Society Posthaven

Posthaven is a great solution for small genealogical societies and family associations who want to build an online presence but have neither the money or the experience to support the project. At $5.00 a month for 10 blogs, Posthaven is quite affordable and it is surprisingly easy to use. If you can send an email message, you can post content to a Posthaven site. But - there's always a but - first you need to do a bit of planning and organization. 

Any organization - large or small - needs to set up email accounts for their officers and essential staff. These accounts can be created using an online email service like Yahoo! Mail or Gmail, but should be created using position titles rather than an individual's name. When people rotate in/out of a position, the incoming member updates the account profile and changes the password. He/she then has access to all the historical messages and can quickly get up to speed on what he needs to know. These organizational addresses are the ones that should be used to create any other accounts needed for society operations. For example, the person assigned as the society's webmaster would use the webmaster email address to create an account in Posthaven.

Speaking of Posthaven, it will serve as your society's online home, but that's just the beginning of its capabilities. It can also serve as a mailing list, delivering the latest news and announcements to your members' inboxes. And, since you can create up to 10 blogs in your account, why not also create a private, members-only site supporting two-way conversations. Posting content is as easy as sending an email message and the email delivery service supports replies from your recipients. The reply is added as a comment at the bottom of the original post on the Posthaven web site and is forwarded to everyone on the mailing list. While this could be problematic for a large society, small societies can put it to good use.

Posthaven is built around posts and pages. Posts are used to announce meetings, society news, share tips and other information. New posts are displayed on your Posthaven site in reverse chronological order with the most recent post at the top. Posts are organized using keywords - called tags. Each post is tagged with one or more keywords describing its content before it is published. If you look at the left sidebar, you'll see a list of tags. They serve as the index for the site. Click on any of the tags and you will be presented with all the posts tagged with that keyword. Click the blog's title (Posthaven Gazette on this site) and you're taken back to the home page.

Pages are maintained outside the "flow" of your posts. They are used to present more permanent content - things like a description of your society, how to join and who to contact. Pages are listed at the top of the sidebar. Right now I have two pages - About the Gazette and Posthaven Primer. There's no limit to the number of pages you can create. 

Take a look at the Posthaven Primer below to learn how this platform works. It won't take long to learn how to build and post to your site. For more help getting your small society online, check out The Society Journal. It's full of ideas you can use.

A Posthaven Primer by Moultrie Creek