CivNet's New Direction - Cross Channel Communication
• Charlie Wisoff
Why Cross Channel Communication?
One of the biggest barriers we've heard to using CivNet is that people don't want ONE MORE PLATFORM to deal with. In fact, we started noticing that community project leaders often have trouble getting all their volunteers to consistently use one existing communication platform, even if it's a common one like email or Facebook. Older people might like email, whereas younger people use text and Facebook.
The idea behind cross channel communication is to help project leaders meet their volunteers where they are (digitally) through a distributed communications system. Now, you can post to CivNet and have that message get distributed to whichever communications platform your volunteers prefer. Your volunteers can receive and reply to your messages via email, text, or Facebook Messenger without ever having to sign in. The thread of your communication is available on CivNet for anyone who missed the conversation and wants to get involved. Check out the demo video to see how it works!
How Does Cross Channel Communication Work?
- Your project will have a dedicated email address and phone number. When project members reply to that address or number their message will get distributed to all other members on their preferred platform. Members DO NOT have to sign in to communicate with each other.
- Currently, project admins set preferences for project members. This dictates whether they receive messages via email or text.
- By default, all your projects will be switched to "private", and other CivNet users will have to request to join. Non-project-members will only be able to see your project title, who the admin is, and a short description of the project.
- All messages show up as posts. There are no comment level messages anymore.
- You will be able to search for other civic projects, but that will happen through a new "Discover Mode" on the site.
- Search your project discussion by text and tags, such as call to actions and discussion topics.
- Next platforms to integrate: Facebook Messenger and Slack (please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to see another communication platform integrated!).
Please email us at email@example.com if you have any feedback or suggestions!