Captains' Quarters Best way to gather member info?

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Original Post


I run a local team for my city. I have a lot of event ideas that I'd like to get in motion, but I need some info from my members to create an event that will work for most members.

I need info like, which part of the city are they located, what day works best for them, what they're an "expert" at (this will be used so that we can create some seminar type workshops lead by members who are really experienced in certain subjects).

I can either make a regular forum post to gather the info from their comments, or I can make a post with a link to a Google Doc Form, where they can give us that info privately, and I can easily sort the data.

Any suggestions? Have any of you needed to do something similar?

Posted at 10:30am Jul 15, 2012 EDT


Etsy needed to build a system so the Leaders can email group members in one email. For example, my team has meetings in person every few months and I always get people telling me they did not know about the meeting because they are not reading the posts frequently.

If we send individual emails it takes a very long time and can be cumbersome. Also, I believe it is considered spamming.

I am on one team that pays for a Ning site but it is a trade team and has 2000 active members.

Any ideas on this topic would be much appreciated.

Posted at 11:01am Jul 15, 2012 EDT

Yahoo Groups is a good way to get things like this organized...only trick is that all of your people have to go there and sign up for it.

Posted at 11:27am Jul 15, 2012 EDT

I have used google docs. I really like how you can create a form and all the info goes onto a spreadsheet.
I think this is the best option and pretty much the only option in regards to privacy.
We are not supposed to post personal information on Etsy forums.
I see several teams requesting emails so that contact can be made with members since Etsy does not have mass mailing for teams.
I don't want to put my email out there even if it was allowed, even if the thread was made private for team only eyes...but a form, going to my captain, sure...I'll do that.

Posted at 12:22pm Jul 15, 2012 EDT

As much as we can develop yahoo and google groups, etc, it's all a lot of work. Here is what I do just to get members on the team:

Before I accept their invite, after their shops are vetted onto the team, we send the new member an email asking for them to join the yahoo, I send an invite to the yahoo group to the member (if they left their email address, if they didn't I have to request it from them). I also send a link in case the yahoo invite went to their spam. Then once the new member accepts the yahoo group invite, I will accept their Etsy shop so it will show up on the team page. Then, I send them a follow up email asking them to go to the Etsy Yahoo discussion site and post their social networking links, and state a personal "commitment" to the team and how they are going to promote (I have them do it in the forum, so all of our members can follow them also). Then, I add all of this info to my personal excel sheet.

I use that excel sheet to record the quarterly check in (which we also send out 170 approix. convo's to members to let them know to check in). WE don't ask them to put their emails out there, but we do ask for their emails in the application - some leave it and some don't.....if they don't, it usually takes a few private convo's to get it - and even then it means that we have to keep it on an excel sheet.

As I said, there ahs to be a little easier way to do all of this, but at this point, I am not sure what it is. I do know that I spend more time being the captain of a team than I spend working on my own shop. The bigger the team is, the more difficult it is. For a team of 160 plus members, we have a solid presence in most all of the social networking sites and promote Vintage Jewelry on Etsy in a very positive manner. I'm very discouraged that Etsy's attention to making the team process a bit easier for the teams is not a priority.

By the way, you got an etsy canvas bag??? Wow, lucky you!

Posted at 4:35am Jul 16, 2012 EDT

one of the requirements of joining our team is to give your email address
we then use Mail Chimp to send out information to our team members - seems to work well - and once invited there they can maintain their own email address and keep it up to date when it changes

Posted at 10:00am Jul 16, 2012 EDT