We thought we'd take this opportunity to introduce ourselves and Chariot.
Chariot was spawned from an app I built for my own church earlier this year.
In February, Harvest Glasgow moved from our rented building in Pollokshields into our own building in Mosspark (about 2 miles away).
The new building was off the public transport line and I wanted a way for people to request a ride to church without feeling like a burden to others. This would also have been useful for me when travelling in the US where the majority of the time you're not sure how to get to a church by public transport.
I spent a few days with my favourite PHP framework and before I knew it, had something running pretty quickly.
A couple of folks heard about the idea, expressed an interesting in their church using Chariot. So after some consideration, I decided to build Chariot as a product.
What does it actually do?
Great question. It's pretty simple as it goes, at least from your guests perspective. With our widget placed anywhere on your church website it works like this:
- guest fills out the form on your website with details of when they need picked up
- the form sends a notification to your Slack channel (you need to setup Slack to use Chariot)
- all of the drivers in your Slack channel are notified that there's a request sitting
- a driver can then accept the ride
- all other drivers are then notified that driver X is picking up that guest
- your guest receives an SMS message to notify them of who is picking them up, what car they drive, colour and its licence plate
Where are we right now?
While the concept I built this year works, it's not in a position where it can support multiple churches just yet. So I'm building that out to make it as easy as possible for you to signup, invite drivers and then manage your ride requests.
Visually, things will change for Chariot in the coming months. Jonathan's working hard to cook up a storm there with a better brand. He's a really talented designer and you can totally hire him! You can keep an eye on Jonathan's work in progress.
Last week we used the Church Communications Facebook group to seek some other beta testers (props to Katie Allred for announcing that for us).
As soon as we finalise our beta testers, we'll post some feedback sessions from them right here on the blog.
Again - happy to have you.
Until next time,