COG's Online Evolution
COG Micapeak.com Email Listserver
The COG list on Micapeak.com has been around since 1995, and is a throwback to the time of when internet listservers were a common thing. It provided an internet based 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 our organization. It The COG list still exists here, although only a small number of users are still active.
Original Concours.org Website
A group of COG members, including Rick Hall, launched and administered the first COG website concours.org 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:
As the popularity of the WEB exploded, so did the number of member requests to take COG's membership registration, payment, event, and merchandise 'online'. In addition, the proliferation of community websites like MySpace, Facebook, Webshots, and others allowed users to create their own web pages, post images and create blogs, etc., raised the bar on what members are looking for in a community website.
A Web Committee formed in August 2007 following a COG Board of Directors meeting held at the 2007 National in Canaan, West Virginia. 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."
2007 Committee Members:
The committee investigated 9 initial candidates and selected a short list of 4 that included:
The Cogmos Committee detailed report was presented at the November 2007 COG Board of Directors meeting, where the directors subsequently ratified the Committee's recommendation to use the SaaS solution from Memberize. The SaaS build-out progressed and went live early 2008. A general announcement was provided to members in the following Spring 2008 Concourier magazine article "COG On-Line to Make Major Changes," by Colin Prior.
COG-Online Forum Upgrade 2010
In October 2010 a new web forum was rolled out and introduced to members. The forum was based on the lastest Simple Machines Forum, a popular and very powerful forum software. All posts from were migrated from the forum integrated within Memberize before it was was disabled.
COG Online Upgrade 2020
In 2015 a committee was formed to begin researching and evaluating web services upgrade options as Memberize was unsupported and becoming long in tooth. The project began to move forward in 2017 and led to the choice of Wild Apricot as the member services SaaS and Xenforo as the web forum software. In 2019 the forum plug-in bridge to integrate user authentication was outsourced and project managed by Brian Heiple. Over time several members have participated on the committee. As part of this migration the club once again began using the concours.org as its primary domain for web and email services. This is the final team vital to bringing this complicated project to completion and who were part of the August 2020 web migration:
COG has entered the realm of social media in 2008 and created accounts 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.
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 suggestions for improvement.
IT Officer, Concours Owners Group.