Headquarters News

More connections, more support: Still en route!

Art by our very own TOPS News designer Dave Zylstra

You guys read the magazine, right?

Real talk, I love TOPS News. It’s a big reason why I took this job — I still adore magazines, print products, longform journalism, you name it (even though I realize that’s not very “on generation” for many millennials, lol). I even got my career start in print journalism. I’m so happy to be able to write and edit for this excellent publication.

The magazine, in my opinion, is one of the best perks of TOPS membership. You get to read about what other chapters are doing, glean some inspiration for programs and workouts, see the latest TOPS “royalty,” what’s trending in the medical world, etc. TOPS News is such a fantastic resource.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about the inside front cover, from the January-February issue. Did any of you see it and wonder what the heck we were talking about?

Here’s what it said:

More Connections.

More Support.

More Options — All at your fingertips.

Ever wanted the possibility of 24/7 support, but you weren’t sure where to turn? Coming to your phone, tablet, or laptop in 2023, we’re rolling out a new space for TOPS members.

This will be an exciting time for our great group! If you love the idea of our community and checking in with your TOPS friends online, but you’re looking for something that goes beyond the typical social media channels, then you’ll want to stay tuned. Something big is brewing—we can’t wait to tell you more.

So, WHAT is all that? 🤔

I ask, because I’m ready to tell you a little bit more … my team has been working on this almost ever since I started at TOPS, back in June.

And we are SO excited!

Here are some new details:

  • It’s coming to Coordinators first, likely at the end of the month. (Stay tuned!)
  • Once we have Coordinators on board, we’ll roll out to a select group — likely our TOPS online members, to see what you think and gather some constructive criticism.
  • Although this new “space,” as we’ll call it, IS indeed online, it’s intended for all members, both online and in-person.
  • You do not have to be very computer-savvy to enjoy this new offering. I think you’ll find this to be pretty intuitive and easy to use!
  • It will give you a community space, for both members and Field Staff, and cut down on our Facebook reliance. (I say “our” as a collective “our”). I realize that Facebook is king when it comes to a lot of adults and social media. But this isn’t that. Although I will encourage you, if you’re on Facebook, come follow our real TOPS page, rather than one of the 900 spinoff groups! 🙂 No shade to the spinoffs, but it can be hard to tell which account is truly the official TOPS page. It’s this one, by the way. Give us a follow, if you haven’t already?

All right, that’s it for now. Coordinators, watch your inbox for some more specifics by the end of January.

Members, you’re next!

Any guesses as to what exactly we’re cooking up over here at Headquarters? My comments are open!

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14 thoughts on “More connections, more support: Still en route!

  1. I would very much like to be able to.connect with tops members/community without having to use Facebook. I refuse to do Facebook so I miss out on alot.

  2. A TOPS interactive app? I do use Facebook, and I think Facebook is a great option for a lot of people. And as far as “900 spinoff groups”, my chapter and my area are a couple of those,and I take a little bit of offense to that. I think it’s just another good way for chapters and areas to connect between meetings, with inspiration, photos, etc. Sure, I do think something for those who don’t use Facebook is needed ( I have a few members who fit that category), but to put down the Facebook groups, or any other social media pages, is unnecessary. Thanks.
    Wendy Becker, member, KOPS, leader, and advocate from WNY

    1. Hi Wendy!

      I appreciate your comment — it’s often necessary to look at things from another side, or a fresh perspective, and I can see what you mean!

      Facebook will always remain a place online, so if people want to stay in those groups, they’re certainly welcome to.

      From my perspective, if you’re a new TOPS member, it might be hard to identify which is our “official” page, or the page run by our organization, because of all those extra groups floating around out there, many of which are private or exclusive. Even when I first looked us up, upon accepting this job last summer, I had a hard time determining which was the real TOPS account — so that gave me pause, and made me wonder about what new or prospective members might be searching/finding in their early days. We want to seem appealing, inviting and welcoming; and finding us on social media seems like it should be an intuitive thing. (I hope it is, but I still worry about that!)

      Anyway, I’m glad chapters and areas are connecting between meetings and sharing inspiration. That’s great! Our new space that we’ll be rolling out — not an app, but I do love that idea for the future! — will be a place where we can do even more sharing and connecting. And I look forward to the fact that it won’t involve Facebook. We can make sure it’s our active membership in there (which we can’t always do on FB), discussions can be a two-way conversation with HQ, and your personal data won’t be at risk.

      Facebook hasn’t always been the most ethical over the years when it comes to our privacy, so I DO take issue with that. I can’t, in good faith, promote FB, knowing that they’ve sold/breached our privacy.

      Anyway, I hope you can see what I’m getting at. I’m glad you chimed in – I could have worded that more carefully. Glad you’re with us as a member, leader, KOPS and advocate! We appreciate you and all you do.


      1. Thank you for that insight..and I apologize for getting so defensive! Lol.. I am looking forward to finding out what you have in store for us! I have several members who don’t do Facebook or Instant Messenger, so perhaps they could get into something different. Thanks for all you’re doing for us. 🙂

        1. I didn’t think you were defensive in a bad way! 🙂 I’m glad you took the time to drop me a comment – a few days ago and again right now. Thanks, Wendy!

  3. I look forward to this new space for us to gather and exchange ideas, gain support and discuss our struggles. Thanks in advance for looking outside of the Facebook box.

    1. Thanks for saying that, Laura! And hey, we have to Zoom one of these mornings and chat about pickleball. I’ll drop you a line! 🙂

  4. Hello
    I am wondering? I want to get a Lucky Duck. I think everyone our chaapter will-not all have computers to order. Can we do a grup order for them???

    Thank you

    1. Absolutely, Laurie! You can email me if you have any questions about how to place the order. -Michelle (mganley@tops.org)

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