DAVID BURDEN EXPLAINS MORE ABOUT THE WHATSAPP GROUP - PLAY CROQUET
Originally, we set up the WhatsApp group, called Play Croquet, to help the newer members who don't have an established network of players, arrange games outside the Open Play times. It is open to anyone in the Coogee Croquet Club.
It is easy to install WhatsApp on a reasonably recent Android Phone or an iPhone. It is free, and very easy to use. Get it on Google Play or on the Apple App Store. For those who are not already users, essentially WhatsApp is a combination of Skype (free worldwide Video and Voice calls) and SMS Text Messaging. It works over your home WiFi connection and your phone's Mobile Data service. You link to contacts through their mobile phone number. It is encrypted, secure and you don't get junk or scam messages. At least I have never had one.
Play Croquet has turned out to be particularly useful when someone has to drop out of a prearranged game, and the remaining players need to find a replacement on short notice. A short message posted on Play Croquet usually gets a response within an hour! First come first served! It avoids a lot of phoning or e-mailing around and waiting for people to reply.
A few other points:
• Messages posted on the Play Croquet group are seen by everyone in the group. However, any messages that you send to individual WhatsApp contacts (in the group or not) are completely separate and private.
• Once you have installed WhatsApp on your phone, you can also set up WhatsApp on your computer. For people who prefer a proper keyboard this is great. There is no limit to the length of messages, and it is very easy to send attachments from your PC to your WhatsApp contacts. (For security reasons, the computer version of WhatsApp will only work when your phone is connected to the same local network.)
• Your phone will probably beep when you receive a WhatsApp message. If ever this becomes irritating for Play Croquet, it is very easy to mute the Group while leaving direct calls or messages from contacts unaffected.