Reed Switchboard: A Guide
1. What is Reed Switchboard?
Reed Switchboard is a service for Reed students and alumni that connects "asks" and "offers." It's a bit like Craigslist, except exclusively for the Reed community, and with a focus on helping Reedies network and get jobs. Reedies past and present have asked for and offered jobs, internships, mentorship, advice, hosting at cities around the world, and even a chance to sail around the Mediterranean.
For alumni, Switchboard has a number of benefits. If you want career advice, or are looking for a specific job but don't know where to start, try Switchboard. If you're looking to hire a Reedie for your law firm or vaccum repair company, or if you need a research assisstant or a collaborator for your avant-chiptune band, Switchboard can be a great place to post the offer. If you want to give something back to Reed, positing asks, offers, and regularly commenting on posts is a great way to directly help the Reed community, even if you're living on the other side of the world! It's also great if you want to get rid of an old TV, find a couch to crash on for two nights in LA, or need somebody to watch your kids.
Signing up for Switchboard is easy! Go to reedswitchboard.com and choose "Sign up." You can connect your Facebook, Twitter, or Google Account to Reed Switchboard, or create an acccount with Switchboard.
To create a Switchboard account, just enter your first name, last name, email address, password, and Reed Affiliation (if you have multiple affiliations, choose the one that best describes you.) As far as the answer to the question at the bottom, "What Concrete Bird has been fought over since 1913?", make sure you enter the bird's full name: D**** O**. (If you don't know the name for whatever reason, such as being a parent or new student, just email us at email@example.com, and we will give you the answer.)
If you have trouble signing up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following image helps explain all the options that you have at the homescreen:
To post to Switchboard, choose "Ask or "Offer" from the homepage. For something like housing, the difference is fairly clear cut: if you're looking for housing, it's an "Ask", if you're offering housing (even if you are charging for it), it's an "Offer." Often, particularly when it comes to jobs, your posts will fall somewhere in between an ask and an offer. Don't sweat too much over the distinction: choose whatever feels right to you. Regardless of which you choose, the drop-down menu will be the same:
The rest is fairly self-explanatory: give your post a title, add the text, location(s), and any relevant tags. Use a location and tags that will be descriptive and allow others to easily find your post with a search. You can enter multiple locations: if you were looking for a job, in a place like Oakland, CA, you could enter both "Oakland, CA", and "San Francisco, CA". If you want to find what other tags and locations others are using, try adjusting the filters on the homepage.
On an individual post, below the text, you have a number of ways to interact with it.
- Leave a Comment
- Log a "Success": If you've had a successful interaction with this post (i.e.: Billy Bob '05 posted asking for job advice, you met with Billy Bob at Starbucks and had a great conversation), you can log a success to let everyone know! This helps because it makes clear which posts have been successfully resolved and which are still open.
- Favorite: Like a post to let the poster know that their Ask or Offer is appreciated.
- Direct Message: Message the poster instead of commenting publicly. Although you are encouraged on Switchboard to share your conversations with the community, sometimes a direct message is more appropriate. You can set up your direct messages to forward to your mailbox.
- Flag: If content strikes you as inappropriate, you can request it be removed. See Reed Switchboard's Community Standards for what constitutes an unacceptable post. If a post strikes you as especially alarming, please contact email@example.com or call 503/777-7589.
Reed Switchboard may seem very simple, but it has a number of features designed to help make it easier for you to find what you're looking for.
One of the best ways to experience Switchboard is to set up an email alert. You can keep up with what's happening on Switchboard by getting periodic email updates that only show the content you care about.
To make a new Alert, click on your profile picture at the top right hand corner of the screen, and choose "Set up Alerts." From there, you'll see this screen:
You can add another alert very easily: for this example, say I'm looking for all posts about Housing and Hosting in San Francisco, CA. I'll highlight both "Asks" and "Offers", "Housing", "Hosting", and then choose "San Francisco, CA" as my city. Then, just choose "Create Alert", and the alert will be ready to head out the next time there is a post that fits the criteria.
To see your active alerts, scroll down to the box entitled "My Alerts." As you can see below, you're automatically signed up for a weekly email that sends you all Asks and Offers. Click on the gearbox to edit or delete any of your alerts.
As mentioned above, setting a filter allows you to easily sort your content. Simply adjust any of the four boxes at the top of the homepage. You can filter by location, ask/offer, and post type, as well as by tags (the right-most drop down box.) To go back to the standard page, simply click the "reset" button.
You can do a text-based search for posts using the spyglass icon at the top of the page. This will search the text of posts instead of the tags, so if you're looking for posts about dog-sitting, searching "dog" wouldn't be a bad idea.
Thanks for using Switchboard and helping out the Reed community!