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miamicoordinator
April 3rd, 2014, 23:53
Hello everyone,

As coordinators, we often try to find the best method for us to get information out to short-listers, and alternates. For the most part, alternates are handled via e-mail or constant contact since the amount of documentation is not as much unless upgraded.

Communication between us coordinators and participants is important. In order to prevent people from asking the same questions, we normally have a private forum where people can come and introduce themselves, and ask questions and get to know other participants before departure. I personally use a google site, some of the Consulates use private facebook groups, this year some are planning on using private sub-reddits.

I am curious as to what your preferred methods would be? I know many people are redditors, but I am sure most people would have to make a new account just for the private sub-reddit so people do not see your post history/posting on your real account. Facebook is much the same way. Some people are very private and would not like to be part of a facebook group where others can see information. Google sites offers it's own challenges because it is not the most intuitive site for some.

At any rate, I was wondering what would you all prefer for a space that you can go and discuss questions and concerns after you are short-listed.

Thanks in advance for your input!

Cutthroat-finch
April 4th, 2014, 01:05
I would prefer Facebook. Reddit would be nice but it I feel like it is too anonymous and I don't know if it is a good method to get to know people. I haven't used Google sites before so I don't know how that would work.

miamicoordinator
April 4th, 2014, 01:18
I would prefer Facebook. Reddit would be nice but it I feel like it is too anonymous and I don't know if it is a good method to get to know people. I haven't used Google sites before so I don't know how that would work.

Thanks for your input.

CrouchingMouse
April 4th, 2014, 02:03
I already use Facebook a lot so I'd say that. Or maybe a dedicated forum like this one, if anonymity is preferred. I don't post on reddit at all and I don't know anything about Google sites.

miamicoordinator
April 4th, 2014, 02:22
I already use Facebook a lot so I'd say that. Or maybe a dedicated forum like this one, if anonymity is preferred. I don't post on reddit at all and I don't know anything about Google sites.

We would prefer it not be anonymous because our main goal is for the participants to get to know each other better before the Pre-Departure Orientation so that they do not feel so alone when they go to Japan. Sometimes people are placed near each other also, so a familiar face works. Imagine arriving at the PDO and saying "Oh Hi, yeah, I am managalover78, nice to meet you" or whaever. In my previous post I meant that some of the participants would rather not have other people going be prying into their private facebook lives. Granted, in Miami we do not have many short-listers, but at the Consulates where there are 100+ of them, it can be a lot of people.

I think facebook might be a good option though. I will look more into that.

Cbill1
April 4th, 2014, 02:43
I'd second facebook as well. Many people are redditors, but Facebook is all but mandatory for anyone who's currently a college student or job-searching. It seems to be the norm for handling groups such as this (I've had similar groups for study abroad and college programs), and people who might be anxious about other people seeing their more personal facebook information usually make a separate account for business purposes anyway.

miamicoordinator
April 4th, 2014, 02:46
I'd second facebook as well. Many people are redditors, but Facebook is all but mandatory for anyone who's currently a college student or job-searching. It seems to be the norm for handling groups such as this (I've had similar groups for study abroad and college programs), and people who might be anxious about other people seeing their more personal facebook information usually make a separate account for business purposes anyway.

That is a very good point Cbill. Thanks.

sharpinthefang
April 4th, 2014, 04:36
I know i'm UK based, but i would use facebook. I don't ever go on reddit, the only other one i use is tumblr, and i don't want anyone who knows me to find me on there. Also, if the idea is to meet people/know faces or names before the orientation and departure, it would be a great way to learn someones face from their fb profile pic. On fb as well, we could link with people all over the world and find out who will be near each other Japan side. It maybe that there is no other British person near me for several miles, but if there are loads of Canadians/Americans/Australians near who i have connected with on fb, then friendships are laready started to being made before we even fly.

miamicoordinator
April 4th, 2014, 04:54
I know i'm UK based, but i would use facebook. I don't ever go on reddit, the only other one i use is tumblr, and i don't want anyone who knows me to find me on there. Also, if the idea is to meet people/know faces or names before the orientation and departure, it would be a great way to learn someones face from their fb profile pic. On fb as well, we could link with people all over the world and find out who will be near each other Japan side. It maybe that there is no other British person near me for several miles, but if there are loads of Canadians/Americans/Australians near who i have connected with on fb, then friendships are laready started to being made before we even fly.

Thanks sharp, your opinion is very important to me also.

Moso
April 4th, 2014, 05:02
I'm also UK based but I would also prefer a Facebook group! I've never used reddit so I have no idea how it works and many may be the same while most people have Facebook. You can make your Facebook profile pretty private if you so wish, and I imagine most people who care a lot about privacy do!

sharpinthefang
April 4th, 2014, 05:10
You can also share a group of fb, and message each other or have massive posts without having to add people as friends first. There is a current group thats pretty active right now, with people from all over, here is the link; https://www.facebook.com/groups/168261550028597/ you have to request to join, but i was accepted within 24 hours.

Shelia
April 4th, 2014, 05:18
Another vote for FB from someone who has one just for the sake of having - heck it might actually make me start using facebook!

chwii
April 4th, 2014, 09:04
I'll also throw in a vote for Facebook. If the goal is to meet other JET participants, it seems like it's probably the best method.

Curious-Cat
April 4th, 2014, 09:20
I think a Facebook group would be best. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that one can adjust the settings so that his/her private information remains private unless they actually friend another account. It would be a more streamlined way of getting information out and while his/her name may be visible, other information like location or Facebook posts won't be.

Wasabi
April 4th, 2014, 09:30
Another vote for Facebook. As Curious-Cat mentioned, Facebook has pretty good custom options to privatize your profile. Some people still might not join, but there's no method that will get 100% participation.

hypatia
April 4th, 2014, 11:46
Just wanted to chime in - my consulate opted to go with the private sub-reddit option. One of they ways they handled it was to ask everyone to create new usernames that were our real names (or based on them), so that way there's still the sense of "who" you're talking to but without it being connected to an existing reddit user name or the possibly off-putting consequence of it being attached to your facebook profile. I was surprised that they didn't opt for a private facebook group (as many of the above have mentioned), but I have no complaints about how things are going so far.

miamicoordinator
April 4th, 2014, 11:52
It seems a private FB group seems to be the most popular opinion. Thanks for your opinions everyone!

itsabird
April 4th, 2014, 11:56
It seems a private FB group seems to be the most popular opinion. Thanks for your opinions everyone!

I'll put in my vote. Google! Yay! I'm the odd one out!

In all honesty, either one works for me. Don't have a reddit account though, so it's a good thing that wasn't a popular vote...

mmarief09
April 4th, 2014, 12:28
When I was shortlisted, the D.C. consulate made a private facebook group and it was very helpful. Since there were so many people, one could chose to lurk or stay anonymous if they wanted to. Others were more vocal and involved. Often time other people asked the questions you were perhaps too shy to ask. Plus, you could always add people as friends and talk outside of the group as well. I thought it worked really well, so I would agree with all of those who are leaning towards facebook.

Gizmotech
April 4th, 2014, 13:19
I'll chime in and say none of the above. I much preferred live events, even if it wasn't with the entire group leaving from Ottawa. Online discussions, especially on Facebook, can.... devolve into stupidity and annoyance pretty quickly. I left the FB group we made 3 years ago because the only thing I was learning about everyone was they were incapable of doing a google search for basic information found on the web. Too much noise, not enough discussion.

Reddit is rubbish as a get to know another forum, and doesn't really warrant the effort of using it unless you are there every day consistently. It also doesn't really extend beyond into a JET community afterwards.

flapjack21
April 4th, 2014, 14:32
Wanted to also chime in. Looks like my coordinator decided to go crazy and make a private subreddit and FB group. The subreddit is apparently mandatory to join, no clear instructions on usernames but just have to email what your username is then you are added to the subreddit. To be honest not sure how I feel about it as I've lurked reddit for years but have never really felt the need to make an account. Though it does look like there is going to be a lot of information passed along through it so it might be useful.

I have a feeling the FB group is going to be less managed so it might quickly dissolve into pointless banter. But I'm not the most active user of FB so I might not be the best judge of this xD

Miami, I think it really boils down to what is your preference. I think for the most part all applicants are willing to go with whatever you tell them. Sure some are going to be unhappy but that is going to happen no matter what. Use whatever forum you think gives you the most control and ability to do your job best. For the most part we are all just lost little sheep waiting for our shepherd to tell us what to do.

Jiggit
April 4th, 2014, 15:15
How on earth would it be mandatory?

uthinkimlost?
April 4th, 2014, 15:17
How on earth would it be mandatory?

You don't join, you don't get information related to your departure.

My consulate did something along these lines.

Jiggit
April 4th, 2014, 15:19
That's utter bullsh1t. They should send all necessary correspondence by email or post.

Fruitspunchsamurai
April 4th, 2014, 15:32
i was wondering what happened to the official forums, i can't see any options to register and since i don't have an account i can't view those forums at all.

Nell
April 4th, 2014, 19:57
I think Facebook would be a good idea if it focused on arranging meetups and getting to know other people in the area, while forums like ITIL are good for more general discussions/questions that people have about JET.

miamicoordinator
April 4th, 2014, 21:11
That's utter bullsh1t. They should send all necessary correspondence by email or post.

The main issue with email is that it is so unreliable. Our emails get filtered, missed, or ignored by applicants far too much. Then there is the whole "i never got an email!" Excuse. When we are sending important documents and information, we have founx it better to have a place where people can get the information. That way it is their responsibilty to keep themselves informed by checking the site frequently. We used to use yahoo and google groups, but those sited have since been blocked at the consulates. Thus, we try to find ways to get information to applicants with the least amount of error margin possible. Relying solely on email has proven undependable in the past.

Wasabi
April 5th, 2014, 02:48
We used to use yahoo and google groups, but those sited have since been blocked at the consulates.

Odd choice for the consulates to block yahoo & google groups, but allow facebook & reddit. I feel your pain, though. We're blocked from all of that where I work, plus any streaming media, shopping, auction, and alcohol related sites.

Zolrak 22
April 5th, 2014, 02:57
Facebook has the benefit of notifying you of events, posts and anything related to a group. The privacy settings can always be altered to suit anyone's needs. It's what I used to unite teams and groups in college /workplace .

Plus the fact that you get to see a real person behind the information establishes a more personal connection. (Just like others said, you get to form friendships and so on.)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

eminate
April 6th, 2014, 14:00
Hey MC, I've got a quick question: is this concept of giving short-listers a forum/group pretty universal? I ask because I haven't heard any mention of this yet from my consulate; should I call my them to find out if they have something similar, or do you think they would email me with the info if it exists?

miamicoordinator
April 6th, 2014, 21:40
Hey MC, I've got a quick question: is this concept of giving short-listers a forum/group pretty universal? I ask because I haven't heard any mention of this yet from my consulate; should I call my them to find out if they have something similar, or do you think they would email me with the info if it exists?

Its not universal unfortunately. I know some of the coordinators just e-mail documents to short-listers. Some have webpages, like facebook and now sub-reddit. They would definitely e-mail you if something exists. Earlier in this thread though I did mention the one big snag with e-mail is sometimes it gets sent to spam folders because we send out group messages, so it is always good to always check your spam/jumk folders to see if anything arrives from us.

Remember that some Consulates have 100+ shirt-listers, so, making a group or forums where you have to keep track of everyone might be a little more difficult. Time for us is quite limited with the other projects we have at work.

Your coordinators responsibility is to get you the necessary paperwork and information required for departure. They will not leave you in the dark intentionally.

eminate
April 7th, 2014, 10:57
Its not universal unfortunately. I know some of the coordinators just e-mail documents to short-listers. Some have webpages, like facebook and now sub-reddit. They would definitely e-mail you if something exists. Earlier in this thread though I did mention the one big snag with e-mail is sometimes it gets sent to spam folders because we send out group messages, so it is always good to always check your spam/jumk folders to see if anything arrives from us.

Remember that some Consulates have 100+ shirt-listers, so, making a group or forums where you have to keep track of everyone might be a little more difficult. Time for us is quite limited with the other projects we have at work.

Your coordinators responsibility is to get you the necessary paperwork and information required for departure. They will not leave you in the dark intentionally.

Thanks so much for the insight! I'm out of one of the biggest consulates, so I'm guessing it's as you say and they don't have one. Just wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything important! (I did check my spam mail anyway, though, just in case :P)