We’ve been a huge fan of flockNote over the past couple years, but changes are coming (I get nervous when my favorite social networks make “improvements” — Have you seen MyChurch.org lately?). This week, Matthew Warner sent out an e-mail to all members of the flockNote community, giving us a peek of what’s to come. There will be a lot of new features, a sleeker look, and an easier way to organize your groups, just to name a few.
On the downside, there will be a fee to create/administrate a Network, but on the flip-side, this will get rid of advertisement clutter, support the volume of all the new features, and improve the quality of flockNote. And membership to the Network will always be free for your group members (parishioners/members/subscribers of a created group or “feed”). Please read more about this fee here. (Word on the street is that leaders already using flockNote may get a special discount for signing up ; )
Matthew has invested a ton of time to enhance the features of this already invaluable tool for the church. I don’t know how he finds the hours in a day to do everything that he does. On top of programming wonderful applications like: TweetCatholic.com and QuoteCatholic.com, Matthew has his extremely enjoyable-to-read blogs, Fallible Blogma, and is a contributor for the National Catholic Register blogs. Matthew is a very humble guy and someday I hope to meet him in person.
Here are the TOP 10 new features coming to flockNote:
1. Own Your Network. Each parish/diocese/organization can now create their own “Network.” This is similar to the current “parish page,” except that admins for the Network now have total control over all lists (previously called “feeds”) created for the page. Each Network can send as many notes as they like – and can also keep track of basic Network stats to monitor subscriber count, Network growth and more.
2. Easily Add Members. Admins will now have the ability to add, organize and remove people from their FlockNote lists. Subscribers will still be able to subsequently opt-out of a particular list, but leaders will be able to add new members without having to wait for them to subscribe themselves.
3. Gather Parishioner Contact Info. Admins for a list will now have access to each subscriber’s contact info. This allows parish leaders to use FlockNote as an “information gathering tool” for parishioners (for registration or otherwise) and gives parishioners an easy way to keep their contact info up-to-date. We will also be creating other helpful parish tools in the near future (like call sheets, attendance rosters, mailing labels, a parish directory, etc.)
4. Embed the FlockNote in Your Parish Website. Networks will now be able to embed the entire FlockNote experience into their own website. Parishioners will be able to register for FlockNote, subscribe to parish lists, login, edit subscriptions, view and respond to notes (including polls and event RSVPs), browse, etc. – all on their parish website, without ever having to visit FlockNote.com directly. This adds more value to the parish website, while also making it easier for parishioners to engage.
5. Expanded Subscription/Registration Options. Members can now easily subscribe to lists via email, txt message, Twitter DM, Facebook, RSS feed or the website. Also, our new “rapid registration tool” provides a quick and easy interface for group leaders to let members register and subscribe right there at a meeting in real-time.
6. Easier Import/Export. It will be even simpler to import existing mailing lists directly into FlockNote. Likewise, Networks and Lists will also be able to export all of their subscriber data to a .csv file that they can then import into their parish database to sync up with current records.
7. New “Note Types,” including Polls, Events and Scheduled Notes. In addition to creating normal notes, users can now send polls (with graphical voting and results) and event invitations (with RSVP counts and event information, similar to Evite). Users will also be able to schedule notes in advance. So instead of having to send notes immediately, admins can set their scheduled notes at the beginning of the week or month to go out at later specified times.
8. Easily Connect with Other Online Communication Tools. When sending a new note, users will have the option to also have that note update their Facebook fan page status, post it to their wall and/or update their Twitter status. You can also sync your FlockNote list with your RSS feed.
9. Easily access other Catholic resources. We will continue to offer other valuable Catholic resources through FlockNote, free for all users. This includes the Daily Readings, Daily Catholic quote, Catholic news, Catholic blogs, etc.
10. Facebook and mobile apps. Coming soon will be a fully functional Facebook application, an iPhone application and a mobile version of flockNote.com made to be easy to use in mobile browsers.
These top 10 features are just the beginning. Look for the new FlockNote early this summer and feel free to contact Matthew Warner personally with any questions.
Below are some related links to flockNote: