When you are looking for a partner or team-mates, you place a partnership advertisement. Each advertisement is made for a particular regular club session. There are 2 kinds of advertisements: public and secret. Public ones are visible to everyone who visits the partnership web page. Secret ones are not. Secret ones become known only to persons who already placed a secret ad for the same regular club session.
Matchmaking process may go 2 ways:
- You make an offer to play to one of the publicly listed ads, or if you receive an announcement of a new listing (public or secret) in your email.
- You place your own advertisement, and wait to get offers to play.
To make an offer, you simply fill in the web form with your details and submit it. If the other party is still available or interested, they'll contact you back. Your offer has an expiration date, so they'll know until when your offer is on the table.
To place an ad yourself, you first need to create your own profile. Your profile consists of your personal data (name, contact details) and, optionally, a free text. You can put in any particular requirements in there (eg. preferred bidding system, level of play). Once the profile is submitted, the system emails you the activation link. This process is necessary in order to verify the validity of the email address you entered, and protect the system from abuse. In your profile, you can also specify your preference regarding the visibility of your contact details. It's only a preference, and you can override it when placing an ad.
To place an ad, you go to the page that shows the list of all regular sessions in the club. For those sessions where you already have an ad placed, there will be a link on the side that allows you to remove that ad. If you don't have an ad placed there, you can click on the link to create one. Once you do it, all you need to do is fill in the form, choose whether you want the ad to be public or secret, and whether you want your contact details visible or not, and submit it. Then all you need to do is wait for offers for play.
Every new ad has an expiration date. By default, it's 30 days from submittal, but you can override this when creating a new ad. After the ad expired, it's automatically removed from the system. You can remove your ad earlier, if you want, via the same web page where you created it.
Visibility Of Contact Details
The only compulsory part of your contact details is your email address. This is required by the system in order to send you announcements of new listings, offers to play, etc. If you place a public ad, your email will be displayed clearly, but it's actually mangled internally, so that programs that regularly scan web pages to harvest email addresses for sending spam mail, will not be able to pick it up. You can enter all other contact details as well, and then decide, on per ad basis, whether you want them all visible or not. If your contacts are not visible, people can make you offers to play by clicking on the special link. Then the system emails you the details of the offer.
It's up to you to decide which contact details to provide and whether to make them visible or not. If your contact details are not visible, then the ONLY way for others to make you an offer to play is via Web. If they have your other contact details, like work number, mobile, etc, then you are more contactable. It's generally recommended that you make your contact details visible, but it's up to you.
Public Vs. Secret Ads
Finding a partner or team-mates is always a delicate process. Some people have no problem in doing it publicly, but some prefer to do it discreetly for various reasons (eg. already have a regular partner). This system allows you to place an ad that will not be publicly listed. Yet, there's no point in placing an ad if NOBODY is going to see it, right? So, when you place a secret ad, then the only people who receive the notification of your ad are those who ALREADY have a secret ad placed for the same club session. We notify only those with secret ads, because, if you want to play with anyone who had a public ad, you can make them an offer to play directly. Likewise, you will receive the notifications of any NEW ads, public or secret, for the same session that are made after your ad.
Ok, so you wonder, what if you wanted to keep it a secret from your regular partner that you are looking for someone else, and your partner receives the notification of your secret ad? Your partner will receive the notification only if he/she had previously placed a secret ad for the same session as well. This only means that BOTH of you are looking for an alternative, so, in this instance, the matchmaking service acts as an "amicable match-breaking" service :-) ...
The only public information available about secret ads is the total count of secret ads for any particular club session. No identifying information is ever posted to the public. Not even your club officials can see who placed secret ads (unless they are secretly looking for a partner themselves :-)), so, in a way, it's more discreet than if you use a club official as an intermediary. It's just between you and the computer :-).
Placing a public ad doesn't give you the privacy that secret ads do, but gives you far more exposure to potential partners/team-mates. You may even get someone who did not really intend to play the particular session, but were always curious to see if you may be a compatible partner... And you can still have the privacy of your contact details, if you choose to do so.
Finding a new partner or team-mates frequently involves some emotion, at some stage. The etiquette defines the rules of behaviour whose purpose is to avoid anyone feeling hurt, rejected or exposed to any other upleasantry. So, we'll try to set out some simple, common-sense rules:
- Do not use offensive language when either placing an ad, or making an offer to someone. Do not include personal remarks.
- An offer to play is just that, an offer. There is no obligation on the person receiving an offer to accept it or even respond to it. It's not rude not to respond to your offer. Some people may be just shy and don't want to contact you directly to inform you that they don't want to play with you. Some may have already made arrangements. Some may have gone to a holiday. Some may have received so many offers to play that they have no time, or a
personal secretary, to answer each one of them individually. Or maybe the system malfunctioned and they never received your offer anyway. If you don't want to wait too long for a response, you may specify a shorter expiration date for your offer.
- It's OK to make an offer to more than one advertiser. It increases your chances to find someone who'll agree to play with you. It's NOT OK to make more than one offer to the same advertiser. It's a harassment.
- If you see that your partner has placed an ad, don't take it too personal and as a reason to misbehave. Anyway, you'll be better off finding someone who will be delighted to play with you, and this facility is here to help you find such a player.
Any breaches of the above code will be dealt with by the club or body on behalf of which this facility is provided.
Just remember: this is a service for everyone, and it's there to help you find a compatible partner/team-mates, who will be happy to play with you. That's something we all want, don't we?