'm learning to play the fiddle and when I want to work hard at taking it to the next level I head to the (imaginary) woodshed to learn new tunes and polish the old. Dean's been doing the web developers' equivalent of that.
He taught himself a programming language called Ruby on Rails and for more than a year he's been sitting (and standing) in front of his computer mornings, nights, and weekends creating a new version of Genlighten.
Inspiration for the remodel came from user feedback and from our own brainstorming sessions and we're excited about the improvements. Here are four significant changes:
- Keyword Searching--Clients will find providers using search terms for location, record type, and/or repository name.
- On-site Messaging--Site users will communicate through "Messaging Central." Request-related messages will also appear on project tracking pages.
- Fixed-fee and Hourly Research--Providers will be able to offer fixed-fee and/or hourly research with optional retainer and invoice making open-ended projects feasible.
- Shared Tracking Pages--Clients and providers will manage open projects using step-by-step tracking pages.
Dean's testing and tweaking the code and I'm finishing up tutorials for the new site. We expect Genlighten 2.0 to go live by the end of June. It will be an exciting milestone for us, but we actually see it as a beginning. We'll continue to make site improvements and we already have a few new features on our to-add list.
We demonstrated the new site at our National Genealogical Society Conference booth in Cincinnati and a lot of people said, "That's cool!" We hope you'll think so, too.
Counting the days until the launch,