Tuesday, April 5, 2016

App Review: Ryver

Ryver, a completely free communication tool for organizations, small businesses, or groups was created and built by Pat Sullivan. According to Ryver’s website,  Sullivan was named “one of the ’80 Most Influential People in Sales and Marketing History’ alongside Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Jack Welch, and Bill Gates.” After a little research, it seems Sullivan has co-created a couple different types of software to make communication easier for companies.

Graphic created by author using Canva.com
Ryver is designed with a Facebook-like platform that has groups, messages, individual profiles, etc. To get a feel for what the website is like, I created an account under my name and started using it for the intern communication for Legendary Weddings and Special Events.

The first thing that struck my attention about Ryver was that it gives you your own URL. Everyone underneath my “company”, for example,  can go to elempeotis.ryver.com and sign into his/her account. I think that this is helpful for the employees or group members who are less computer literate.

Screenshot of Ryver app

When you log into Ryver, you will see the homepage. On the left hand side of the screen, you will notice the following:

  • Search: A place to search every part of the website for information you might need. For a company like Legendary Weddings and Special Events, this would be useful when looking up bridal registrations from 2012 or to look up a file that had been downloaded previously.
  • Notification: This area will provide notifications to the different forums, documents, and teams that your account is linked to.
  • Post Stream: This area will notify you of changes in all different aspects of the website, keeping you informed on what is going on.
  • Open Forums: This section is super helpful when working on multiple projects. Also, I believe it would be helpful for a smaller company because employees could post a forum that could be titled “New Employees” or “New Interns,” providing a location for all key information to be posted. This would include things like job responsibilities, tips, accounts, etc.
  • Private Teams: This area is helpful for different projects or teams within an event/account to post without clogging up the forum area. You can work together and see your teammates, past changes in documents, etc. For Legendary Weddings and Special Events, this would be helpful when planning an event like the Central Texas Wedding Expo. The teams could include the entertainment, operations, and social media teams.
  • Direct Messages: When online, you are able to direct message to other employees/team members who are online. This is helpful when working together or when you have questions.
Other great features I have found with Ryver are:
  • Guest Invitation: You can invite guests to certain forums or private teams to view, download, and/or edit. This is great when either previewing an event with a client or when outsourcing jobs. It keeps everyone in the loop and is completely free. I have found that other similar sites charge for guests, which causes a hindrance in planning.
  • Connection to different websites: Ryver is able to connect to websites like Google Drive or Dropbox, which allows easier integration into the system. This means that users do not have to completely start over or ditch the current system they are using.
  • Hashtag and mention usage: Ryver allows you to use hashtags or mention other users like many social media sites. This can be useful when using the global search to find past information. For instance, if I need to find an example function sheet from the past, I can search for #functionsheet and find one that will be most useful to the situation I am in. User mentions can be useful when working on projects like the wedding expo. For instance, if I am on the operations team but I think that our discussion would be useful for John Smith on the social media team, I can tag him and he can see what’s going on.
  • Multiple device platforms: Ryver is accessible on many different types of devices, such as your computer, iPad, or phone. This means that you can virtually have access to your work whenever you need it, but can also keep it just at work (like I try to).
  • Email forwarding: Like Facebook, you can have certain notifications forwarded to your email. This is useful for users who are not convinced of change but still need to be included. Not only will you be able to receive emails, but you can actually reply by email instead of having to log into your Ryver account.

So far, I have found nothing but positive aspects of Ryver. I believe that there will be improvements that will pop up, but I may not have been using it long enough to find them. As of right now, I have only been using the software for a little less than 2 months. I plan to continue to test it out for at least 7-8 more months to finish out if it will be a good fit for Legendary while we’re in transition.

Ryver’s main competitor is called Slack. One thing I liked about Ryver’s website was that it did not completely tear down Slack. The first sentence you see on the “Ryver vs. Slack” page is “We love Slack.” The main difference from the outside seems to be that Ryver is free, and Slack charges for everything. In my mind, I was picturing Southwest Airlines vs Spirit Airlines. They are both good, but Southwest includes bags, snacks, drinks, and other perks while you have to pay for every additional thing on Spirit but there is a cheap base price. Sometimes you just have to decide which is best for your situation.

I would recommend the website, especially to small businesses or organizations. First of all, Ryver is free of charge and, with its Facebook-like setup, it is a SUPER useful tool. Second of all, after directing a wedding expo for a short period of time, I realize its usefulness. The biggest problem in the planning of the event was communication. We did not have one spot where everyone could post or see information/documents.

To sign your company or organization up for Ryver, all you have to do is go to www.ryver.com and then create a URL for your company. Once completed, you can start inviting users and get the ball rolling on your new website. It is easy enough to navigate and get started, and seems to be worth it in the long haul.

About the Author: Elizabeth Lempeotis is a senior public relations and event management major at Tarleton State University. You can contact her at @lizador94 on Twitter.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...