I was honored to be invited to check out RVillage before it went live and apparently they’re as impatient as I am, so I’m glad to see they went ahead and started inviting folks into the community even while still in beta stage. It actually is exciting to be part of something new like this and even if there are kinks and bugs to work out like in any new venture, it’s cool to be part of that, too.
Some of the real “heavy-hitters” of the RV world are involved in getting this started up, so before I go into my own experiences, I’ll share what they have said that got me hooked:
Technomadia – Cherie and Chris are part of the core team and shared the introduction first, and even though they were reluctant at first to take on a new project, I’m happy to see them so involved with all the RVing experience they have. I particularly appreciated their insights into intentions: “Sometimes the universe completely ignores the intentions you set, and gives you exactly what you need.” They explain,
“The core idea of RVillage is to create a very simple (and free) tool for RVers to connect with each other – not just online, but right in the RV parks and places they are currently staying in. When a user checks into a location in RVillage, they can discover the things that they have in common with other RVers right around them. This sure beats leaving connections up to chance encounters while walking the cat, or the random stranger coming up asking “what type of engine is in that thing?” while you are busy dumping the tanks.” With RVillage, an RV park full of strangers becomes a village full of friends.”
Geeks on Tour – Jim and Chris Guld expressed one of my own reservations at first when they said, “I don’t need another social network.” But, like them, I discovered this is a unique opportunity that allows you to check in and share either your general location or specific campground and gives the chance for contact and get-togethers. They’re also going to be using RVillage to set up Geeks on Tour computer seminars at various locations as they travel across the country.
RV-Dreams – Howard and Linda Payne are the only initial members I’ve personally met yet, so I was thrilled to see them involved. They wrote a great comprehensive intro to all the features with screen shots, but I really liked how they were also excited about being able to use this “as a tool to connect more easily, organize get-togethers, and keep track of each other.”
I’ve already met a really neat couple using this feature:
While on the site, I saw another couple check in to Tremont Outdoor Resort. I sent TN-campers a message and invited them to stop by my site for a visit if they had time. The next day, they did just that. We ended up having a great visit and I really look forward to seeing them again!
Another neat thing might be getting invitations to fun things. When I had extra tickets to Dixie Stampede because friends had to cancel at the last minute, I posted to RVillage to see if anyone could join me on the spur of the moment. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out in time for that, but afterwards I got messages from others with local contacts so it still turned out good.
So my experience is that it’s fun to be part of something that’s starting off as a true community of like-minded folks who love to RV. It’s exciting to be in on the ground floor and watch it grow – as of today, over 3,900 members! Established by folks who understand the traveling lifestyle who welcome input and actually listen to the comments and suggestions they welcome in the RVillage Beta Feedback group forum is another plus in my book.
Here’s the deal if you haven’t already and want to join “Our Village” – that pronunciation is actually the way it’s intended and I’m excited to be part of it. My screen name there is Malias Miles, so look me up if you join.
Location: That button at top left will let you notify members of where you are, whether in an RV park or general location. I’ve had some single women RVer friends who were concerned about the security aspect, but you don’t have to give specific park if you don’t want to. You can even just say, “on the road” or whatever.
Profile: Fill it in and share a picture – makes it more interesting and easy to find and identify folks you may already know or want to get to know better by sending friend requests.
Home Page: A stream that basically works like Facebook’s newsfeed where you can post a general update or just see what your friends are up to. To check out all members, on the left column, click on Entire Network and you can view profiles, search for and buddy up with existing friends here, or send friend requests for new contacts.
Groups: Check out existing groups with special interests (Winnebago owners, photography, hiking, or create your own. They even have a RVillage Beta Feedback group where you can give feedback on any glitches you find, make suggestions from your wish-list, etc. Each group has its own forum for use only by its members.
Get Togethers: Check out existing plans or create your own.
Explore: Click here to find other Villagers in your area after filling out search preferences (all members, friends, group members, rv parks). Below is a screen shot that shows the map that pops up.
Handy Tip from Technomadia: When using the Explore Map and viewing people checked into various spots – if you right click on their name and click ‘Open in new Tab’ (or window) – their profile will open in a tab/window. This leaves your map still visible and centered/zoomed so you can continue your browsing right where you left off.
Mobile App: Last I heard, they were still working on this, but it’s coming.
Sales Opportunities: Looking for some extra gas money to support your travel habit? They’re also offering opportunities to join the team of traveling sales associates to sell advertising where you can work remotely from anywhere with internet access. Check out “Join Our Team on RVillage” on right column for more details and application. Also see Technomadia post from today for more info.
I got a kick out of a friend who said, “I am a Village People!” If you want to be one, too, click and join and look me up (Malias Miles). I look forward to meeting you there!