kludge (noun) an ill-assorted collection of parts assembled to fulfill a particular purpose.
I know I am not the only one who thinks there ought to be a better way to manage a Toastmasters club online, meaning not only the routine meeting agenda but special events and marketing and recruiting campaigns. FreeToastHost, which I’m implicitly criticizing by creating an alternative, offers a system for managing meeting signups, but it’s not so great for general marketing purposes.
Lots of Toastmasters clubs and districts have resorted to kludges like these:
- Use FreeToastHost as the site for a club administration, while using a WordPress site in parallel as the club blog.
- Use WordPress or another web content management system to power the main club website, Supplement it with a Google Drive spreadsheet or some other free cloud software product used for meeting signups.
- Our district uses a FreeToastHost-based website in combination with separate events website, plus a cloud-based event registration service. To his credit, the district webmaster is working hard to assemble these pieces into a coherent whole.
The goal I’m working toward here is to have one coherent platform where you have one password and one user profile to manage multiple functions. You can invite members to signup for meeting roles. You can do general event setups with optional PayPal payments using the RSVPMaker for WordPress plugin (one of my earlier projects) for things like Toastmasters education seminars. And you can use the blog to post news, educational notes, photos, and videos, and take advantage of all the social media integration options WordPress offers either natively or with the help of plugins.
If you would like your own WordPress for Toastmasters website, please fill out the site request form.