SERVAS Online Status

Overview

Servas Online started in the autumn of 2016. One year later, about 30 countries have their member data in the new system, see https://servas.org/fr/help

Issues

1.    Placement on the map

The placement is by default in the „center“ of the „servas region“ of a member.
Unfortunately, an exact placement can currently only be done by a member himself/herself. An instruction to do this may be found on http://www.servas-austria.org/wp/2017/05/servasonline/ (in German only) 

2.    Searching

  • When searching for members it is not clear whether you found a single member or a couple. When travelling alone this may be negligible, but when I travel with my wife we prefer to visit couples. There should be a clearly visible indicator if there is a second SERVAS member in a household!f
  • When searching for members, the lines „Number of persons able to host“ and „Day Host“ should be adjacent/close together in the hosting information (so that erroneous hosting information can easily be detected, with „Day Host: No“ but missing entry in „Number of persons able to host“)
  • Some big member countries are still missing in SERVAS Online, e.g. Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, UK, USA, Mexico, Argentina, …

3.    Issues for country administrators

  • When adding an application,  the member administrator CANNOT interactively modify placement, languages, „live with“, „membership expiration“.
  • Furthermore, during adding an application „Country“ could be predefined for a country administrator, 
    „Membership Currency“ and „eStamp Currency“ could be derived from the country,
    „Role“ could be „Host“ by default.
  • I did not master it in June 2017 to produce a legacy Austrian host list

4.   Issues in English translation

  • „Family welcome: No“ and „Youth welcome: No“ sound harsh and somehow insulting to families and young travellers. I would recommend „suitable for families“ and „suitable for young travellers“

5.    Issues in German translation

  • „Familien willkommen: Nein“ and „Jugendliche willkommen: Nein“ sound harsh and somehow insulting to families and young travellers. I would recommend „geeignet für Familien“ and „geeignet für Jugendliche“
  • Gendering: button „Als Freund hinzufügen“ ==> „Als Freund/in hinzufügen“ or „Als Freund(in) hinzufügen“
  • Printing a list of found members: the button at the top says „Alles ersetzen“, which means „Replace everything“ – it should be „Alle auswählen“ („Select all“)

6.    General issues

  • Languages: there is a huge difference between „basic“ and „fluent“; in my opinion there should be a category „intermediate“ as well.

Pros

  • Member administrators can use the button „Export results“ to get a nearly complete export of their country’s data. This feature can be used to monitor from time to time whether entries have been changed, or to identify erroneous entries.

Data migration methods in 2017

There were different ways to put the host data of a country into Servas Online:

  1. Migration from Dolphin to Servas Online: Some SERVAS countries that had their data in the „Dolphin“ system before used Janek’s Dolphin exports to Excel and Bernard’s import of this Excel sheet into Servas Online. Many thanks to Janek and Bernard for their work and help! (this method was used by Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland and others)
  2. Sample Excel sheet: Another possibility is to complete a sample Excel sheet with about 70 columns and to give it to Bernard for the import into Servas Online (as done by SERVAS Slovakia)
  3. Online: The host data can be filled in interactively by a country administrator using „Add an application“. I would recommend this method to SERVAS countries with few members. Last but not least, the data can be filled in interactively by the members themselves.

In cases 1 and 2, it is still necessary that the individual members modify their level of knowledge of languages and their placement on the map, because this cannot be done automatically by the import from Excel to Servas Online.

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