People helping people as they get from here to there

social

Inside Track + Social media = Better info for you

March 26th, 2014  |  Published in Inside Track, ITFeatureWriteUp, social

Summary: Some transit providers do a decent job of sharing real-time information via social media. We have integrated the best of them into our premium service.

Our approach: Clever Commute uses their data in our service for your benefit. We do not share any of your personal information with others. Users of The Inside Track service can now view this information in its own “window” via our mobile solution.  We show you:

  • The official Twitter feed from your transit provider (e.g, NJ Transit)
  • The official Twitter Clever Commute feed

We show this data in two places:

  1. A new menu option on our web portal.
    (To see it, click on the Gears menu option (top right) and select Twitter Timelines.)
  2. Your personalized Evening Commuter Forecast [details coming soon]

 

 

 

We Tweet Montclair-Boonton line track numbers!

July 8th, 2012  |  Published in social

Here are the Tweet “follows” for the Montclair-Boonton train lines

  • For the 5:45…it’s @cc_njtt_6273 (the train number from NJT)
  • For the 6:20…it’s @cc_njtt_6279
  • For the 6:56…it’s @cc_njtt_6283
  • For the 7:37…it’s @cc_njtt_6291

NJT – We Tweet your track number!

March 25th, 2012  |  Published in announcements, NJT, social

If you ride NJ Transit trains from NY Penn Station, then check out our new offering which tweets your track number. This is very cool because tweets are fast and simple…and it gives you newfound control over the delivery of your data. When you “follow” the track announcements for your line, you can even tell Twitter to send them to you as text messages!

Here are the “follows”

  • @cc_ny_nec_trx – track numbers for the Northeast Corridor line
  • @cc_ny_mande_trx – Gladstone/Morristown line
  • @cc_ny_njcl_trx – North Jersey Coast line
  • See this link for Montclar-Boonton Line

Other great news: separately from the “track number” tweets, we also deliver the general Clever alerts via Twitter.  So, instead of your getting “alerts” in your inbox, you can get those as tweets as well. You can read all about that at http://www.clevercommute.com/twitter

  • For general alerts regarding Northeast Corridor Line, follow @cc_njtt_nec
  • For general alerts regarding North Jersey Coast Line, follow  @cc_njtt_njcl
  • For general alerts regarding  Gladstone & Morristown Lines,  follow  @cc_njtt_mande

Remember: generally, tweets are delivered faster than e-mails!

Here are notes about using Twitter (from Twitter.com)

Finally: Please note that this new service is beta…and is currently free.   The use of any Clever Commute services is subject to our Terms and Conditions.

 

People Helping People Helping People

February 5th, 2012  |  Published in admin, announcements, social

We just wanted to be sure you know that we have a new-ish way to manage customer support (and our Contact Us link at our web site). We announced it almost a year ago at this blog post.

As the size of our community surpasses the 20,000 commuter mark, it’s time to think about new and innovative ways to thrill and retain the only true asset we have: the commuters.

It probably comes as no surprise that we are crowdsourcing it…with help from an innovative company called GetSatisfaction.com

What is Get Satisfaction (2 minute YouTube video). Didn’t watch that? Well here is what you need to know:  GetSatisfaction is a 3rd party website which tracks and manages the questions and answers from the community. Instead of writing to someone at Clever Commute…and waiting…the GetSatisfaction technology guides you to the answer.

Clever Commute technology is solid and the commuters are proactive and helpful. But…”stuff” comes up…and we need a scalable way to address it. For example:

  • Commuters may have question about their subscription (sign-up, change address, pausing “Clever Commute” while on vacation, etc)
  • Our business partners have questions about their data feeds
  • Sponsors may be looking for our media kit for advertisers
  • The media may want to reach us for a quote or interview
So, please check it out the next time you have an issue or a question.

 

 

 

Your boss (ex-girlfriend…kid-from-the-neighborhood) just “Friended” you. Now what?

June 22nd, 2011  |  Published in social

So…you got a friend request from your boss (or an ex-girlfriend, or a 9-year old niece (who is too young to be on Facebook))

Ignore it, right? Wrong!

  • If you Ignore your boss …it may impact your job
  • If you Ignore your ex…you’ll look like you have something to hide
  • If you Ignore your niece…your family will wonder why you are being cold to a little girl

So what do you do? You can actually avoid the awkwardness of denying the invite (or “Ignore” in the passive-aggressive parlance of FB). Here’s how

  1. Categorize your friends into groups (I use Green, Yellow, Red…and TooYoungForFacebook)
  2. Set permissions at the group level so that Red people have one experience when visiting your page…and Green people another.

For example:

  • People in the Green group can see everything that I make public to Facebook
  • People in the Red group can see virtually nothing about me
  • Yellow? As you can imagine, that is “inbetween”
  • TooYoungForFacebook can see everything…except my status updates

Here are the steps:

1. Categorize your friends into groups

  • Facebook.com => Account => Edit Friends
  • Click on Create a List
  • A box will pop up which asks you to name the list…and then add people to it
  • Click on Create New List

2. Set the permissions

  • Facebook.com => Account=> Privacy Settings
  • Customize Settings
  • For each entry on that page, click on Edit Settings…and then select Custom
  • From there, the key is the Hide this from tool.(When you start to type the name of a group…Facebook auto-completes it for you)

For example: My Religious and political views can be seen by Friends (not Friends of Friends) plus my network. However, if you are Red or Yellow…you can’t see it

Yes…this one-time set-up takes a while…and if you have hundreds of friends, it may be too late for you to do this. But, once it’s in place…it’s actually very liberating.

In closing

  • When you accept a new friend request, Facebook will automatically ask you what group you want to put them in, so that’s cool.
  • You may need to  periodically “sweep through” your groups to be sure that members are appropriately classified (relationships change over time, right?)
  • You need to be a steward of your own data: There is nothing in Facebook which prevents people from being in two groups (or no groups) .
  • Finally: there is a very cool feature on that page (Choose Your Privacy Settings => Customize settings): the ability to Preview My Profile. It enables you to Preview how your profile appears to a specific person.

Customer Service for Clever Commuters

May 16th, 2011  |  Published in admin, announcements, community updates, social

Summary: Clever Commute is in the process of rolling out a new way to manage customer support. it probably comes as no surprise that we are crowdsourcing it…with help from GetSatisfaction.com

As the size of our community approaches the 20,000 commuter mark, it’s time to think about new and innovative ways to thrill and retain the only true asset we have: the commuters.

Clever Commute technology is solid and the commuters are proactive and helpful. But…”stuff” comes up…and we need a scalable way to address it. For example:

  • Commuters may have question about their subscription (sign-up, change address, pausing “Clever Commute” while on vacation, etc)
  • Our business partners have questions about their data feeds
  • Sponsors may be looking for our media kit for advertisers
  • The media may want to reach us for a quote or interview

Enter: What is Get Satisfaction (2 minute YouTube video)

Didn’t watch that? Well here is what you need to know:

GetSatisfaction is a 3rd party website which tracks and manages the questions and answers from the community.Instead of writing to someone at Clever Commute…and waiting…the GetSatisfaction technology guides you to the answer.

We will update this page as move forward with the roll-out…but we did want to put this here as a placeholder.

 

 

Another great new feature: “Rate this message”

May 10th, 2011  |  Published in admin, announcements, Ops, social

One of the tough things about my job as “Conductor” is actually trying to manage the content & volume of the messages that people send.  Maybe you have been a part of the conversation about:

As you can imagine, sometimes, the answer is it depends. So, in the spirit of crowdsourcing, we are pleased to announce a great new feature: Rate this message. How it works:

At the bottom of every commuter-generated message you get, there will be a new section, as follows:

Was this message helpful?
Yes
No    
Report abuse

The blue text above are links. When commuter clicks on their choice, they are taken to a web page which thanks them for casting their vote. That’s it!

A few things to note:

  • Our database records the rankings…and our program safeguards against multiple votes on a given message by the same person.
  • Regarding that last category: sometimes, Clever Commuters break the rules…and we then need to remind them of our Rules of the Road. Even more rare is the situation where true spam (from a non-Clever person) slips through. It’s a huge help if the commuters can help us identify that, too.

As you can imagine, this lays the groundwork for several new features:
1. We can give feedback and coaching to post-ers who are consistently rated “low”
2. We can reward post-ers who are rated “high”
3. We can explore new features like “ALWAYS send me updates from this person” and “NEVER send me updates from that person”
4. Automate the process for handling spam and abusive mails
5. …what else?  I’m sure there is more

“Step 1″ was just to get the framework in place. This is “version 1.0″…so I’m sure there are ways to improve it…so send me your feedback.

Twitter? Sure! Show me the “follows”

August 31st, 2010  |  Published in admin, social

There is a single Twitter member (follow) corresponding to each commuter line we cover.

In addition to sending out alerts to our traditional subscribers via e-mail, we also tweet them.
So, by following those tweets, you will receive all of the alerts published by your fellow commuters.

Of course…you can use whatever Twitter follow tool you like. Your smartphone probably already has one installed.

Therefore…you can then receive the alerts however you want…even text/SMS!

NOTE: Our tweets are protected…so the first step is a request-to-follow.

Transit Carrier Line / Route Twitter “Follow”
Coach USA / Suburban Transit East Brunswick Lines cc_cusa_eb
DeCamp 33 & 66 cc_Decamp_33_66
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Montauk Branch cc_lirr_m
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Oyster Bay Branch cc_lirr_ob
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Babylon Branch cc_lirr_b
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Port Jefferson Branch cc_lirr_pj
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Far Rockaway Branch cc_lirr_fr
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Port Washington Branch cc_lirr_pw
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Ronkonkoma Branch cc_lirr_r
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Hempstead Branch cc_lirr_h
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) West Hempstead Branch cc_lirr_wh
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Long Beach Branch cc_lirr_lb
Metro North (MNR) New Haven Line cc_mnr_nh
Metro North (MNR) Hudson Line cc_mnr_hud
Metro North (MNR) Harlem Line cc_mnr_har
Metro North (MNR) Bar Car cc_mnr_bar_nh
Metro North (MNR) Bar Car (reverse) cc_mnr_bar_nh_r
Metro North (MNR) New Canaan Branch cc_mnr_nh_nc
Metro North (MNR) Danbury Branch cc_mnr_nh_d
Metro North (MNR) Waterbury Branch cc_mnr_nh_w
NJ Transit Bus (NJTB) (193, 194, 197) Willowbrook Mall Park and Ride cc_njtb_19x
NJ Transit Bus (NJTB) (167) Dumont – Harrington Park cc_njtb_167
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Pascack Valley Line cc_njtt_pvl
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Gladstone & Morristown Lines cc_njtt_mande
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Port Jervis Line cc_njtt_port
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Montclair-Boonton Line cc_njtt_mbntn
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Raritan Valley Line cc_njtt_rvl
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Main & Bergen County Lines cc_njtt_mainb
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) North Jersey Coast Line cc_njtt_njcl
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Northeast Corridor Line cc_njtt_nec
PATH Journal Square – 33rd Street cc_path_jsq_33
PATH Newark – World Trade Center cc_path_nwk_wtc
PATH Hoboken – 33rd Street cc_path_hob_33
PATH Hoboken – World Trade Center cc_path_hob_wtc
SeaStreak Atlantic Highlands cc_ss_ah
Staten Island Ferry Staten Island Ferry cc_sif
Trans-Bridge Lines Allentown/Easton NJ cc_tb_a

Twitter? What’s that?

August 31st, 2010  |  Published in admin, social

Clever Commute was originally designed for use on a true mobile e-mail device (e.g., Blackberry, iPhone)…not a cell phone.
We previously did a work-around by sending e-mail to your phone (e.g., 9735551212@vtext.com)
But now that Twitter is here…we have a new and better way:

So…here is what you should do if you want to improve your experience with Clever Commute.

Learn about Twitter (e.g., this video prepared by another company)

Put plainly: Clever Commute is leveraging existing Twitter infrastructure in order to allow for new ways for people like you to follow the updates from commuters on their line.
So what remains in order to get you up-and-running? For example, in order to follow someone whose Twitter name is crandcrand

  1. Login to Twitter…and then enter this address: http://www.twitter.com/crandcrand
  2. Click on the Follow button near the top of the page
  3. Now that you are following the member you want to follow, you may want to
  4. Check out this list…and pick your line(s)

(FYI – not all routes currently available)

How we are thinking about Twitter

December 20th, 2008  |  Published in announcements, community updates, social

For starters, if you are not familiar…then try this: http://www.commoncraft.com/Twitter

The idea that I am thinking about is very straight-forward…and does not take advantage of all that Twitter has to offer…but it would be a very functional start:
In-scope commuter lines will have a Twitter “account” that will tweet the Clever Commuter alerts. SMS users may the use the “follow via SMS” feature…and therefore receive the alerts via their cell phones. People who chose to follow. (AND get SMS updates on their cell phones) would receive the 140 character updates…which come from their fellow commuters. The messages are designed to be very “clean” and free of ads, promotional messages, footers, signatures, etc.
Our recently-released tech upgrade gives us this flexibility and we are exploring a “beta” soon.

Why is this appealing to Clever Commute? it’s adds value to the product…at zero cost…and no impact to non-users

  • It provides a way for us to provide fast and free service for commuters who use their cell phones.  (FYI – sending true SMS would otherwise cost us money. Our legacy of sending email to your phone has a few flaws…which are largely address by this new approach.
  • There would be no impact or changes to experience of the other Clever Commuters (e.g., Blackberry, iPhone)
  • Twitter can handle the volume

It’s key to note that Twitter solves for a key problem I have: the current Clever Commute “user experience” on a cell phone is “just OK”. (signup is tough…and now that we have sponsored messages and footers, the actual messages are too long)
We’d also add that Twitter is good for today…but we could also “swap it out” and / or publish to other social media (Facebook, Friendfeed…etc.)

It’s a new world…and we’re excited about it
For now, this will be a beta program…and we’ll evaluate the impact after a few months and then determine if we’ll continue.

For people who chose not to use Twitter, absolutely nothing will change…so this will be a non-event for them.