What's New at CGIN

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From #104, January-February 2003

What's New @ CGIN

B Y   K A R E N   Z I M B E L M A NCGIN web site welcome screen

For those of you who like to pay attention to the numbers, here are a few indicators of where things stand for the Cooperative Grocers' Information Network (CGIN):

  • CGIN has over 525 different items in its basic resource library.
  • On an average day, 141 people log on to the CGIN site (28% higher than a year ago) and spend around 11 minutes looking around (14% longer than a year ago).
  • Almost 350 different deli recipes are now listed in our deli recipe exchange.
  • Our site experiences close to 4,400 "user sessions" per month (the number of times someone lands one of our site's pages), up 28% from a year ago and over double the traffic we experienced two years ago).
  • In the most recent month for which we have numbers, users looked at 13,450 CGIN web pages, up 68% from last year and 240% from two years ago.
  • CGIN brings together 117 retail co-op members, and 11 "associate" members.

Of course, many people think that CGIN is primarily the listserve that it makes available to help co-op managers, staff, directors, and members stay connected and exchange ideas. Currently there are 384 people subscribed to the CGIN listserve, and the topics of discussion span all aspects of co-op operations and governance. Recent subjects have included: gift cards and scrip programs, assessing staffing needs during an expansion, board stipends, policies regarding employees donating time to the co-op and employee discounts, POS systems, how co-ops deal with the WIC program, farm tour programs, and the ever-popular nametags for co-op employees!

We hope that most of you recognize and appreciate all that CGIN offers beyond its listserve. In addition to our "basic resource library" and deli recipe exchange, we have a photo gallery that currently features 10 different exhibits. In the past couple of months we've added new exhibits showing displays from Kootenay Country Foods Co-op, a tour of Arcata and Eureka Co-ops, and photos from this year's CCMA conference. Thanks to Deirdrie Lang at the Kootenay Co-op and to Stuart Reid of Seward Co-op for taking the time to pull together these great new exhibits.

CGIN is also sponsoring the co-op "livable wage" project described elsewhere in this issue. We hope to have the model that we are developing, tailored to food co-ops and appropriate for use in any geographic region, on our site in January or February. This model will allow you to fill in data to calculate the basic costs of living in your area, and analyze what base wage you would need to pay, in addition to your benefits, in order to provide a "livable wage" to co-op staff.

Just a few of the new items that are now available to CGIN members on our site include: two emergency plans and a safety manual, policies about product, department standards, elections, grievances, personnel, posting artwork, and basic operations, materials for an internal employee assistance program, sets of evaluation forms for management and non-management staff, membership recruitment and drive materials, and information about community donations.

For those of you looking for new staff, or for those of you who are interested in new challenges, don't forget our job postings page. This is a free service that we offer to any co-op or related organization; it is not limited to CGIN members. The postings are on publicly accessible pages, so anyone can look them over. Stop by the site and check out what's new--we're open 24/7!

Karen Zimbelman is the CGIN administrator: [email protected] or 707/445-4849.

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See other articles from this issue: #104 January - February - 2003