by Lori Ann
Organizing family events always seems to be a hassle... can the new Qlubb.com help? My answer: Yes... but only if you can convince your family.
I signed up on TwitterMoms a few months back to review Qlubb.com, but then life happened (travel, class, readjusting schedules) and I never blogged about it. I did, however, start a Qlubb for the only group I could think of: my family.
We live in 2 countries, 3 states, and 5 cities. We have birthdays that are hard to remember. We plan trips that are hard to coordinate. We host Christmas exchanges that have to be planned. Most of those activities seemed to require a half-dozen emails or phone calls, so I was excited to have an online club ("Qlubb") to keep it all in one place.
I set a password (it gives the same one for every member) and began playing with the features. The birthdays I remembered, I added to the calendar. The ones I didn't, I posted a request under the "Blurbs" (kind of like an ongoing chat) feature for other people to post.
I explained how family members (especially those with cute kiddos) could upload their photos. I used the "files" section to post our 2009 Christmas gift exchange list, generated at Random.org.
And, of course, since this is a group, not a personal message center, I sent invitations to my family members.
All the above-mentioned features work great, and unlike a previous site where we hosted a family group, it actually LOOKS great, too! Stylish and clean-cut, I like being able to see everything at one glance, though there are some limitations (I can't find any way to delete things like calendars that aren't relevant for a group I run, and everyone has equal editing permissions, so I don't feel safe inviting people I don't know
The problem isn't Qlubb's layout or features, it's what happens after the invitations go out. I reworded the default invitation so it wouldn't sound spammy, and sent them out on Nov. 30, 2008. Last week, I was chatting online with one sister, resent the link to her, and she finally joined. Member number two. I've resent all the invitations, texted them, and mentioned it. No more members.
I'm not sure whether this is a Qlubb.com problem or a problem with online groups in general (though our previous Yahoo! group saw everyone join the week invitations went out). If most people are like me, I'm pretty member account-ed out from everything online these days that requires a sign-in.
I used to stick with major accounts, like one on Yahoo, that let me get into multiple features (chats, games, website, groups, email, etc.). Nowadays, it doesn't seem to be realistic (partly because the big guys seem to me to spread themselves too thin and are no longer good at all of what they do), so I have accounts all over: google, flickr, twitter, ravelry, tons of single-topic forums, bookcrossing, several social networking sites, wordpress, Amazon and multiple other online stores, several bookmarking networks... you get the picture.
But is adding yet another place to sign in too much?
Start your own Qlubb (for a book club, a Bible study, a coffee group, or your family!), and let me know how it goes. Do people join?
Even if you don't want or need a Qlubb, what do you think about the way the internet is going? My simple life sometimes seems overburned by so much to keep track of. What about you?
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