Getting started with interests.me

Welcome to interests.me! Before you get started, here are a few pointers below.

The best place to sign up for interests.me is at https://interests.me/register, or - if you already know which community your organisation wants to belong to, just click on 'Join' on that community website.

We recommend that you use your own personal email address to sign up to interests.me, rather than using your organisation's email address. This is because as an individual you may want to use interests.me to administer more than one organisation.

Next, you'll tell us about the organisation you'd like to set up first on interests.me. We'll use this information to create a public profile page for your organisation at yourorganisation.interests.me - where you can collect subscribers to any email lists that you want to invite people to join. (Your email lists can be private if you like, and if they're private they won't appear on this page).

We also use the information you tell us about your organisation to make sure the emails you send have all the correct information on them. Some of this is to meet legal requirements.

Don't worry if you don't have all the information about your organisation to hand immediately - you can fill this in later in the 'Settings' section (denoted by a spanner symbol at the top right, when you are logged in).

When you've told us the basics about your organisation, you're in!

Stories
The first page you'll see once you've created an account is the 'My stories' page. A ‘story’ is what we call an event, piece of news or anything you want to communicate. You can draft one without publishing or finalising it. Stories can have a maximum of one image, and can also have event details added, so that they can go into an events calendar.

Once you've written a story, you can choose how you use it. You can enable it for web publishing and social media, or you can just use it to create an email newsletter or a print newsletter without publishing it anywhere.

Web publishing
At the menu at the top you'll see 'Web publishing'. All the stories you’ve enabled for web publishing appear here. You can see clearly where your stories are currently published online, and unpublish them from any sites if they’re not relevant for that site. By default, all stories listed here are available for other organisations to share in their emails, print or social media.

Social media
Next you'll see 'Social media'. Here's where all the stories you’ve enabled for social media appear. Connect your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts to see clearly where and when you've shared your stories on social media. Our system doesn't post anything to social media until you tell it to. You can also use our 'Tweet List' function to line up lots of tweets to post to Twitter on a rotating basis.

Email newsletters
Next you'll see 'Email newsletters'.

Before you can create an email newsletter you'll need a mailing list. Usually we create one for you and call it 'Email updates'. Anyone can sign up to this list at your public profile page. You can find all your mailing lists in the 'Mailing lists' tab under 'Email newsletters'. Mailing lists can be private or public, and you can add more mailing lists if you wish. To change your mailing list’s name or settings, or to add subscribers, click on its name. Here you're also able to upload existing email address lists to interests.me, or add your subscribers individually.

To send an email, choose the 'Email newsletters' tab at the top of the page and click on 'Create new email' on the top right. You'll be able to choose which mailing list to send an email to, and then you'll be invited to select which stories to include in your email. You can reorder these before sending your email.

Adding team members
To involve other members of your team in writing stories, sending emails or managing mailing lists, go to 'Settings' (denoted by a spanner symbol at the top right) and click on 'Team members' where you can invite them using their email address, specifying which mailing lists they will have access to. They'll then receive an email inviting them to create their own log-in account. You'll then be able to see, edit and use each others' stories.

We hope you enjoy using interests.me and please get in touch with us if you have any questions or any problems at all - we love to hear from you about anything, no matter how small.

Paul Fisher & Helen Cammack
Founders