Update on Rjenda.com – Private Beta & Commentable News Feed

March 30, 2009

I want to update you on a couple of things we’ve been busy with over the last month: 1) Private Beta, 2) Commentable News feed.

Rjenda.com – Four weeks into Private beta
We started our private beta at the beginning of March and now have a few hundred users. In this first phase of the private beta, we opened the site to mainly close friends and family. Many of the early users have started private groups for their family and friends with a shared calendar of events and activities. Many of these users belong to several groups and like the fact that they can share and communicate differently with each of these groups. As expected, we are getting invaluable feedback.

During the next phase of our private beta, we will start to work more closely with schools, sports teams and churches. Their groups have more advanced requirements for coordination of activities, volunteer tracking, membership and consolidation of multiple calendars, all of which we support today.

Commentable News feed
As you may know, Rjenda has news feeds that are private for each group, and yet are aggregated for a user across all their groups and friends. Users on the site today love the ability that they can see all their news and activities in one place. We have just added the capability for them to easily comment on any of these news activities, while still maintaining the security and privacy of the news item and the context that it belongs to. We expect to see a significant increase in engagement as a result of this new capability. Try it and let us know what you think.

Ranvir & The Rjenda team


Private vs. Public Groups

March 23, 2009

I was recently reading a blog by Andrew Chen where he makes reference to Public versus Private spaces. He wrote…
Public versus private spaces
One of the most important concepts in product design for social apps is public versus private spaces… Ultimately, the tradeoff is the following:

Private spaces are better for scaling across different demographics long-term, since it keeps different audiences segmented from each other. The downside is that you need to conquer the critical mass problem over-and-over again

Public spaces are better for getting to critical mass once, and generating fun. But the downside is that if you randomly get a bunch of Portuguese-speaking members, then your entire site might become known as “that Brazilian social network”

Ideally, you’d like to do all private spaces, but the downside is that it’s very hard to get momentum going. But if you win, then you win big, since it’s likely your product will be adopted by a very horizontal audience.

These concepts are very relevant to Rjenda.com as well. We started Rjenda on the assumptions that

  1. Busy individuals are a part of several private and public groups
  2. They communicate, share and interact with each of these groups differently
  3. They spend a considerable amount of time coordinating everyday activities for all their groups and friends

All of this requires strong support for “private spaces”, which we have.

Several of our users told us that  they are a part of 8-10 very active groups in their daily lives – home, extended family, friends, school classrooms, sport teams, volunteer committee, book clubs, high school friends, and more. They communicate and share differently with each of these groups, and so wanted a solution that gave them the flexibility and simplicity to do that for each group, yet in one place.

While Rjenda.com has been in private beta for just a few weeks, we are seeing that our users are members of many more private groups compared to public groups. These users have initiated several private conversation streams simultaneously and yet can see and manage all in one convenient place.

Such private groups build a level of stickiness which is harder to get from the larger, impersonal public groups.

Rjenda provides such a place, designed as a “private” space for its users.

Rjenda.com featured in a press release

March 16, 2009

Rjenda.com was recently featured in its first press release, issued by Jivaldi, LLC, regarding our business relationship with them. Jivaldi, a full service internet marketing company, has provided us with excellent development services though our product development cycle. We appreciate their help and they continue to be a valuable partner.

The press release says…

Attention Soccer moms! Millions of busy individuals and families spend countless hours each week organizing and coordinating activities across their social, school, extra-curricular and professional groups. “We simplify this coordination both for organizers and participants and help connect people who share in these activities,” says Ranvir Wadera, Rjenda founder.

“Rjenda provides a consolidated view of calendars and events, volunteer signups, news updates, and other communication across groups for each user, making it easy for a busy individual or family to stay on top of daily activities.”

Rjenda combines group coordination of calendars and volunteer signups, with social networking features including micro-blogging, news updates, and more.

The full press release is here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20090310006487/en

The Rjenda team

New help video to manage volunteer signups

March 12, 2009

We just added a new help video on how to manage volunteer signups on Rjenda. This is available in the “help” section of the site as well as on our Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/rjenda

As parents of school age kids, we all know the scene… back to school night with signup lists for parents spread on tables. We make our way through the crowd, review the lists, and signup to help where we can, providing our name, phone, and email every time we signup.

After having experienced this for many years, we thought that there must be a better way to manage this process, both for organizers and volunteers. There is – with volunteer signup lists in Rjenda.

With Rjenda, you can create signup lists for any group, or for yourself to share with your friends. Group members or friends are notified of the signup list, can view all and open items, and can volunteer online with a simple click. Volunteers can easily see what they have signed up for and are reminded of those items online and in their email digest. Each user can easily see all signup lists from friends and groups, and what they have signed up for in a consolidated view.

You can use this to arrange snack schedules, party helpers, classroom supplies, classroom and team volunteers, meeting topics, and more for your groups, and to arrange meal delivery, potlucks, parties, camping trips, and more with your friends.

Simplify the coordination of volunteer signups, and avoid the manual collating of responses, communicating of what is still open, and reminding people what they signed up for.

Give it a try at www.rjenda.com

Why we started Rjenda.com

March 4, 2009

I am like many parents with a busy family life – active kids involved in school, sports, scouts, and more, with many places to go and things to do each day. After countless days of managing and searching for emails, flyers, invitations, and more, I thought that there has to be a better way of bringing together these group activities into a single place…a site that is easy for me and others to coordinate our shared activities. That was the starting point that led us to create Rjenda.com.

We looked around and did not find anything suitable. Either there were the classic social networking sites, where I could connect with friends, or specialized sites for scheduling team activities, but nothing that let me coordinate all my everyday activities across different type of groups and still connect with the people who are involved in these activities.

I realized that I was a part of 8-10 very active groups (for me and my family) in our daily lives – extended family, friends, school classrooms, sport teams, volunteer committee, book club, high school friends, and more. I also realized that I communicate and share differently with each of these groups, and so wanted a solution that gives me the flexibility and simplicity to do that for each group yet in one place.

Rjenda.com gives me such a place to coordinate group schedules, signups, and more and also to better know and connect with people in those groups.

Try it and let us know what you think.