The Field Guide

Updates, Ideas, and More from the folks behind Yellowstone

Jan 27

Pinned Content has Arrived!

Pinning

We've also updated the Yellowstone Console with a few new tools to make managing your content easier.

Pinned Content & Publication Status
The first thing you may notice is the new status dot to the left of each content item. This dot displays both the current publication status of an item, as well as if it is pinned or not. A green dot means the item is published in your app. A red dot means it is not. A green dot with the white thumbtack means the item is published and pinned in your app. Click a green dot make an item pinned. Click a green dot with a pin to unpublish the item, it will then display a red dot. Click a red dot to publish the item, changing the dot back to green. The publication status is saved as you change it.

What Does Pinning Do?
An item that is pinned will show up first in its respective content list. For example, an Event that is pinned will show up first in the Events block on your app’s home screen as well as first in the default view on the Events screen. The same applies to items in News, Action, Messages, and Photos. We are also using pinning to make content a little easier to find in your Console. By default, anything that is pinned will now show up first in your Console.

Other Console Updates
You can now change the sort order of content by clicking on the header of any column. You can sort by ascending or descending for that column. Clicking one sorts descending, clicking again sorts ascending, and a third time reverts to the default sort.

You will also notice that we have removed the "Action" button on the right of the content. Now, when you mouseover an item in the Console, the "Edit" action buttons will appear immediately underneath that item.

Feel free to let us know what you think of the updates and if you have questions about how to use any of the new features.

Dec 22

Introducing App Analytics

Today we are rolling out the single largest change to the Yellowstone Console: app analytics. Now every time you log into your account Yellowstone will present a usage overview of your app on the home page. The data presented is specifically tuned to provide the most complete and up-to-date overview of your app in a way that simpler stats – like app downloads – cannot.

Here's what you can expect next time you log into the Yellowstone Console:

App analytics

Once you know what you're looking at, this will be a great resource to understand what's going on with your app.

(1) Date Range
Here you can change the time period that the data draws from. While we're launching this tool today, your data goes back to about mid-November. You can choose any number of days and all the data on the page will update accordingly. The time zone you choose should have little impact on the data that’s displayed, but it is necessary to determine when a day starts and when a day ends.

(2) Numeric Data
Across the top of the analytics page are four key metrics: Active Devices, Screen Views, App Launches, and New Members. These four metrics are better indicators about how your app is doing than app downloads. Like all the data on this page, these numbers will change depending on your chosen date range.

Yellowstone will also display a percent-change next to the numeric data title; green for positive change, red for negative change. The percent-change is calculated by comparing the current data to past data. For example, if you select one week of data to display, Yellowstone will compare that to the previous week’s data and show you the percent-change between the two weeks. If you select ten days of data, Yellowstone will compare those ten days to the previous ten days.

Here's what the numeric data numbers across the top of your console mean:

  • Active Devices: This is the total number of devices the app has been launched on
  • Screen Views: The total number of individual screens viewed in the app – this is most similar to page views on the web
  • App Launches: The number of times the app has been opened
  • New Members: Probably the most self-explanatory: the number of new accounts created by your members

We've included tooltips – a little blue circle with a ? in it – that will tell you what the numeric metric is for future reference when you mouse-over it.

(3) Platform Stats
These two charts show break out app usage by platform. The first, Unique Devices by Platform, shows you both total number of unique devices each day (the full height of the bar) as well as the breakdown between Android (blue) and iOS (orange). Mouse-over any bar and Yellowstone will tell you the exact number of iOS users and Android users for that day.

The pie chart, Screen Views by Platform, gives you a quick glance at what percentage of your members are using Android (blue) and iOS (orange).

(4) Screen Views Over Time
The final stacked line chart across the bottom breaks down screen views over time. Here you can see which screens are most popular both over the selected date range as well as over individual days. Mouse-over on a given day and Yellowstone will display the data for that day.

This is just the beginning of analytics in Yellowstone. We plan on continuing to roll out more analytics tools across the console to give you insights into how your app is being used.

Oct 5

New Push Notifications

Push notification display

This morning we rolled out a pretty big update to Yellowstone's push notification tools. A ton of work has gone into this update over the last few months and we are very excited to finally have it out in the field.

Before we get into the new features, a few notes: Push Notifications now exist as a separate content type from Messages. You will see a new section for Push Notifications in your Console with the option to Create and Manage the notifications. Messages still exist as a content type in Yellowstone and in your apps, but they no longer trigger a Push Notification themselves. The Push Notification itself does not appear in your app. They are designed to send your members to other bits of content within the app itself.

Okay, now onto all the cool new stuff:

Scheduling: All push notifications can now be scheduled. Want to send a push notification reminder to get out and vote? You can create that today and schedule it for Nov 8th. Use the new scheduling system to send separate notifications to members in the morning for each time zone. All notifications are created in GMT. We've included a link to a handy time zone converter to figure out when to set your notification in GMT. Please double-check you have both the date and the time correct when creating push notifications.

Targeting: You are now able to send push notifications to a segment of your members. Just upload a CSV file of email addresses and Yellowstone will do the rest. Now target everyone who has RSVP'd to an event (just download the CSV from the Event's RSVP page). Create a custom list of members in a specific zip code, or state, or any other combination you want. All Yellowstone needs is a list of email addresses. Users must have created a membership account in the app in order to receive target notifications. Push Notifications created without a list of members will go to all members.

Content Linking: Lastly, any Action, News item, or Event can be linked to from a Push Notification. Create a push notification for an Action to boost its response rate, send everyone on the RSVP list to the Event screen directly from the Push Notification, or use a notification for breaking news.

With the combination of scheduling, targeting, and linking, push notifications just got a whole lot more powerful. We're excited to roll this out for you all today.

One last note: as always, because of the way Push Notifications work, it can take up to ten minutes for a notification to appear on a phone after it has been delivered by Yellowstone.

Aug 9

Home screen

A Smarter Home Screen

The Home Screen of your app just got a bit smarter with today's update.

We've rolled out a simple algorithm that selects up to three of the most recent events, civic actions, news items and pages to display on your app's home screen. Right now the items are grouped together. Yellowstone does take into account the member's current distance from an event's location as well as the time and date when factoring in which to display on the home screen.

Overtime the Home Screen will continue to get smarter, displaying the most relevant content for each individual member making your app even more useful for all of your members.

Jul 20

Small Tweak to Events

This morning we pushed a minor - but we think, very useful - change to Yellowstone. Previously there was a "Hosted By" field associated with an Event that would appear above the address information for the Event in the apps. The idea was to make it simple to tell the user who was hosting the event.

However, from feedback and user testing, the field wasn't being used all that much and there is additional location-related information that is of equal or greater importance to your users; information like the name of the location (e.g. Taylor State Park) or room information (e.g. Sapphire Ballroom).

You can see this change here:

Event change 1

You can still enter Host information (and we've automatically converted any "Hosted By" information to this format) by just entering "Hosted By Wagtime" or whoever your host is into the field.

Event change 2

This is a small change, but one we think you'll find more useful and more informative for you users. And again, if you had information in the old "Hosted By" field, that information hasn't changed. It's still there.

Jun 7

New What's New

Welcome to the new What's New blog. We've created this area to keep you informed about the cool changes and new features for the Yellowstone platform and mobile apps. You'll continue to receive the occasional email highlighting new features and changes, and we'll also post that information and more details about those changes, here. As always, if you have any questions, you can reach us at support@yellowstonehq.com.

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