The member CSV importer I mentioned last week is now live! We’re really excited for this – it will make getting started and using CrowdBinder so much easier.
The import is really smart, but it does require a little explanation. I’ll go into some more detail here, but don’t worry, there’s some more help in CrowdBinder as the import walks you through its steps.
First off: what’s CSV?
“CSV” stands for “Comma-Separated Values”. When you use a program like Excel, you can create all kinds of formatting and formulas. However, all that formatting needs to be recorded somehow, and takes up a lot of space because it’s surprisingly complex. This means you have to look at Excel files in Excel, or else it’s just gibberish.
Since we’re not Microsoft, a regular Excel spreadsheet would look like gibberish to CrowdBinder too.
A CSV file is the data in a spreadsheet in its simplest form. All it is is data, with commas (hence the name) separating each piece. You can’t do any formatting, but it’s so simple that you can open it up in a text editor like Notepad and understand all the data.
Wikipedia has a really good entry on CSV files.
How do I make a CSV file?
Fortunately, it’s really easy to make a CSV file!
First of all, and this is important: you need to make sure that all the data in each column is of the same type, down the length of the spreadsheet. So: if you have an email in one cell, every cell below it should be an email address as well.
Once you’ve made sure the data looks good, in Excel just click on Save As…, and in the save as box, click the drop down menu below the file name and select “CSV (Comma delimited)”
This creates a brand new file, so your original spreadsheet is safe. When you close the spreadsheet, Excel will ask you if you want to save it, which is pretty confusing. It’s already saved, so just hit “no” and it will close.
Now that you have your CSV file, open up CrowdBinder, go to People, and hit the import button. The import walks you through each step and is really quite easy to use!