Online Group Signup Tool
Currently, the process of converting paper signup sheets that are collected during our summer outreach work into memberships on forums.e-democracy.org is labor intensive. The process involves the following steps:
- Enter information from paper signup sheet into a spreadsheet
- Send an email to the captured addresses to test the valitity of the provided email address and offer the user a chance to opt-out of joining a group
- Create a CSV based on all of the addresses that have not opt-ed out or bounced and upload them the group they have signuped for
- Track various steps in the process, and statistics regarding # of paper signups, # of bounces, # of opt-outs, # of successful signups, signup event, and signup volunteer.
Some of these steps can be automated - namely steps 2 through 4.
Drupal Signup Tool
To automate steps 2 through 4, we are planning to develop a web tool based on Drupal. This tool will allow the user to enter information about potential group members into a database that can be edited when needed. Once all the information for a gorup of potential members has been entered, the tool will send the verification/opt-out email and keep track of bounces and opt outs. After a set period of time, a CSV will be generated based on successful email addresses and made available for download. The tool will also keep track of the statistics mentioned in #4.
While any number of platforms could be used for this idea, we have choosen Drupal not only because it is a good match for our needs, but also as a chance for our organization to become more famaliar with the tool in preperation for the Electronic Block Clubs idea.
Multi-Platform Signup CSV
In its first version, this tool will produce a CSV designed for GroupServer. However, this tool can be of use to any individual or organization who wants to create an online space for neighborhood dialog using any number of platforms. Thus, future versions of this tool will include the ability to produce CSV files made for other online platforms.