Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why Choose the Active Youth Network For Hosting

The Active Youth Network offers website and ad hosting for youth sports organizations. The thing that’s emphasized most with their product is their integrated advertising.

Their advertising is completely handled by the company. They choose family-friendly companies to advertise on their websites. By accepting their free website, you agree to have their advertising on your pages. Regions can receive a share (70 percent) of the revenue from these advertisements, which is a great revenue generator for your Region.

They also offer a “QuickAds” solution where your Region can sell ads to local advertisers. These ads can be managed through the Active Youth Network website. By getting local ads, Regions can earn an extra 70 percent commission on top of the 70 percent received from Active Youth Network.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Schedule Your Tweets Ahead of Time

Twitter is fun – but I realize that not everyone has time to sit at their computers or fiddle with phones to send out tweets periodically throughout the day.

If you handle your Region’s Twitter feed and find yourself forgetting or not having time to tweet, here’s a simple solution: schedule your tweets ahead of time! Buffer is a free and easy-to-use app that will save and send your tweets whenever you want.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What Blue Sombrero Has to Offer

Blue Sombrero is a web platform that is specially designed for sporting groups. They are owned by Dick’s Sporting Goods, so they already have a foothold in the sports industry.

Their websites come with a content management system (CMS) that allows you to choose a layout and easily edit the content for that layout. They have a wide variety of themes to choose from, which makes each page consistent across the board. All of their templates are designed to work on all browsers, so you don’t need to worry about cross-browser functionality. Their free-flowing design adapts to screen sizes so it works well on mobile platforms also.

If you decide you want something more customized than what they offer, you can ask for a custom design (for a price, of course) and still utilize their site functionality.

Their websites offer some modules that could be useful to a Region, including scheduling and reporting. To utilize the scheduling module, all you need to do is upload your schedule from an excel file. With a few steps, your schedule is available on your website. As for reporting, they have a bunch of stock reports available for whatever kind of data you need, including player stats!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

No More Clubspaces. Now What?

We understand that many of your Region websites are on the Clubspaces platform, and now that is going away. What to do? We have suggestions of alternate FREE website options for our Regions to switch to. We’ve had some questions come up already, so I wanted to address some of them here in the blog (since they’re common and I’m sure others of you are having the same issues).

Setting Up a New Website
There are a few site platforms that have been suggested.

eTeamz is one option and possibly the easiest. It is free (with a coupon code – email sheam@ayso.org for the coupon) and they will migrate the site for you directly from Clubspaces, so there is little work involved on your end.

Blue Sombrero is another that has been suggested. It is also free and has some of the scheduling modules that were available on Clubspaces. With this site, you will have to migrate your own content. This can be as simple as copy and paste from the old site to the new site. Region 68 in Camarillo, Calif., has been working with Blue Sombrero to migrate their website and they are impressed with their services.

Active Youth Network is another youth sports site provider. This one offers advertising support but is another one where you will have to migrate your content. This provider is free as well.

Google Sites has been recommended as a site provider also. This platform is free and can be set up with a Google account. Sites can be set to private or public, depending on which settings you choose. For a simple layout, this can be an easy choice to move to. You will have to migrate your content to this platform, but again, it’s as easy as copy and paste.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Does Your Region Use Clubspaces?

Websites are an important means of distributing information these days. It's almost expected that everyone and everything will have a website that is easily accessible with all of the pertinent information available at the click of a mouse.

AYSO recognizes this need and has a few solutions that make it so ANY Region can have their own website and maintain it themselves!

We regret that the Active.com team has needed to retire the Clubspaces products but it is to enhance and upgrade what they offer. If your Region currently uses a Clubspaces website product, We want to help in every way we can to make your transition a smooth one.

Here's how to transition Your Clubspaces website

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It’s Registration Season. What Should Be On Your Website?

Lots of Regions are in the thick of registration right now. Parents will be out there looking for places to sign their kids up for soccer. How do you make sure they sign up with your Region?
  1. Make sure your homepage is up to date. Make sure that vital information such a registration times, dates and places are visible or somewhere that they can easily be located. These dates are the first thing parents are looking for when they go to your Region website right now.
  2. Put together an FAQ for Registration. Parents will have questions about registration – what ages can you register your child at? How many registrations are left? I missed a registration, how can I still register? These are all questions that are common during registration, and if you have an FAQ page next to the registration information that contains these types of questions, you will eliminate the need for parents to physically call or email the Region. Don’t know which questions to put on the FAQ page? Ask the Regional Commissioner or the Registrar for your Region (or whoever fields those calls/emails).

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How to Advertise Your Facebook Posts

If your Region has a modest Facebook following, it may not make the most sense to invest a lot of time and money in a comprehensive Facebook advertising plan. But, if you have an upcoming registration event, tournament or fundraising opportunity that you'd like to promote, Facebook's single-post advertising could work wonders.

After posting a photo, video or status update on Facebook, you'll see a button at the bottom of the post that says "Get More Reach" as pictured above. Click on this and you'll see how you can promote just this post on Facebook, either just to your fans or to your fans and their friends.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shorten Your Page Content with Pop-Overs!

Content-heavy web pages can get really long, really fast. There are some ways you can embed small web pages into your website (or hints/tips for pieces of content) with jQuery.

Pop-over windows are an easy way for people to quickly get more information about anything on your webpage, without them leaving the page. We use them on AYSO.org to show video content, or give a little extra information on a “Learn More” link. These pop-over windows are called a lightbox, and there are many different versions of code out there to use. AYSO’s National Office uses the lightbox called Fancybox. It works with images (for an image gallery), inline text, iFrames, Flash files, Google Maps and YouTube. It has been tested on every browser too, so you know it works. You can view demos of Fancybox and download the code here.