What’s New @ CGIN.coop?

Job postings, contributor profiles, and more offerings on the website

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Your online resource, CGIN—the Cooperative Grocers’ Information Network—continues to make improvements and enhancements, in response to member input and suggestions. We hope that these changes help you better access resources that help build strong, locally owned co-ops.

Make your own job postings

We’ve now added a system that allows you to make your own job postings directly on the CGIN site. We did this to allow you to more easily post job openings and notices and to allow you to make changes to those postings directly.

Here’s an overview of how it works:

1. Start. Start on the job posting login page: http://www.cgin.coop/jobs.asp.

You can also find this page from the “jobs and people available” link under “resources.”

2. Login. You will need to log in. You can use a CGIN member login or you can register. Using a member login allows you to retrieve all previous and current postings made by your co-op. You can then copy and make changes, or edit and re-post past listings. Or you can create new listings. Those who don’t have a CGIN member login can register. Registering is easy and allows us to give you access to your postings in the future if you need to change them. Your email address is your login, and you designate a password. Using this login, you’ll have access to past job postings that you’ve made but not to any of the “members only” portions of the CGIN site. Anyone can register and post job announcements—CGIN member or not.

3. Fill out the form. We ask you to provide your contact info (in case we have questions), information for the posting, and a contact for further job details. You can also attach a job description or a file with additional information. Postings automatically stay on the site for six weeks, unless you designate another date and are removed on that pull date. Listings can be posted for up to a year, and you can always change the expiration date in the future, using the same login.

4. Submit your posting. We do have to approve them—as a safeguard against something inappropriate being posted to the site. But under normal conditions, we should be able to approve your posting within 24 hours of when it is submitted.

Note that our system allows “opportunity sought” listings, as well—for those looking for a job or work in co-ops.

Notification of new job postings

In conjunction with the above, we also have a new service that allows users to subscribe to get an automatic email notification when a new job has been posted to the CGIN site. This service is confidential; no one will know who is subscribed. There is a $25 subscription fee to get listings for six months, but you can extend your subscription for another six months at no cost. For more information or to sign up, go to: http://www.cgin.coop/job_notification.asp.

Contributor profiles

Have you ever reviewed items on the CGIN site and wanted to know more about the co-op that created those items? Want to know how big or small that co-op is? Where they’re located? How to contact them for more information? Whether they have a prepared-foods department?

You can now easily learn a little bit more about other CGIN members via our “contributor profiles.” Our profiles contain a short list of basic info—number of stores, annual sales, store size, growth rate, number of employees and members, member equity requirement, information about the board, etc. Profiles also include a contact for more information as well as a link to that co-op’s website.

Our contributor profiles can be viewed by anyone (i.e., this isn’t accessible only to CGIN members). Accordingly, we don’t ask for any proprietary information. To update your co-op’s profile or to check the profile of other CGIN members, go to http://www.cgin.coop/profile.html. And, for CGIN members, whenever you click on the name of an individual contributor in any of the indexes in the members-only section, you’ll get that member’s profile as well as the list of items that member has contributed to the site.

1,000 and counting

Last year we set a very ambitious goal—to have 1,000 items on our site by the end of 2005. Late in December, we found ourselves about 30 items short of this goal and put out a call for help on the CGIN listserve. Thanks to many CGIN members, we ended up with 1,008 items in our “basic resource library” by the end of the year. The best part is that the quality of the new items we added in this last-minute flurry is top-notch. And we’ve posted almost 50 more new items on the site since the first of the year. Keep ’em coming!

Milestones and markers

CGIN is now in its ninth year. We continue to operate on a relatively modest annual budget of about $45,000 while our membership continues to grow. At the end of 2005 we had 137 retail co-op members (up from 120 at the end of 2004) and an additional 10 associate members (suppliers, organizations, and consultants). Our site experiences about 28,000 “page views” per month—67 percent more than a year ago and 172 percent more than four years ago. We have about 420 subscribers to our “main” listserve (open to anyone), 99 subscribers to the “M&M” specialized listserve for marketing and membership staff, and 56 participants in the new listserve for HR managers. Each month, approximately 1,900 different individuals use our site—up from 1,000 four years ago.

We hope you’ll all make full use of CGIN’s site and services and let us know how we can continue to meet your needs through the power of our online community.

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Karen Zimbelman is Western Corridor development director for the National Cooperative Grocers Association ([email protected] or 707/445-4849).

See other articles from this issue: #123 March - April - 2006