The NEW Notify List

by barbaragarn

The waitlist is gone and has been replaced by a better and more useful tool!

In the past, the waitlist was not automated: I didn’t want people to get moved from the waitlist to the main roster without knowing about it. So I asked Andy to design the system so I could contact folks individually and confirm that, yes, Bob will take the now-open spot for tonight’s skate. As you can imagine, this was rather tedious micromanagement.

The other problem was that I had to keep checking the waitlist. Constantly. Take a nap on Friday evening and wake up to see I have three sessions with one open slot and a bunch of folks on the waitlist. Or even for sessions days ahead. I’ve heard many of you express frustration– “I’m first on the waitlist and there are two open spots, am I in or what?”

Or the reverse happens: someone cancels an hour before icetime and I waste time calling three people on the waitlist only to hear “I forgot… I made other plans…” Argh, and on to the next person on the list, as the clock ticks and more people make alternate plans.

Clearly, things need to be managed better.

The new system is the best way to fill an open spot: just sign up for the notification, for as many sessions as you want. No charge.

From the [url=http://www.jmshockey.com/faq.php#5]FAQ

7e. How does the Notify List work?
When someone cancels from a full session, everyone who signed up for the notify list will receive an e-mail. This is your prompt to log into the JMS website and sign up to take the spot.

While signing up for the Notify List does not debit your account, you should make sure you have funds in your account to cover the icetime signup fee if you receive a notification message. Google Checkout can take 20 minutes and other people from the Notify List will also be trying to sign up for the same spot.

Being on the Notify List is not a guarantee that you will play. Do not just show up at the arena.

7f. So, I’m on the Notify List. How do I know if a spot opens?
Wait for the e-mail. Do not just show up at the rink!

I can’t predict cancellations. They happen when someone has car trouble or gets sick or has to work late or gets injured. As soon as someone cancels, the automatic Notify List will send an alert to everyone who has asked to be notified about the session.

7g. How do I cancel from the notify list?
Log into the system, and click [url=http://www.jmshockey.com/skate-times/notifylist/]Manage Notifications, on the splash page, top right under “Member Links.”

7h. I think I signed up for the Notify List, how can I tell?
Log into the system, and click [url=http://www.jmshockey.com/skate-times/notifylist/]Manage Notifications, on the splash page, top right under “Member Links.”

With the Notify List, skaters AND goalies will not have to wait for me to inform them of an open spot. I won’t be calling folks who already made other plans. I’m very excited–this change will benefit everyone.

The only significant change is that there is no longer any priority derived from when people signed up for the list. Given the hardships (significant time lag to contact people based on list position, having to start over when they have made other plans, programming the whole mess), I decided to abandon the numbered waitlist and move to a simpler method that just fills the spot–skater or goalie. The new system also benefits the bottom line: I’ve lost no small amount of money because I was calling skaters, in order, to fill a spot, only to run out of time and then hear later that someone far down the list was dying to play. Argh again.

The new system is evolving and we appreciate your patience and feedback. Post comments here; we will be monitoring the discussion and responding as we’re able. We’re already thinking that the goalie portion of the Notify List may need to be tweaked to benefit their special circumstances, so watch for continued developments and improvements as we tweak the site to function better and better.

And of course it would never have been done without the genius of Andy Baird’s programming, the man behind the scenes who never gets enough credit for how awesome the JMS website is.