As we “roll” into the new year, the KCA is ready to roll out some new features on the KCA website, the most notable of which is the inclusion of a directory.
As many of you longtime Kentlands residents probably know, the KCA used to print a paper directory. The task was laborious and expensive and the directory was never complete or accurate. Homeowners always had the choice to opt out of the directory and some did. Hence, the directory was never complete and due to ever-changing ownership and contact information, the directory was not always accurate. The last directory was printed in 2012 at a cost of approximately $18,000 and that did not factor in staff labor costs.
There was also a directory on the previous KCA website, but when the Board made a decision to task a Communications Committee in 2015 with building a new and improved website, the directory did not transfer to the new platform. In addition, the Committee knew the data in the old online directory was outdated and felt that by creating a new directory there would be an opportunity to update the information.
The process to do that has taken longer and been more complicated than the committee first envisioned. In preparation for the new directory, the Clubhouse staff began to ask homeowners and residents last spring as they updated their amenity passes if they wanted to be in the directory. Only recently was the directory ready for an import of those names into the directory. That import was completed a few weeks ago and the Kentlands directory is now live on the website with nearly 600 entries for Kentlands residents. We hope this is just the starting point and that the number of entries in the directory will grow as more residents opt to be included.
Residents who opted in
If you indicated you wanted to be in the directory you should have received a recent e-mail notifying you that you have been registered for the website and included in the directory. You would have been emailed a universal password and prompted to go to the website, log in and change your password. If you did not receive that e-mail, deleted it or just otherwise cannot retrieve it, go to the website, www.kentlandstowncrier.com, click on the “Resident Log-In” button on the right-hand side of the page and when prompted for your password select “Forgot your password?” You can then follow the prompts to create a new one. (If you don’t know your username, enter the email address that has been registered with the Clubhouse staff; that will also work as your login username.)
Residents who opted out or haven’t been asked
For those who are new residents, do not use the facilities and therefore, have not been asked about your directory preference or have changed your mind about being included in the directory and would like to be added, go to the homepage of the website and click on “Register for resident only access.” You will be asked to enter your name, an email address, a password and your home address (please completely fill that out, so we can confirm you are a Kentlands resident) and a phone number. You will also be asked if you would like to continue to receive the Town Crier on paper, and optionally to list Additional Household Members for the directory.
Once you have registered, either Staff or one of our tech team members will confirm you are either a Kentlands’ homeowner or resident. Based on the number of requests received in a given day, we expect to have that verification take place within 48 hours. After you have been verified you will receive an e-mail to that effect.
You can then go to the “Resident Log-In” button on the home page and log in, using the password you set up when registering. Once you have logged in you will need to change your account to make your information visible to others if you want to be in the directory. You can that by choosing the My Account option on the grey ribbon at the top of the homepage in the upper right-hand portion of the page when you are in your profile. Click My Account>Privacy> Hide my profile from directory and click the radio button for either Yes or No (see photo).
You do not have to be included in the directory to be able to see others who are in the directory but you do have to be registered on the website to view the directory. You will only see the directory option on the grey ribbon at the top of the homepage once you are logged in. Once in the directory you can search by first name, last name, address or additional household members. Remember, if you do not see a resident’s information, it is either because he or she hasn’t registered or doesn’t want his or her info made public in the directory.
Because of the way the data was stored in the database that was imported into the directory, some household records use compound names, i.e. Betty and Bob Smith. If you want to change the way your names are rendered in your profile, you have two options:
- Edit the existing profile by editing the name and e-mail address; after choosing My Profile from the homepage grey ribbon, click on the Settings link (the gear icon) in the upper right-hand portion of your Profile page and choose Edit Profile, or
- Go back to the homepage and follow the steps for “Register for resident only access” and set up a separate individual account. Each individual account must use a unique email address.
The compound names for residents with different last names “Betty Jones and Bob Smith” were not always rendered cleanly when the data transferred. If this is your situation, you may want to edit your profile to fix the sequence of which last name goes with which first name or create separate accounts for each of you using the steps above.
Phase 2 of this process is coming and that is to import all names into the website database so that homeowner’s and resident’s profiles will already exist. This will not make your information public (i.e. add you to the directory); it will only save residents the step of having to fill out all of their information to create a profile. We will send an e-mail blast when this has been completed. You will then be able to go to the “Resident Log In” button on the home page, click “Forgot your password?” and follow the prompts to create a new one. You can then edit your profile and decide if you would like to make your information visible to others (My Account>Privacy>Hide my profile from directory).
Once again for clarity purposes, if you are not logged in, you will not see the directory link on the homepage navigator. If you are logged in, you will always see both the My Profile and My Account links and can change your settings at any time. Our hope is that by giving residents the ability to update their own contact information, our new online directory will never be as out-of-date as the old paper directory used to be over time. If you want to test your privacy settings (i.e. visibility in the directory) you will need to ask someone else who is registered on the website to log in to check if they can find you in the directory. This is a great time to ask your neighbors and encourage them to register if they have not already.
This has been a long, strange journey and we are not finished yet but I think we are getting there.