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Concours Through Time

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COG's Online Evolution



COG Micapeak.com Email Listserver

This email listserv has been around since 1995. It is for discussion and chat among owners and fans of Kawasaki Concours and GTR-1000 motorcycles. It is NOT exclusively for members of the Concours Owners Group, nor is it supported directly by them, although it is associated with that organization. The COG list continues to be somewhat active.

Original 'COG' Website

A group of COG members including Rick Hall launched and administered the COG website concours.org since its inception on March 28 1996.  The domain name was registered in COG’s name and the initial registration payment made by COG. Initially coined COG-Net, the story of the inception and volunteers involved are covered in the following 3 articles from the Concourier archives:

Under the main site there were 6 Area sites managed by the Area Web Masters who are responsible for the content for their areas. A wealth of content was provided by members and non members alike.

Current 'COG'  Website 

As the popularity of the WEB exploded, so did the number of request to take COG's membership registration, payment and merchandise 'Online'. In addition the proliferation of community websites like Facebook, MySpace, and Webshots, that allow members to create their own web pages, post images and their blogs, etc., raised the bar on what members are looking for in a community website.

A Committee formed in August 2007 following a board meeting held at the 2007 National  in Canaan, West Virginia where it was agreed to “form a team by September 1st, to perform online membership registration, merchandise, purchasing, and payment option analysis and report back to the Board with options by November 1st 2007'Then paraphrased: “Areas would find the team members who could do this and funnel them back to Guy who would set up a conference call.

This was announced to the members in the following article in the Spring 2008 edition of the Concourier. COG On-Line to Make Major Changes

Committee Members:

Colin Prior NW Area and committee Chair
Steve Smith NEAD
David Muir COG Merchandise Czar
David Hicks SE Area
Bob Smith SC Area
Carl Metler Membership Director

The committee investigated 9 initial candidates and selected a short list of 4 that included:
Two Software as a Services (SaaS) solutions Memberize and ClubExpress, a Credit Card payment processing plug-in to current Concours.org website, and lastly creating a custom built membership management within the then current COG (Concours.org) website.

The Committee presented a detailed report: Cogmos Committee Report to Board (PDF) to the COG Board who subsequently ratified the Committee's recommendation to use the SaaS solution from Memberize. The SaaS build-out progressed and went live early 2008. 

Upgrades

In October 2010 a new web forum was roll and introduced to members. It is accessed via forum.cog-online.org This forum is based on the lastest Simple Machines Forum, a popular and very powerful forum software. All posts from were migrated from the forum integrated into Memberize before it was was disabled. 

Social Media

More recently COG has entered the realm of social media as additional options for members and friends to network and communicate. These social media pages also provide an opportunity to expand the marketing of the club, with the hope that more Concours enthusiasts will learn about the club and become paid members.

Facebook Group page
www.facebook.com/groups/ConcoursOwnersGroup/

Google+ 
There is a Google+ Community page here:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/102812470758771686767

Twitter
The COG Twitter handle is: COGRiders

Future

The COGMOS (COG Members Online System) is still like any website/system in the process of evolving and as the current IT Officer, I welcome  any suggestions to improve it, so it may better meet the members and guests needs.

 

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IT Officer, Concours Owners Group.

 

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