Tuesday, November 27, 2007

blogging for the sake of blogging

Sorry to all 2 of my readers out there that I've been slacking on the blog project this month. I've been doing some work that is both interesting and boring at the same time. Interesting because of the possibilities and future direction, but boring because of all the behind the scenes work. I've been playing with 2 internet mediums at work, and have been trying to simultaneously apply them to my studio as well.

I'm sure most of you have either seen or used a Wiki - Wikipedia being the most famous example -- by now. The obvious appeal (or detraction) is the collaborative nature of the software. Users can add, remove and update content as needed. The audience is the contributor, which takes an amazing strain off of one webmaster who no longer has to tinker with content. For this reason, wikis are replacing corporate intranets and file repositories as the new way to keep track of policies and procedures and communicate across groups.

Right away, I saw the potential for using a wiki in my studio. As the club is largely run by student officers, each year we have to pass info on to the new officer. Years ago, my instructor created binders for each student with the expectation that we would store info in them and hand them off to the next officer so that they wouldn't be starting off completely green. Obviously, no one really enjoys documenting what they do, and more often than not, incomplete and outdated info was being passed on. Occasionally, notebooks would even be lost. Then there was the question of passing excel spreadsheets, pdfs, graphics and all the other things our officers began using.

The Wiki allows for a more convenient method of sharing this information. Files can be uploaded and stored centrally, versions of pages are saved and controlled, and the wide-open format allows everyone to keep up with the content. If the Marketing director gets hit by a bus, we don't lose all of our advertising contacts, source files, etc.

The other "hot" thing we've been toying with is Facebook. As a college club, Facebook seemed like a natural space for exploring. Currently, the club only has a group, which is enough for now. On this group, we can host pictures and video, create events (and invite the student body) put up announcements and more. A lot of this is somewhat repetitive what we already have on the website, but it is also taking the information to the students where they are instead of pulling them to us. Club members are encouraged to join the group which in turn generates interest amongst their friends.

Well, the members who have friends, at least.
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