March 27, 2007

FGC Gathering registration woes

UPDATE, Thursday, March 29: It appears that FGC's website to register for the Gathering is back up. I haven't heard a peep from anyone about having difficulty today.

UPDATE, Wednesday morning, March 28:

"Online Registration is temporarily Closed.

"We continue to experience technical problems with our site. Our technical staff is working hard to identify and address the specific problems. We do not have an accurate estimate of when registration will resume, but we are hopeful that all will be working smoothly by Thursday morning March 29. You are welcome to check back before then.

"Thank you for patience, and I look forward to seeing you at the Gathering.

--Traci Hjelt Sullivan, Conference Coordinator"
There is also a slight change about mail-in registrations. The website used to say something like, "Mail in registration begins March 26..." Now there is a more generic statement:

"Mail-in registrations will be processed when online registration begins, as staff time allows."

FROM FGC's WEBSITE Tuesday afternoon, March 27:
"Please note: If you are trying to register for the 2007 Gathering of Friends, please note that our web server is unable to process the current number of requests. FGC staff are communicating with our internet server provider in an attempt to solve this problem as quickly as possible. We thank you for your patience and appreciate your effort to complete the registration early."

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a techie, I'm a people person.

Some Friends have found their way to me, asking what I know about the trouble with FGC's online registration process.

FGC has been overhauling its website for some time now, including the registration page for the Gathering (note that I am not including links to FGC or the Gathering for fear that the FGC server is already stressed with visitors wanting to register).

My guess is that some major bugs were not "active" or discovered until a large number of visitors logged in nearly simultaneously when registration opened and maxed out the system, making it crash.

But as I said to one Friend who contacted me privately, I'm not a techie, I'm a people person.

Some suggestions

Don't call FGC. Hold the staff in the Light instead. The staff is probably half-crazed (or worse) themselves.

Give it another day or two. Practice patience. Registration for Gathering used to not start until April!

If you are really chomping on the bit and have an Advance Program, consider paying the extra $10 and mail in the paper copy. Keep in mind, though, that the staff has to open the mail and--don't quote me on this--they MAY have to input the information into a crashed website anyway. A better guess is they would input the information into a database, not necessarily attached to the FGC website. Not sure though.

Revisit FGC's website at an unusual time of day or night, when fewer people might be online. If the problem is due to a heavy volume of traffic, this might help--but remember my disclaimer: I'm not a techie, I'm a people person.

Check back here. I'll post any new information I receive that seems to be credible (i.e. comes from an FGC source).



Ruby said...

I managed to register on Friday morning, I'm pleased to say. Everything went very smoothly.

I am really looking forward to this. :-)

Liz Opp said...

Hey, Ruby -

Glad to know you are on-board!