Skip to navigation

Smart Matters

Get Connected on YaleNet.orgGet Connected on
Welcome To YaleNet - Boola Boola Bulldog Rules
get connected with your One Click Club
YaleNet is YOU - ADD CONTENT, browse or   Search -->

From Client-Services to Web-Service

Our portal service is continuing its migration from Topaz Groups's roots as a custom client-services technology builder to an easy to use self contained web service.  Our experience in client services have given the product a breadth and depth of features no one else has  for club, community and association managers to efficiently manage participation and interactions of a distributed membership.


Our main project and focus of course has been building a core framework that can handle the particular complexities of groups with dynamic active memberships.  Serving this niche effectively creates interesting and difficult challenges that are similar to the organizational challenges of any large group meeting in the "real" world.  How do you balance consensus building with structures for command and control of decision making.

Online this balance has similar dynamics that have to be translated into procedural policies, first and second into software that effectively enforces those policies - all while requiring no technical html or coding knowledge from our users.

Services Pricing

Getting policies, framework and user interface right leaves our work still half undone.  We have also had to grapple with not only how to explain and package our many features, but also with how to price those features.

Our expenses on the framework over the last two years have now exceeded $200,000 and with that investment has come a rich and complex toolset.  The great strength of this is, of course, that it can do so much.  But the liability we have had to face is how do we focus the presentation of this Great Machine?  It turns out that solving all things is more difficult to achieve and therefore more difficult to explain than solving only some needs of club managers. 

The main obstacle to solving all needs is that our framework was specifically built to be a very configurable toolset that would be best able to answer many variations of permissions, syndication, membership and reporting needs.  But because it can be so varied it requires significant configuration to solve any specific policy or use case need.  This works great in a client services setup, where we reuse the framework for varying client needs.  But the setup is unwieldy for the non-techincal users who are our users.

Even as we realized our need to focus on and deliver a completed specific use case implementation which we could work to polish and package, we have also come to realize a need to segment our functionality to make it more easy to explain our services.

The TopazPort Town Square

Out of this evolution we are currently packaging a solution we are calling the TopazPort Town Square.  This solution will be offered at the lowest possible price in a One-Click-Club format that will allow anyone to set up an affinity club through a simple one step installation form on the web.

We expect this solution to answer all of the immediate content management needs of a club as well as basic membership management such as user registration and user login accounts.

We expect the pricing of this level of service to eventually be free as we work in premium services and sponsorship revenue streams into the package.

The TopazPort Club Manager

Certain services will likely fall into our premium services tier which will be packaged as optional add-ins for our service.  These will include custom management tools, broadcast email services, payment transactions services and privacy features to facilitate multi-tiered conversation within a community group.  None of these services will be required to use our rich feature set and each additional feature is likely to be offered as individual optional add ons.

The TopazPort Brand

We have also settled on TopazPort as the name for our portal service. We hope it captures the spirit and sparkle our portal helps communities explore online.  MassMind and the Massmind Head will continue to serve as the names and icons of our original content service..

Our Central Value Proposition

In short TopazPort  provides:

  1. a robust content management system
  2. a community management system to promote participation of your audience with your website
  3. broadcast tools to communicate via email with your audience
  4. integration into a larger network through which we can easily promote your content, events and promotion ideas