Thursday, October 27, 2005

alpha birthday near

Hi folks. I just got back from a two week stint working with the Zanbyteam. Lo and behold, we are inching towards the release of our early alpha in late November. We will continue to release upgrades to alpha through spring and summer of 2006. We should be out of Beta by June and July.

For all of you early group registrants, a special prize awaits you...

Though the vision of Zanby has gradually expanded, we are tightly focused on serving the community of groups that is the application's inspiration. We hope to get lots of feedback from you all.

Here's what to expect in November: Members will have the ability to create a "Standard Individual Account" and a "Standard Host Account." Both of these accounts are free and always will be free. In the coming months, members will have the ability to choose a series of premium accounts that enable advanced group management
features. Individuals members (who do not have to be members of groups) can upgrade their accounts to take advantage of other functionality.

We will start by fleshing out what we hope is a level of free membership comparable to, or better than, any tool currently available. Features will include:

Group Formation
- Join a group online
- Browse groups by category, by name, or by tag
- Start a group online
- Group recommendation based on tag

Group Management
- Manage membership: Who can join the group?
- Manage admin levels: Who can upload and edit photos, polls, member listings, documents, tags, lists, events, venues

Group Information
- Create and manage a Group Profile
- upload and edit photos
- Create polls
- Manage member listings
- Upload, tag, categorize documents
- Manage tags
- Create group lists
- Manage events (Calendar)
- Select Venues

Group Communication
- Create and manage a group email discussion list (like Yahoo groups)
- Contact the Host anonymously
- Set privacy controls

Zanby will focus more on individuals, too. We believe
individuals are the backbone of groups and will infuse our community
with richer, more diverse activity if we give them the ability to engage
before joining. So a comparable set of functionality will be available
to individual members.

Individual Information
- Create and Manage an Individual Profile
- Upload and manage profile photos
- Upload and manage photo albums
- Manage a friends list
- Upload, tag, categorize documents
- Manage tags
- Create lists
- Manage events (Calendar)

Member Communications
- Send emails to other members anonymously
- Manage a Gatheroo inbox
- Manage sent items

In the Zanby world, a friends list is a private group in which the
individual is a host. So members can do all the things a group can do
with their friends list, but related to the personal world.
- Send invitations
- Manage a calendar
- Swap events from public to private
- Share documents and photos
- create group email lists

- Lists on Zanby are a little different as well. The Zanbyo list maker is a unique software application. Members can create one of several list types - music, book, event, Pay It Forward (a list of ways members and groups are willing to volunteer), and stuff (miscellaneous). Each list provides the ability for members to identify artists, tie them to events and to eachother, comment on and tag each list item, make new lists out of any series of list items, and publish their lists to blogs.

There are other features we will develop as we mature. The upgrade paths, in particular, will prove very interesting indeed. For now, though, November's launch is looking spiffy.



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