by John Murray, IT Director
One of the Network’s major missions is education! This is precisely why our Network eJournal is available to the public, and not just members. We strongly encourage you to share this information. Browse to https://armedcitizensnetwork.org then select Journal from the red menu bar across the top of the web page and share.
The more observant of you may have noticed some significant enhancements, mainly in our website’s search capabilities.
This was partly driven by a request by our Network president Marty Hayes in response to our defense against the Washington State Insurance Commissioner’s unwarranted actions against our membership benefits organization. He came to me and asked how many times on our website and its publications we had explained the Network’s assistance to members and stated it was not insurance.
That was pretty challenging, because starting in 2008 through January 2011, the Network eJournal was published only as a PDF download. To this day, we have many members enjoying and using the downloadable PDF format. The problem with the PDF format is the inability to search within PDFs. We want anyone to be able to immediately search and enjoy access to all the educational content on our site, without any impediments. To achieve this goal, we have converted all previous PDF content to HTML text. In addition to the new "search" field, you will now see an annual journal article synopsis, a “rollup,” if you will, at the top of each year’s journal index.
As Marty has often stated, “Member education is the core of our mission,” so we cannot encourage you enough to take advantage of this! Again, please share this with friends and family; it’s open to all!
Members Access Features
We do hold back some services for members only. When you log on to our website as a member, you have access to our affiliated attorney list, what to do in case of an emergency (with our after-hours phone number), online access to educational videos and more.
We have now enhanced that with your current membership information, including your membership's expiration date, the address we have on file for you, email and phone. Nearly a third of our calls, emails and other inquiries involve checking the status of your membership, or asking if you've updated your new address with us. While we enjoy talking to you, we hope these features will help you in determining that information at any time of the day or night!
In addition, we've added a link that will allow you to print your own temporary membership card while you wait to receive the printed plastic wallet card we'll be sending to you via mail. Also note the Affiliates link; it will list Network affiliates near you based on your ZIP code.
You may be curious how we are accomplishing this. We maintain a private Member/Affiliate database, to which only ACLD Network staff have access. When you call, fill in a form, enroll or renew your membership, we update this database. We are now pushing select information back up to the website so that you, our members, can check on your current membership status with us. Please note that we update this a couple of times a day, so if you were to renew your membership on Friday evening, you won't see your membership's expiration date update until we process your payment on Monday.
Please also be aware that we do NOT store your financial information, either at our office, or on the website. Every time a transaction is processed, we securely forward that to our payment processor, and never retain that information.
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.