Welcome to the new project support and resource location for the vieleRETS persistent downloader. Over the next few days, supporting members who have agreed to come on board to help with this project will be adding content and resources to the site in hopes it will be fully published and ready for service after the Labor Day Holiday. Naturally since there is so much to do in just three short days parts of the site will be spotty at best. If you wish to come on board and contribute to this project or the vieleRETS downloader in general please contact us using the standard email form on the Contact page.
What do we have planned?
Initially the first steps are to setup the support channels and forum to deal with not only vieleRETS but its use with various implementations. Shortly thereafter we will begin re-coding portions of vieleRETS to include a newer interface and a series of inline documentation elements in the form of “Tool Tips”. The idea behind this is to assist those setting up a new connection to a RETS source a way to have a semi-guided configuration help resource. The vast majority of vieleRETS users will configure the RETS connections with a web browser then move the application outside of the http path to be processed by a CRON (linux cronograph) Job.
Then, after the initial basic updates are prepared we will move onto the actual updating of the code foundation. Essentially we will start by addressing a checklist we have compiled from experiences others have had using the application. The most important changes will be in the area of the user interface and a few generators for processing CSV type downloads.
Members Corner was not initially the kind of idea we all could agree upon even though the reason behind it were solid enough. In today’s INTERNET WORLD social networking is the type of norm that is quite literally becoming a cliché – pronounced (klee-shay). When we set out to start the vieleRETS project support one of the very first things our people discussed after Mark’s announcement was the importance of handling this project like every other open source project. Social Networking does play a roll in modern real estate technologies and since this project was to be approached with the open source mindset, we wanted to be sure that it would be embraced by as many people as possible on a personal level. Why? Because RETS and those that employ its use are essentially in a specialized industry where it would be likely people consider each other as colleagues.
We registered a google channel, facebook, twitter, youtube and a few other social networking accounts specifically for the vieleRETS project. In this current arena people expect to communicate with like minded people and stay connected. The “Members Corner” will provide any contributing member access to write blog posts that are categorically linked to and published within the social networking channels we employ.
My thoughts on the matter are simple. I think people will opt into Twitter and Facebook among others to stay on top of changes that are announced as it relates to not only vieleRETS or support but news in general drafted by contributing members.
The contributing members is thus open to all genera of professional trade as it relates to this product. This includes web designers, web developers, Realtors, data or solution providers, and certainly seasoned RETS professionals. Previous support may have been geared more toward a very finite group of people. You are invited to take part.
Community Oriented Support
In addition to using social networking avenues to keep subscribing members abreast of things with this project, we realized that forums are a comfortable and familiar platform ideal for community support. So the installation of a forum will be the first tool used to deliver vieleRETS support. Next we move on to social media.
Even though an implementation of the mail relay is going to be setup, we are pushing or should I say encouraging the use of social media as the ideal support model and we are even drafting steps and helpful hints on how to use social media as a support tool. Some may ask if its even being done and we have discovered that in fact several companies, municipalities, hosting companies, open source projects and even social groups are offering product and service support with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Why go through all this trouble for a single RETS application? The answer is simple. EASE OF USE. With forums and social media resources support at a community level will be more likely embraced than subscribing to an email relay list and therefore should provide more interaction. With the updates to vieleRETS that are on the task list, we feel that as an open source project, the tool would likely grow in popularity with solution providers, web masters and Realtors among others. Staying connected is a foundation step for this project in our opinion.