The Mommies Network Introduction

Our Mission is to provide a safe, secure, FREE place for mothers to find support and encouragement from other mothers and to empower them to be better women, parents and community leaders
The Mommies Network is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping moms find support and friendship in their local community. We were founded April, 2002 and currently have 119 communities in 33 states, with over 30,000 active members nationwide.

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

First Quarter 2008 in Review

Happy Spring!

Each quarter we like to update everyone on what The Mommies Network has accomplished as it helps us to all stay in touch. We can't believe it's already April, and we're pretty surprised at how much we got done over the past few months!

Partnerships

We're pleased to announce that we have formed partnerships with two non-profit organizations: Newborns in Need and The Breast Milk Project.
    Newborns in Need, Inc. (NIN) is a 501(c)3 charity organized to take care of sick and needy babies and their families; and in cases of crisis, to help where help is needed.http://www.newbornsinneed.org/ We will be talking with all of our Mommies and Dads communities on how they can work with this organization to help needy babies in the United States.

    The International Breast Milk Project is the first organization in the world to provide donor breast milk from the United States to babies orphaned by disease and poverty. They currently have "chapters" that organize and promote breast milk collection as well as social gatherings. TMN is now going to fulfill the social aspect of their chapters, while also providing them with another way to promote their cause.http://www.breastmilkproject.org
Technical Update
    - Created http://status.themommiesnetwork.org as a communication tool for members in the event of a server outage
    - Moved email for all communities to the Google Apps system, freeing our server for more growth
    - Instituted some new metrics for objective historical tracking of server performance, including the "lag index"
    - Increased the time requirement for searches from 15 seconds to 60 seconds as a way to reduce overall server load
    - Instituted blocking for over 200 malicious robots affecting server performance
    - Continued ongoing adjustments to database server configuration for performance improvements
    - Updated the TMN support forums (for TMN volunteers, site admins and managers) to phpBB version 3.0 as the first step in migrating all sites to this version.
Interesting statistics for Q1:
    - Our network averaged 35,415 visits per day
    - The busiest times are typically 9pm-3am (Eastern)
    - Most heavy-duty reading is done at the 6am hour and the midnight hour (Eastern)
    - Leading states for visitors are: NC, VA, CA, MD, NY
    - Leading states for time spent on the site are: NV, AZ, PA, GA, IN
A Note from TMNs President about recent technical problems
We are on a dedicated server. From all our research, we have more than ample room and processing speed to do what we are doing. We believe that it is either a configuration issue with mySQL, disk I/O issues or maybe a combination of both. We just moved all of the passwords to a new system that may help alleviate the problem. We are also working on changing the way our cloning works so that the identification information is stored in a config table on the database rather than in a file, and that the information is stored in cache when a person calls it up, rather than having to call it up with each page load. This should also alleviate some problems... but it just takes time to get all of the changes made.

We feel fairly certain that there is some major stumbling block that if we just find it, it will completely relieve the system bog-downs... but we just haven't found that yet. The configurations are incredibly complicated and there are millions of different combinations... the I/O issues -- we are working to resolve, but it basically involves re-writing a significant portion of code, not to mention setting up all of the tables. We are working diligently on these things, but are limited by the time we have available... I do assure you, however, that every moment of spare time is focused on resolving these issues. We do not like to have our members, our site admins and our other volunteers angry and frustrated! We are doing everything we can, within our resources, to resolve these problems as soon as possible.

Pennies for Paxton
THANK YOU to everyone who contributed and passed the word around about our charitable drive for http://www.CaringBridge.com in honor of Paxton Griffith. Together we collected over $4,000 (actual donation will be less due to PayPal fees) to help this non-profit organization assist families in communicating with their loved ones during a health crisis. Many members of our Network benefit from this organization, and at this time we especially remember Paxton Griffith, the four-month-old daughter of Lacey and Jennifer Griffith - a valued TMN volunteer, site administrator, and fellow mommy. Paxton passed away on February 29. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/paxton

Welcome Our Newest Communities
We opened 9 new Mommies communities in the first quarter: SEGeorgiaMommies (GA), OttawaMommies (ON, Canada), SEWisconsinMommies (WI), TemeculaMommies (CA), TooeleMommies (UT), SalemMommies (OR), MidessaMommies (TX), KCMommies (KS/MO), WichitaMommies (KS) which brought us to 75 communities across 25 states and 1 Canadian province (then the first weekend in April we opened 6 more Mommies and 1 more Dads communities so we're actually at 82 now :D )

Our New Network Administrators and NA Managers
We could not manage such a large amount of communities without our Network Administrators! These "veteran" site administrators each guide several TMN or TDN communities and serve as a back-up when the SA takes time away. You can find our who is the NA for your community, and how to contact him/her by visiting your University forum. In the first quarter we added two NA Managers and five new NAs.
    Chelle Osborne (former SA for UnionCountyMommies (NC)) and Michelle Finnegan (former SA for CharlotteMommies (NC)) are now our NA Managers. They guide, back-up and manage our team of 13 Mommies and Dads Network Administrators. Our newest NAs are as follows, we appreciate their wiliness to help other communities have as much success as their own!

    Jeannie Toberman - retired site administrator for AlamanceMommies (NC)
    April Rink - founder and site administrator for SWPiedmontMommies (NC)
    Lori Fleming - co-site administrator for LakeNormanMommies (NC)
    Margie Gilbert - founder and site administrator for SouthValleyMommies (CA)
    Crystal Seaton - former co-site administrator for TriangleMommies (NC)
    Chrissy Thomas - site administrator for PhoenixMommies (AZ)
    Helene Perez - founder and site administrator for BuffaloMommies (NY)
Happy Birthday!
We must be getting "old" - just look at this list of one and two year old communities!
    2 Years: HonoluluMommies (HI), FrederickMommies (MD), LakeNormanMommies (NC), UnionCountyMommies (NC), SLOCountyMommies (CA), UtahCountyMommies (UT), CentralFoothillsMommies (NC), CentralPiedmontMommies (NC)

    1 Year: IndyMommies (IN), HighCountryMommies (NC), MyOmahaMommies (NE), SaltLakeCityDads (UT), BuffaloMommies (NY), CamdenMommies (NC), CharlotteAreaDads (NC)
Updated Community Logos
Look up and most of you will see that your community logo has been updated (we are still uploading logos and have finished thru sites that start with P). In order to help brand TMN and TDN we altered the logo tagline to mention these organizations instead of the area covered by your community.

Site Gear Shop Changes
Unfortunately we wasted our time and in some cases you wasted your money on merchandise from the Mommies and Dads gear sites we set up earlier this year. The quality of the items we purchased to try out this company were great, but the feedback we got from many members was very different. So we cut ties with that company and switched everyone over to Printfection. Your community store can be found at http://www.printfection.com/sitename (please make sure you type in your site name and don't just click on this link ;) ). Profits go to each individual community.

Updated the Community Rules
Please re-read the Community Rules (click Rules, top of screen) as a couple of these were updated. The biggest changes were to rule #8 (promoting other groups) and to the part about "Property of The Mommies Network" at the very bottom. Please keep in mind that you cannot speak on behalf of TMN or this community unless you have permission to do so. So, for example, if you're mad at a local business please keep our name and the name of this community out of it.

Membership Blitz results
Congratulations to the following communities who had outstanding results in our Second Annual Q1 Membership Blitz. Each first place community will receive $100 from TMN in their site account.
    Greatest Membership Increase: 18+ Month Old Communities
    1. CharlotteMommies (NC) 633
    2. TriangleMommies (NC) 600
    3. RichmondMommies (VA) 289

    Greatest Membership Increase: <18>
    1. RochesterMommies (NY) 322
    2. FredericksburgMommies (VA) 262
    3. PhoenixMommies (AZ) 240


    Greatest Percentage Increase in Membership: 18+ Month Old Communities
    1. RichmondMommies (VA) 49%
    2. TriangleMommies (NC) 36%
    3. TriadMommies (NC) 35%


    Greatest Percentage Increase in Membership: <18>
    1. GreenvilleMommies (NC) 393%
    2. RochesterMommies (NY) 275%
    3. SCValleyMommies (CA) 245%
Community Charitable Efforts
Here are some of the charitable efforts made by TMN/TDN communities during the first quarter:
    LincolnCountyMommies (NE) collected toys, toiletries and clothing for The Bridge of Hope Child Advocacy Center, which was established to help ease stress on children involved in abusive situations.

    LakeNormanMommies (NC) collected disposable cameras at their 2nd Birthday Party to benefit a local camp for children with illnesses and diseases. These cameras will ensure that the children attending camp will be able to document their time at camp with memories that can last forever.

    UnionCountyMommies (NC) had a towel drive for a local homeless shelter. They also participated in the American Red Cross Fashion + Passion Show and raised over $800 for their local ARC chapter.

    PhoenixMommies (AZ) held a clothing and diaper drive for a local shelter.

    TriangleMommies (NC) partnered with McDonalds and McKeeman Communications Group to promote and support the Share Your Heart drive benefiting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of NC. They hosted playdates at local McDonalds during the first two weeks in February and encouraged members to purchase $1 hearts for the drive - most purchased multiple hearts. They also hosted home playdates and Valentines playdates where members could purchase hearts.

    CharlotteMommies (NC) had an after Christmas Toy Drive and a Spring Auction which raised $2794 which was split between North Carolina Parents of Blind Children and Inspire the Fire.

    CharlotteAreaDads (NC) held their first quarterly Habitat for Humanity volunteer day, doing some shingling and other work on a house in central Charlotte.
Want to Help?
We added a page with volunteer opportunities to TMN.org so if you're interested in helping out please visit http://www.themommiesnetwork.org/volunteer.php

Please remember to GoodSearch and GoodShop
The Mommies Network earns $0.01 for every search done on our behalf on http://www.GoodSearch.com - funds we use to help keep this community free. Please consider switching to GoodSearch as your standard search engine to help us fund this organization. You can also make online purchases via http://www.GoodShop.com and TMN earns a percentage.

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Thank you!

Heather, Suzanne, Becky, Amy & Amanda
Board of Directors
The Mommies Network

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