By Dan Bartell
Have you ever been away from home and needed to call a United States Power Squadrons member but didn’t have the person’s number in your cellphone? Or perhaps you’re having lunch at a marina, and you see a boat flying the ensign or with a squadron burgee and want to call or email to say hello. Now there’s an easy-to-use extension of the USPS Information Center that runs on your mobile device’s web browser available at usps.org/mobile.
Grab your cellphone or tablet and follow along. You must log on the first time you access the feature. Although the feature makes every attempt to remember you, some browsers will require you to log on each time.
The “Find Member Information” page contains two fields: first and last name. You enter values to search the USPS membership database using full or partial names. If more than one member’s name matches, you will see a list of potential candidates.
You can also search nicknames as well as first names and search for people only in your squadron using the thumbs-up or thumbs-down icons, which toggle when clicked. A third option allows you to see the member’s USPS jobs.
Three action buttons at the bottom of the page have icons. The magnifying glass icon executes the search, the blank page icon allows you to restart your search by resetting the form, and the plus icon takes you to a page with additional search capabilities.
The “Member Information” page has phone fields with underlined links. When you click on a phone number link on a mobile device with dialing capabilities, your dialing app will open with that phone number.
If you update your profile using the Information Center, you can indicate which phone numbers can receive text messages. In this case, I indicated that one of my numbers, a landline, was not text capable but the other two are. Clicking “SEND” will open your mobile device’s text-messaging app for the selected phone number. Likewise, clicking the email address link will open your email app with that email address.
Two additional links are “SigO” for significant other, which opens a membership display, and “Squad#,” which opens the squadron display, which provides information that might be useful while cruising.
If you click the home icon and go to the “Find Member Information” page, clicking the plus icon gives you access to three additional searches: email, phone and boat. You can then search the membership database using one of these three values, including partial searches in case you only saw part of a boat’s name and want to find that person to say hello. Enter the name, and click the magnifying glass icon.
If there is a single match, the member’s information is displayed. If not, you’ll see multiple matches. Clicking on the name shows detailed information for that member.
You can also use this search to determine if a voicemail or email came from a USPS member by searching on their phone number or email address.
I hope you find this new function useful, and I’d love to hear your opinions and suggestions for enhancements. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or look me up on your mobile device at usps.org/mobile.
Dan Bartell of Shallotte River Power Squadron/27 has been a boater since he built his first sailboat at 12. A member of the Information Technology Committee, he has been been
supporting the USPS website since 2005.