Spond Tips for Participants

RowPorty uses a system called Spond to maintain a calendar of events and to allow members to sign up. This is a brief guide for participants – guidance for rota makers will be covered elsewhere.

IMPORTANT FAQs

Why are some events apparently missing from my home page?
The home page looks like a single chronological list of events, but isn’t! (Exactly what it is is difficult to explain, but this is not important.) To see all the events, follow the procedure described under List Events.

Why am I on the Waiting List?
The rota maker, not Spond, decides who is in a crew taking account of factors like experience as well as order of sign-up. For some reason, Spond randomises the order of the Going list, but preserves the sign-up order in the Waiting List. In order to preserve the sign-up order, the rota maker will have set the number of places to 1, so that (almost) everybody goes onto the Waiting List.

Apps and Web Browsers

Spond is available either via a web interface or via an app (Android and iOS). If Spond thinks you have the app, it sends notifications – otherwise it it sends emails. As a user, you can’t configure this behaviour, although you can switch off notifications.

Getting Started

If you are using a web browser initially, send an email to a RowPorty administrator with your name and email. The administrator will enter you into the system (if you’re a paid up member) and you will receive an automatic email with further instructions.

If you want to use the app, download the Spond app from Play Store (for Android) or the App Store (for iOS). Set up a profile and request a code from a RowPorty admin. You don’t need to do this if you intend only to use the web interface.

Personal Data

Every user must have a Spond profile, much of which is visible to every other user. The only data that must be entered are your name and email – everything else seems to be optional, although it’s wise to enter a birth date which indicates you are over 18 (there’s no requirement to be truthful though).

List of Events

You can view a list of events either through your home page or the Rowporty group page. Your home page, which you will see first and which can also be accessed by the house symbol, appears to show a list of all events but in fact shows two filtered lists, both of which can be quite long. This is very confusing and causes people to be unable to find the event they are interested in. The following workaround is therefore recommended:

In the app:

  1. Select the little heads symbol at the bottom in the middle.
  2. Select the RowPorty group.
  3. Scroll down a bit to fid “Next event View all”
  4. Select “View all”. You now see a chronolgical list of all events!

In a web browser, e.g. on a PC:

  1. Select Rowporty under GROUPS on the left hand side of the screen.
  2. Scroll down a bit to see “Next event” and “View more events”.
  3. Select “View more events”. You now see a chronolgical list of all events!

Signing Up for an Event

To sign up for an event, select the event from the list. Then select “Going” or “Waiting List” – either may be displayed.

It is likely that the event will state there are only 5 places available or even only 1 place. This does not correspond to the actual number of places available, which might be 5, 10 or 15 depending on the number of boats going out. (It is necessary to impose an artificial limit to work around an unfortunate “feature” of Spond, which randomises the sign-up order on the Going list.)

If there is some important information that needs to be taken into account, e.g. you cannot row after a certain time, you should indicate this in the comments under the event. Please note that when you sign up for an event, whether on the Going List or the Waiting List, you are committing yourself to row and if you don’t turn up there will be four disappointed people on the beach.

At some point before the scheduled date/time, e.g. the night before, the rota maker will publish the rota as a comment under the event. It is your obligation to check the rota to see what time you are rowing.

Changing Your Sign-up

If after signing up you find you must drop out, then you can change your RSVP to “decline”.  If the rota has been issued, you must contact the rota maker, e.g. by posting a comment on the event thread.

Duplicate Threads

Spond allows anyone to create new posts and to comment on existing posts. New posts can be useful but create the risk of duplicate threads carrying information, some of which will inevitably be overlooked. Therefore always, if possible, post comments on the event thread, not a new thread.

Notifications

If Spond thinks you are using the app, you will get notifications in the app – if not notifications are sent as emails. The defaults cause a large number of notifications, so it is best to tuen some or all notifications off.

You can change the general notification settings in your Spond profile, but it my be more useful to set notifications on an event by event basis, e.g. you can say you do not want any notifications about 50+ race training if you are not in that age group. To do this, open the event, select “More” and select “Stop push notifications”.

Further Information

Further information on using Spond is available at https://get.spond.help/

For help specific to RowPorty, then contact an admin, e.g.

Prospective members and novices should contact:

Any comments to Malcolm Stewart

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