Monday, April 30, 2012

The Group Search Inquiry Process

The new Group Search feature has an Inquiry process which allows potential group members to easily submit inquiries to groups in which they are interested, and then allows the group and organization leaders to manage the queue of inquiries. The key goal of the inquiry process was to "not let anyone slip through the cracks".

Once an organization leader decides they are interested in being searchable, there are some steps they should follow:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Group Search Site

The core of the brand new Group Search functionality for is the aptly named Group Search Site.

Once an Organization decides to set their Organization as Searchable, they automatically get this new Group Search Site, and it's URL is displayed on the main Organization Leader Site. This allows Organizations to add a link from their web site to the Group Search site. Group Search Site
The Group Search site will display all groups within an Organization in both a map and list view. The map begins centered on their location based on the best guess to their location based on their internet address. Potential Group members can then enter a specific zip code, and specify a smaller or bigger search radius.

Each group then displays the Group name, description, and some information derived from data already stored within like age ranges and next scheduled event. You can see those details on the Blue group, which is the 3rd group from the bottom of the list in the screenshot. (This is test data to protect the anonymity of current users and groups). This initial information provides a first pass at filtering groups.

The logo in the upper left corner of the page can be uploaded by an Organization Leader to personalize this page.

Group Details
Clicking on one of the groups brings up more detailed information about the group. Each Organization may define a set of meta data which they would like each group to fill out. For instance, on this example, the current series, gender, and marriage status for the group was requested by the Organization, and answered by a Group leader. This once again allows potential group member to filter the groups in which they are interested.

Once a potential group member finds a group in which they are interested, they may submit an inquiry. This inquiry is emailed to both Group Leaders and to Organization Leaders, and will be listed on specific pages on the Group and Organization Leader Sites to allow Group and Organization Leaders to follow up as appropriate. A 'Inquiry Sent' marker will be shown on each group which a potential group member has submitted an inquiry, in addition to the confirmation email sent to the potential group member.

The iNquiry Attention Govenor and inquiry process will be detailed in a subsequent blog post. Click here for more details on the overall Group Search release.

Group Search release!

We've been a bit quiet here at while we've finished up our newest feature: Group Search!

Most users of only interact with the Member Signup Sheet site. However, there are simple but powerful leader tools for Group leaders to manage their groups. In addition, all groups in belong to an Organization, and Organizations also have leader tools to allow them to manage their hundreds of groups.

This new Group Search functionality is optional for all Organizations, and defaults to off. However, if you are an Organization which wishes to provide a self service ability to potential group members to search for good matching groups, this feature is for you!

Group Search contains several specific enhancements:
  • The Group Search Site
    The site which potential group members seek groups and submit inquiries to group leaders
  • The Inquiry Process
    A set of emails, rules, and descriptions which ensure that inquiries made from the Group Search site do not fall through the cracks
  • The Group and Organization Leader Inquiry management pages
    New pages on the leader sites allowing Group and Organization Leaders to manage their open inquiries
  • Group Custom Meta Data
    Allows custom information to be set by Organization Leaders and answered by Group Leaders. This allows for information specific to your kind of organization to be displayed on the Group Search Site
  • And the iNquiry Attention Governor
    We can't just call it the Nag system, can we?... A set of emails which are generated to Group and Organization Leaders intended to keep Inquiries from sitting without followup for too long.
We will post Blogs on each of these systems over the next week or so, the first of which, the Group Search Site, is already posted via the link above. We'll update this post with the links as we post subsequent blogs.