The second attempt was a waitlist integrate with the booking system. Once turned on, this attempt lasted a little over 48 hours. This method saw more than half of the people who used it having significant troubles with the interface. It prompted the need for detailed instructions. That is always an immediate indication a system still needs work. Too, clients starting creating waitlists with multiple emails thinking it would help their chances. Others mistyped their contact information. This created a massive nightmare here as it upended a pedantically maintained client database. Overall, the integrated system was more challenging for clients and an instant source of stress and frustration on this end. All of that for only the potential of a waitlist opening.
Next, I decided to utilise a long-held but never used Twitter account. This was considered earlier but I've been fairly adamant about not using a social media platform. That said, this feels like I am hijacking one instead of engaging with it. The reason for using it is that their platform provides the means of very easily sending out push notifications to mobile device users who want to receive them. This is essential. When it comes to reaching out to people, push notifications are far more effective than email or SMS w Also, since this Twitter method requires downloading an app, fewer people will probably choose to get involved. In theory, this should keep the overall waitlist numbers low and thus, those who are most savvy and keen will have a better chance when there's an actual opening.
After about 6-months of using Twitter, it was deemed a success for managing the waitlist needs. That said, every time I open the app to post one of the 'Booking Available' tweets, I am reminded of how toxic Twitter is as a platform. I dislike that I have the app on my phone at all. I otherwise never use it. I really shouldn't complain as it has served the needs here perfectly. Surprisingly, a large number of clients are now following that profile. Of course, I have also received feedback from those who don't want to sign up for an account.
So, here we are in 2021 and more than ever, I am determined to free myself from all social media apps. I thought that perhaps a messaging platform might be an even better solution. After looking into the major players in the game, I quickly settled on Telegram. It features a unique feature called, 'channels'. These only permit broadcasting messages. All communications are 1-way. This is perfect. It also has all the push notification capabilities of a well-developed smartphone app. I think we might have found our winner.
For the time being, I will be posting the 'Booking Available' notifications to both Twitter and Telegram. Once I feel that Telegram is providing what is needed, the Twitter account will go dark. Hopefully, this is the end of the waitlist story. That said, this is technology. If there is one certainty, is that things change.