The Category List

Unlike the home page in Close by Me, the Category List allows you to search for messages posts and view individual results in a list format. This page is usually used to provide a deeper dive from the main page, and allows you to further refine a search, or adjust depending on what you are looking for. On this page, you will notice that you have several more search options which help you to refine and navigate for what you looking for.  Anyone can search a post using the search and sort options. However, registered users can filter their search list by choosing to view posts either from all members or only from their friends and people they follow on Close by Me.

Searching the List

Upon entering the Category List page, you will notice that the page defaults to a previous search options, or if you entered from Home page, it will use the same options you selected from that page, and provide an expanded view of the category you selected.  All search items are optional, except for the starting location, distance and category. These three items are essential to help navigate the community and find what you are looking for.

To search the category list page:

  • Click Posts from the main menu, or
  • Choose a sub-category from the classifieds tab on the Home page. The posts of the selected category or sub category are displayed.

Enter Location Starting Point

Close by Me leverages the power of postal/zips to do an approximate search in terms of starting point and distance of search. Ideally, you would provide the system with your current postal/zip code. However, if you do not know your exact location, you can pick a location from the list of the cities.

To select the appropriate starting point:

  • First select: Search by City or By Postal/Zip Code
  • If you select Search by City, Select a city from the City drop-down list.
  • If you select Search by Postal/Zip Code, Enter a postal code in the Postal/Zip Code text field.

 

Note: each city in the list is associated with one generic postal/zip code, and may not represent your exact current location. The list of cities is only the top metropolitan areas in the Close by Me community in terms of population size. Currently, Close by Me only has United States and Canadian postal/zip codes. The postal code list is updated quarterly, and recently added postal codes may not be in the general system at the time of use.

Entering Search Distance/Proximity

Distance the second essential part in your search. By adjusting distance from 1 mile to as high as global (100,000 miles), you can determine how far you are willing to go to find a post of interest. You may want to find a special antique lamp anywhere in the world, or you may want to find an activity group or an apartment within one mile of where you are.  As results are produced you will see the approximate distance of these posts from your starting search location.  If your search yields too many results, you may want to narrow your proximity of search. Similarly, if your search yields no results, you may want to expand your coverage adequately.

To select the search distance:

  • Select a distance from the Distance drop-down list from 1 mile to global (global translates to 100,000 miles in the system)

 

Note: the system typically defaults to the user’s postal/zip code, unless otherwise specified, and to 25 miles as a search distance.

Searching by Categories

All message posts in the system are classified by a hierarchy of categories. This helps bridge the gap between who the message author is trying to reach, and what you’re looking for in the community. For each category in Close by Me (Employment, For Sale, Community, Events, Freelance/Gigs, Real Estate, Services, Personals, Activity Groups, Discussion/Forum Groups, etc.), there are specific sub-categories associated with each category. This hierarchy allows you to further narrow your search. The main category is required, however the sub-category is optional. If you do not select a sub-category, your results will retrieve all posts associated within the categories sub-categories, including some posts that are not associated with any sub-category, but are still in the main category.

 

To select the appropriate category:

  • Select the appropriate category from the drop box: Employment, For Sale, Community, Events, Freelance/Gigs, Real Estate, Services, Personals, Activity Groups, Discussion/Forum Groups, etc.
  • The sub-category drop-down box will adjust to reflect only sub-categories associated with its parent category
  • Optionally select a sub-category

Note: You must select at least one of the above two categories while performing search for a post.

Provide Optional Keyword

One of the powerful features of the Close by Me search is its ability to search for keywords and phrases. You can enter a keyword or phrase, and the system will attempt to find message posts which match what you are looking for in either the subject and/or message post body. This tool is valuable once you combine it with starting point, distance and category.

To enter a keyword:

  • Enter a keyword in the provided box

Narrow Search with Message Post Attributes

For each category/sub-category in the community, there are a set of attributes which may help further refine what you are looking for. These attributes were setup initially by the author, and allow you get accurate search results. These attributes are specific areas under each sub-category. You can find the post attributes displayed on the Posts page when you select a category and sub category. For example, if you are searching for a post under Real Estate, and you choose Vacation Rental as sub category, you will find the following multiple attributes displayed under the Close by Me search pane. The Close by Me system will find all posts with in the area of converge, that meet the minimum number of attribute items selected.

To select the appropriate category/subcategory options:

  • Select the appropriate category from the drop box: Employment, For Sale, Community, Events, Freelance/Gigs, Real Estate, Services, Personals, Activity Groups, Discussion/Forum Groups, etc.
  • The sub-category drop-down box will adjust to reflect only sub-categories associated with its parent category
  • Optionally select a sub-category
  • Attribute check boxes will appear to reflect the category/sub-category selections.

Note: If you leave all the attributes unchecked, the system will not use any attributes in the search and will only use starting point, distance, keyword, etc in retrieving results. If too many attributes are selected, it may yield little or no results.

Filter By Amount Range

For a few categories: for sale and real estate, you can choose to filter for an amount such as price. This allows you to stipulate a lower and higher limit of what you are looking for.

To enter a lower or higher amount range:

  • Select the appropriate category from the drop box: Employment, For Sale, Community, Events, Freelance/Gigs, Real Estate, Services, Personals, Activity Groups, Discussion/Forum Groups, etc.
  • The sub-category drop-down box will adjust to reflect only sub-categories associated with its parent category
  • Optionally select a sub-category
  • Enter an amount from and/or to stipulate a search range

Note: If you leave both the amount ranges blank, the system will not use any range in the search and will only use starting point, distance, keyword, etc in retrieving results. If you leave either the lower or higher range blank, the system will only use the limit provided. The system will not recognize amounts less than zero. If the amount range is too narrow, than search results may be excluded.

Filter By Age Range

For the Personals category and its sub-categories, you can choose to filter for an age (18 years old to 100) This allows you to stipulate a lower and higher limit of what you are looking for.

 

To enter a lower or higher age range:

  • Select the appropriate category from the drop box: Employment, For Sale, Community, Events, Freelance/Gigs, Real Estate, Services, Personals, Activity Groups, Discussion/Forum Groups, etc.
  • The sub-category drop-down box will adjust to reflect only sub-categories associated with its parent category
  • Optionally select a sub-category
  • Enter an age from and/or to stipulate a search range

Note: If you leave both the age ranges blank, the system will not use any range in the search and will only use starting point, distance, keyword, etc in retrieving results. If you leave either the lower or higher range blank, the system will only use the limit provided. The system will not recognize amounts less than 18. If the age range is too narrow, than search results may be excluded.

Filter By Event Range

For the Events category and its sub-categories, you can choose to filter for a date range. This allows you to stipulate a specific time interval of what you are looking for.

To enter a lower or higher date range:

  • Select the appropriate category from the drop box: Employment, For Sale, Community, Events, Freelance/Gigs, Real Estate, Services, Personals, Activity Groups, Discussion/Forum Groups, etc.
  • The sub-category drop-down box will adjust to reflect only sub-categories associated with its parent category
  • Optionally select a sub-category
  • Enter an date from and/or to stipulate a search range

Note: If you leave both the date ranges blank, the system will not use any range in the search and will only use starting point, distance, keyword, etc in retrieving results. If you leave either the lower or higher range blank, the system will only use the limit provided. The system will filter from 12:00 AM of the beginning date to 12:00 midnight of the ending date range. If the date range is too narrow, than search results may be excluded.

Filter Friend’s Posts Only

One of the advantages of being a member in the system is that you can see message posts from friends or people you follow. Additionally, you may select to filter messages that are from friends only. 

To filter for your friend’s posts only:

  • Click the radio button “show posts from friendly only”

To remove friend’s filter and show posts from all users:

  • Click the radio button “show posts from all users”

Note: You need to be a registered user of the system and logged in order to use this feature

Sorting Search Results

Sort By is a search filter option accessible in the Category List page. This feature allows you to sort the results returned from your search criteria. You can sort a post based on the following criteria: date (most recent first), most viewed, most commented, best rated, closest distance, furthest distance.

To change sort order:

  • Select a different sort option from the drop down box on-top of the category results.

Note: The default sort is by most recent date. If you search by maximum distance, then results are sorted by distance descending within the maximum distance provided in the search criteria.

Category List Results

After entering the Category List page, are altering the search criteria and clicking on search, Close by Me retrieves all the message posts which match your criteria.  At the top of the retrieved list you will notice a reminder telling you what you searched for: “your search for posts 25 miles from New York City, New York 10001 produced the following”. By clicking on this city, you will find an approximate location on an external map of your search postal/zip code. By default, this page only displays a maximum of 50 message posts.

If more than 50 posts have been found, a page selector will be found at the bottom of the list, allowing you to scroll to the next page. As you scroll from page to page, more page options will be present, provided the total number of messages found exceeds the last row number in the current page.  If no messages are found, the system will indicate as such, meaning you probably need to loosen your criteria.

Each of the messages retrieved will be displayed in the specified sort order, with an information bar, message attributes, subject, message its self, categorization and location of the message.

Message Information Bar

At the top of each message post is an information bar which provides a synopsis of how this message has been interacted with in the community.

The following items can be found in the bar:

  • Record Number – default row number as retrieved form the system based on sort order.
  • Viewed – the total number of times this message has been viewed in detail
  • Rating – the average user rating given to the message post (ratings are unique per user, and users have to be logged in, in order to rate posts). The stars represent the average rating rounded up to the nearest whole number. The number in parenthesis represents the total number of users who rated the message.
  • Comments – comments added to each message post by community users. Comments can be added by registered and non-registered users
  • Linked – is a count of people who elected to use a social bookmarking icon to bookmark a message post.
  • Distance – the distance number represents approximate mileage between your search postal/zip code and the postal/zip code for the message post. If you click on the distance, an external map showing an approximate distance and route.

Message Information

Below the message bar is a brief synopsis of the message post

  • Subject – each message has its own subject (title) which is displayed on top

  • Author – this is the message’s composer, shown as their unique username in the system

  • Post Creation Date – Time – Each post has a created date/time (Central Time US), when the message was first created.

  • Online, Message User – if the message’s author is online, an icon will appear, allowing you to internet messaging the user directly, and hold a conversation.

  • Attributes – if a message post has any associated attributes with it, they will be listed here, like 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, etc.

  • Age – if the author provided an age, it will be listed here

  • Amount – if the author provided an amount, it will be listed here

  • Event Date-Time - if the author provided an event date and time, it will be listed here. The date and time will be local associated with the location of post.

  • Message Body – the first couple of lines of the message post will be shown, as for the whole message, the you may need to click into the message to get the whole detail

  • Categorization – each message in the community has its own classification of category and optionally, sub-category. You can click on the category or subcategory, to retrieve a list of similar messages in the Category List page

  • Location – The location link shows the approximate location of the message post, and links out to a map showing its approximate location.

  • Flags - if the message has any flags: mis-categorized, prohibited and/or Spam, it will be shown, with the total number of users who have flagged it for each type.