Today iZoca launched new architecture that provides groups the option to have content such as photos, discussions and events available to everyone and anyone, even those who are not members of iZoca. This “public page” release is important because now individuals can participate in groups that have both private and public content. iZoca’s unique group networking architecture provides members the ability to stay connected and up-to-date with all their groups through the use of tools including the iZoca Calendar.
Groups and organizations can now make group content on iZoca available to the public to promote their mission, products and services. Individuals are currently using iZoca groups to communicate with others of similar interest and now with this latest upgrade, people browsing to iZoca can explore these groups and obtain information about topics and discussions that interest them. If they would then like to participate in these groups they can simply sign up for iZoca and join.
Now on iZoca, members can join groups with a variety of privacy settings and strategically target their information. For example, family photos from last week’s picnic can be shared privately with your family, discussions about a block party can be shared solely with your neighbors and Jimmy Buffet’s touring schedule can be made public for all to view and enjoy. Information is delivered to iZoca members in an easy to use format to keep them up-to-date and connected to the groups of people in their lives. We invite you to join iZoca and begin exploring new ways to connect your world!
Working behind the scenes at iZoca provides an interesting glimpse of the types of groups being created on the website. There are some obvious groups being formed, like ones for family, but we are also finding other affinity groups popping up as well.
One example includes fitness groups where members who belong to them are embracing and utilizing the website to better communicate and schedule. Fitness and sports activities usually go hand in hand with a training schedule or calendar. There is a running group in the Albany region who posts races on the iZoca calendar in hopes of generating an improved turnout.
Runners and athletes naturally seek out similar minded individuals to discuss personal goals and gain advice. Groups of this nature can provide encouragement to those in training.
There are even some unique athletic groups on iZoca including ones for Tae Kwon Do which require a complete class schedule to help students achieve specific goals.
To check out fitness groups on iZoca:
• Log in on iZoca
• Click on “Find a Group” located on left side of “My World” page
• Click on “Categories”
• Click on “Fitness and Health”
Also feel free to create your own fitness group! It doesn’t have to be a formal club, you can just invite some friends who love being active as much as you.
Since we began our work at iZoca, our primary focus has been limited to building the basic architecture of the website. Today we released new web pages to provide individuals, groups and organizations more information about how iZoca can help them schedule, connect and stay organized. There are endless possibilities for groups on iZoca that can be demonstrated with this latest upgrade. For example, you will now find tools to get your “My World” calendar on the go and can create a simple profile about yourself when you join a group. We have created a “learn more” section that explains how iZoca is currently being utilized by some select groups and have profiled them to provide creative ideas on ways the platform can be used.
If you are just getting started on iZoca here are just a few suggestions for groups you can create:
Some of these groups are organizations that can further be broken down into:
Board of Directors
We keep you connected to all of your groups at the same time. Once you join or create groups you are always one click away from new discussions, photos, events and more. Your personal “My World” calendar keeps you up-to-date on all the events that are scheduled. You can also connect to your calendar using your Blackberry, iPhone and other devices and applications such as Outlook, Google and Yahoo calendars.
We encourage you to explore iZoca to experience all the possibilities for you and your groups!
As they say in that television jingle “its the most wonderful time of the year…” No, not that time of the year, the other time. You know, the one when all the kids go back to school! While the idea of having the kids back in school might evoke visions of a return to peacefulness and sanity at home, it does bring with it some challenges of its own. All of a sudden there is a need to get organized again.
While summer is often a time for relaxation and forgetting about the calendar and clock on the wall, the return to school life is a return to organization, schedules and an attempt to keep family on the same page. Between homework, after school activities, dinner coordination, TV rules, shower times, etc.., family life with kids in school requires a bit more structure and thought than the lazy days of summer.
A fantastic way to cope with these challenges and keep them fun and creative is to create a family group on iZoca.
Each iZoca group has its own calendar where you can coordinate everything from morning shower schedules to after school activities. Does mom have the after school basketball pickup duty on Monday or Wednesday? When was that open house?
Often in my house, we have attempted to carry on “coordination discussions” over dinner. It’s a great way to bond and feel connected to the goal of family success. But, very often, it’s been tough to follow up on any of these dinner discussions. Unless dad takes out the Blackberry during dinner (which is not allowed right?) he is never going to remember that he committed to after school practice pickup. And, if you’re like me, with kids that are of college age, the whole “family dinner conversations” might be logistically impossible. iZoca discussions are a terrific way to continue these conversations away from the table. There is no substitute for family bonding over dinner, but how do you manage to remember what people committed to or started conversations about?
It is often tough to get everyone engaged in a family conversation or decision. Somebody has dishes, somebody has homework, someone is showering, someone is watching their favorite television program. And yes, somebody is doing something online. Teenagers do more of their homework on family computers these days. Mom and dad pay bills online, research and make household purchases and even stalk their kids on social networks like Facebook and MySpace. Additionally, with cell phone browsers, including iPhones and Blackberry’s, more and more of family life has an online connection.
With an iZoca family group, you can take advantage of today’s connected world. Whether it’s the follow up discussion from dinner, the morning shower schedule or sharing summer photos, an iZoca family group is a fantastic way to stay connected, organized and have fun. Additionally, with iZoca features like “My World On The Go” family members can have access to their family schedules on their iPhone, Blackberry or other portable device that accepts calendar subscriptions.
When you create your family group on iZoca, you have complete control over who is invited and its level of privacy. Its easy:
- Choose “Create a Group”.
- Under the “Visibility”, choose “member only – group content is only available to members”.
- Under “Membership”, choose “invite – an invitation is required”.
- If you don’t want others to know your family group exist, you can uncheck the “make this group searchable in the group directory”.
You’ll then be able to invite your family members to the group by their email address. There are other choices on the “Create a Group” page that allow you to determine if your family members can add events to the group calendar, create photo albums, etc. By choosing to create a family group with the privacy settings suggested here, you create a private environment for your family so when you post a comment, create a schedule or upload a photo to your family group, the information is shared only within your family. It doesn’t reach anybody else’s feed, wall, or roll-up.
So, as the summer winds down and classroom schedules arrive in the mail, let iZoca help. Create an iZoca group for your family. We make it easy and fun to Communicate, Organize and Share.
Some people like to receive notifications to their email within seconds of a new iZoca discussion or message being posted and others like to be contacted once a day. There are others who prefer to visit iZoca but not be notified via email to find out new stuff about their groups.
We have listened to your feedback about email notifications and now the choice is yours about how you receive it. You have an option to receive daily and weekly digests to stay updated with all your group activities. To configure your options for digests and notifications:
- Click on the “settings” link located in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Click on the tab that reads “notifications.”
The first section deals with personal notifications for messages and invitations. Just click the box if you’d like to be notified. You can choose your group notification options and even be notified when new members join!
We strive to create and refine our platform and hope you enjoy this new feature!
One of the cool things about using iZoca is that you can now get your group events on any iCal compatible device or calendar. iZoca lets you join various groups and shape how all the events roll-up to your personal MyWorld Calendar. By subscribing to your upcoming MyWorld Calendar, you are kept in constant contact with all the things going on in your groups, in an organized, effective feed directed to
the calendar of your choice.
Follow these directions to get started:
Select your “Settings” link
Select the “Calendar” tab
Select “iCalendar” to get your MyWorld iCalendar URL and copy it.
- Copy and paste your MyWorld iCalendar URL into the body of an email and send it to yourself
- Open up the email you sent yourself on the iPhone and copy the URL
- Select “Settings” on your iPhone
- Select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”
- Select “Add Account”
- Select “Other”
- Select “Add Subscribed Calendar”
- Paste the MyWorld iCalendar URL into the “Server” field on your iPhone and follow the rest of the directions.
Apple iCal – Mac:
- From within iCal, choose “Subscribe” from the “Calendar” menu at the top of your screen.
- Paste the MyWorld iCalendar URL to the desired iCalendar file in the “Subscribe to:” box and click “Subscribe”.
- iCal will then download the calendar and bring you to a screen which allows you to give a title to that calendar. Check the “Refresh:” checkbox and select “every day” which will instruct iCal to check for updates to the calendar on a daily basis.
- That’s it. Your new calendar will appear, and you can choose to show or hide it by selecting or deselecting the calendar’s title in the “Calendars” screen.
Microsoft Outlook 2007 – Windows:
- In Outlook 2007 Go to the Tools menu and click on Account Settings.
- Click on New from the Internet Calendar and Paste the MyWorld iCalendar URL to the desired iCalendar file.
- Click Add.
- Type the name of the calendar as you want it to appear in Outlook in the Folder Name box and then click OK. The calendar will be listed under “Other Calendars” with the name you chose (it does not merge with “My Calendar”).
Blackberry and Other Mobile Devices – Other Options
If you have a Blackberry and are using a version of Outlook that is older than 2007, Google has a number of free options you can use to get your iZoca MyWorld Calendar to your device. After following the steps to deliver your MyWorld Calendar to your Google Calendar, select Google’s “Sync” link at the top right hand side of the Google Calendar page to get started.
- Go to http://www.google.com/calendar and sign in. If you do not have a Google Account create one using the link provided at the bottom of the page.
- Click on “Settings” located at the bottom of the My Calendars box on the left.
- Under Calendar Settings > Calendar click on “Import Calendar.”
- Select “Add by URL” and paste your MyWorld iCalendar URL into the field and click the “Add” button.
- When you browse back to your calendar you will see it populated with the events from iZoca.
Yahoo Beta Calendar
- Go to http://www.yahoo.com/calendar and sign in. If you do not have a Yahoo Account create one using the link provided at the top of the page.
- Click on the “+” sign located next to Calendars on the menu on the left, select “Subscribe to Calendar”.
- Paste your MyWorld iCalendar URL into the field, and select “Next” on the top menu. Add text to “Display As” and select “Save” on the top menu.
- The new calendar will now appear and is accessible from the Calendars menu located on the left hand side of the screen.