Our free Critical-Mass Blogging Teams got several upgrades yesterday, designed to increase activity and interaction between Team members.

Critical-Mass Blogging Teams offer bloggers a way to connect with like-minded bloggers and build relationships that naturally strengthen credibility, drive traffic, and aid content creation. There is no cost for the service.

Yesterdays upgrades included the addition of a Team Messaging Feed, improved email notifications, and design improvements.

Team Messaging Feed

In the past, perhaps the biggest shortcoming of the system has been that there wasn't an easy enough way for Team members to communicate with each other.

Members have always been able to post a contact link, which could be a link to their feedback form, an email address, or something similar. But since contact methods weren't standardized, and there way no way to message the entire group, communicate was difficult.

We recently added Team video chat, but there was still no easy way to coordinate times to meet.

One solution we contemplated was adding an email form. But because of concerns about it's potential for abuse by spammers, and deliverability issues, that was never implemented.

As of yesterday, Team members can post messages to a special RSS feed. By subscribing to your Teams' feeds, you can easily and reliably stay up-to-date on Team communications.

Improved Notifications

Team members receive notification emails when their membership is approved, when a new member joins the Team, and for administrators, when someone applies for membership. These emails have been improved in two ways.

First, they used to be...sort of ugly. They were simple plain-text messages. They've now been dressed up in a nicer looking and easier to read HTML format.

Second, we discovered the several Teams had applicants waiting for approval which have never been acted on, suggesting that the Team leaders missed the notification email. So now, instead of only sending a single email when someone applies, we'll send a reminder every three days until the new applicants are either accepted or rejected.

Design Improvements

Finally, several pages were upgraded with improved, responsive (mobile friendly) layouts to make them easier to read, and to highlight their most useful parts.

If you have a blog full of great content that isn't getting the attention and traffic you deserve, join one of our Teams (or start your own). Together, we'll take your blog to the next level.