Sitter calendar

So I now know that the theory is that green means available and white means unavailable but my question…is this even vaguely accurate or reliable? Or am I better just contacting individual sitters who have ‘saved’ my listing if I want to ask some one direct?
I could, obviously, just list the dates but thought, having read all about the 5 applicant rule, that it might be nice to actually invite sitters who had already shown an interest in case they miss the 5 applicant deadline! Thanks

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Not a silly idea @largo! Don’t know how effective it will be but worth a shot. I have a few favourited sits because I wasn’t sure of my plans when I initially saw the sit but if I missed being in the first five, this does open a channel for a HO to try. To date I have only ever been contacted once through this situation.

Not the same situation but as I had applied for and missed a particular sit, the HO could still contact me later and offered me the sit when the original applicant cancelled. You having sitters who have favourited you does give both parties an opportunity. Again, not sure how it will work out but hey, nothing gained, nothing lost :person_shrugging: Oh, and when a sit is confirmed, the calendar automatically blocks the sit dates but sitters can also block dates themselves if they want to. So I would say, yes, the calendar is accurate IF the sitter is also blocking dates they aren’t available.

Most sitters don’t use the calendar. Some, because it’s janky, but mostly because the vast majority of sitters sit only occasionally, so why bother? They can just search for sits when they’re ready.

Even if THS upgraded the calendar, most sitters probably wouldn’t use it.

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@largo it’s as accurate as the sitter chooses it to be . Some update it ( we do ) many don’t choose to .

Even though our dates are accurate- there is no way for us to show the location where we are looking for sits for those dates.

So you may see that our calendar is green and invite us , but your location may not be what we are looking for.

Contacting those who have saved you as a favourite at least opens up a line of communication with the sitter - who has no other way of contacting you .

Thanks to every one who answered my post. I’ll give it a try by taking a look at the sitters who have ‘favourited’ me (not sure that’s a word but I do know I’ve UK spelt it :rofl:) Then check against their dates and offer private dates before reverting back to the open dates method!

You might also post your listings with “Dates flexible” or such, which might prompt some sitters to feel comfortable applying even if they can’t match your exact dates — then you could negotiate specific times that would work mutually, if you have flexibility. Some hosts have mentioned doing that. Of course, that might mean you’d have to stay on top of clearing out your five applicants at a time and unpausing your listing.

@Maggie8K The only thing being I already hate refusing what seem to be really nice people when I post dates, so opening to 5 applicants when I don’t have actual dates doesn’t seem fair. Fortunately thus far, it’s not been a problem for us to get great applications from sitters I was just aware of the 5 applicant rule and thinking to contact people who have already ‘saved’ us/the area/the cats so they get first dibs as it were! We’ve been really lucky in the sitters we have had apply and always had great experiences. Hopefully this will continue though sometimes reading the forum I feel our luck might run out!

I hear you. It would be nice if there were a feature that hosts could activate if they were willing to be contacted for potential sits in the future, or say if sitters could indicate potential availability for specific locations or sits.

On Nomador, I originally contacted a host for a sit and we ended up with me agreeing to a later date.

@ziggy Have I missed THS updating the calendar so that sitters can mark their unavailable dates? I know this is somethong many sitters, including myself, have been asking for for years. We only had the ability to mark dates we are available. I’d be delighted if this has changed, but somehow I doubt that it has…

Hi @Debbie :wave: Not sure this will help or you already know about this but I’ll post anyway. This is the only way to do it but not sure if it’s new or not, just how I have always done it - if I get around to it :rofl:

@ziggy The description of white on the calendar in your screenshot is not really true in most cases.

Green is the colour shown on the calendar when a sitter has marked dates as available

White and struck through is what is displayed for dates when a sitter has a confirmed THS sit

White is the default colour, and just means not updated. Sitters do not have the ability to mark dates as unavailable.

My white dates are usually term time. We’re not unavailable, but we do have restrictions on our availability. We could do a fairly local weekend sit, or maybe even a very local sit during the week for pets who could be left during the day. We can’t travel to sit. It would be nice to be able to block out genuinely unavailable time, separately from the default white.

I’d like to see
Green = Available
Crossed out = THS Sit
Red = Unavailable
White = Maybe or not updated

Then the calendar might actually be useful

When you stated “sitters can block dates themselves if they want to” I was checking to see if the situation had changed and sitters had now been given the ability to block unavailable dates. I thought it was probably too much to hope for!

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As a Sitter, I have never used the availability calendar.

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Me, neither. There’s little motivation for most sitters to bother filling out the calendar. Like I don’t care whether hosts invite me or not out of the blue, because it’s so unlikely that a sit will randomly work out that way, with timing, location and other preferences. It’s much more fruitful to just search for available sits.

I can understand why hosts might find it useful to see sitters’ availability, but any feature that requires a user’s effort (sitters’ efforts, in this case) has to be compelling enough for them to bother with — that’s agnostic of THS, because it’s basic human behavioral psychology. And with a feature like calendars, a company / platform needs the majority of users willing to engage in it or it won’t achieve enough momentum.

It would be more effective if there were a feature that allowed sitters to indicate interest in certain locations and certain windows, so hosts could search for matches. Or something along those lines.

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@Debbie on the calendar, white IS the default for unavailable. If you wanted your calendar to be perfect, to show the actual available/not available dates) you just add all the dates you are available and the rest, in white, are unavailable dates. And of course the white with the line through is busy on a THS sit. You can change these dates, edit or delete them as often as your situation changes.

White - UNAVAILABLE (unticked, not green, but vivid clear dates)

Green - available

White crossed out - on a THS sit

Example…

So you can just leave your calendar as it is and it shows all dates unavailable unless it’s a THS sit, or you add in the dates you ARE available (green) which then show on your profile page. So your calendar WILL show your unavailable dates. I agree, t’s a :poop:y calendar the way it’s done and yep, it needs changing. But we need to work with what we have. So. If you put in the dates you ARE available, they show on your profile page and that’s what the HO sees, as in the screenshot below. So you can do exactly as you say, put in, take out, whatever dates you choose, as often as you like.

Not sure we are on the same page. Hope we are.

From the perspective of a nomadic sitter, the intersection of time and place is not at all captured by the availability calendar. Or necessarily by the location designated on the sitter’s profile. A sitter may tag your listing as a favorite for various reasons. I often tag listings not currently seeking a sitter bc I want the system to notify me if they post new dates, because I find their sit particularly attractive. Or sometimes they have a live posting that will work for me, but only if I get another sit I’ve already applied for, so I favorite it to find it later. But, if a sitter has favorited you, they’re interested. We can’t contact you if you don’t have a live listing. You can always drop us a line. And if the calendar doesn’t indicate unavailability, it doesn’t hurt to ask. (Also, I can’t even see how my calendar is presented to HOs–like it’s not on my profile preview, so I have NO idea what you are seeing, and it’s hard to get excited about keeping it up to date).

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I went through it every week and updated it, tbh I stopped as it was getting and still do get invites from HO even though it showed we are not available or were booked for another THS sit.
happy travels

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I think as a host that it probably only works if the sitters who favourite you as a host also keep the calendar up to date and actually know what the system is which I didn’t until I asked the question triggered by my deciding to actually contact sitters to see if they might be interested in some dates coming up. When I looked more at some people there was the strike through which was at least easy to understand. Then most sitters seemed to be ‘white’ and suddenly I saw green…that’s when I asked before I saw red! :rofl:

Now I guess when I have my dates totally fixed I can if I want, contact sitters who have expressed interest for one reason or another and also have green over the dates for which I would like covered. Or indeed I suppose it may be easier to just post open dates!!

@J0e you are absolutely correct about the intersection of time and place. And this doesn’t just apply to fully nomadic sitters, but also to sitters who work and are not nomadic. This is exactly what I was getting at when I was explaining to @ziggy why there are some dates that I cannot in good conscience mark as available, because I am limited by the need to go to work, but could potentially sit certain pets in a certain location.

@ziggy I do fully understand how the calendar currently functions. And I agree it’s :poop:y !

In an ideal world, the default should be not updated, and unavailability should be entered by the sitter. One colour shouldn’t two things (unavailable or not updated)

Out of interest, how do you think I should update the days I work and the kids are in school? We are not unavailable, just limited geographically, and to certain types of pet (i.e. those that can be left for 6 hours).

I still get invitations for my white dates anyway, so I guess it doesn’t really matter!

I will always pop on here to point out that sitters can’t update unavailable dates, but can only mark dates they are available each time someone brings it up. Maybe one day THS will take notice!

@Debbie I guess it’s the old “what’s the meaning of life” insofar as the calendar :rofl: It needs work to be more user friendly that’s for sure, so let’s just hope they one day make it easie, or more sensible. Goodness, THS can implement new rules at the drop of a hat, surely a better calendar couldn’t be that hard? I don’t personally use it anyway lol Good luck with it all, one can only hope. Safe travels
:pray: