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May 30, 2011

Geeking out

By Katherine Dodds


I used to say that no matter how big or how small, every project we do is about juggling three balls: Technology, outreach and content.

I was out for wine at lunchtime with my cohorts and money people, Sandy & Rovin, and scribbled out the beginnings of what will be our new business plan. Now these worlds collide into one integrated organism. At the centre of our universe — is data. OK how geeky, I am sure many think — but it's not really about data per se, but tools to start conversations. What brought this on? We are seriously thinking about a web-rebuild for our campaign microsites, all held together by the Hello Cool World back end.

For a while now most of our campaign projects utilize the Hello Cool World template for a microsite. This way, we can have the technology ball in the air, while we build our clients content and do outeach. Which makes a budget spread further.

But for some time now we've wanted to build new features... and so the journey begins.

I reconnected with the lovely folks from Zanby when I was at OpenGovWest a couple of weeks ago in Portland. Tomorrow we are having a call with them to scope out what we need and see if they can help us in this exciting project.

As I listened to their presentation, following their big ZANBY GOES OPEN SOURCE announcement (complete with textual m & ms) it struck me that they had already been building the kind of stuff we need, for the kind of groups we work with.

Our own in-house developer Atef Abdelkefi gave me the last peice in my own puzzle - when he said, we need to link our own database (that we have been gathering since the early days of The Corporation launch) so that  it connects to what people can do on our campaign sites.

Aha! I thought, this is what has been missing in my mind-map, how to turn the whole system into a conversation, as well as a grassroots tool.

What we build will get put into action for the 65_RedRoses release of the new version of the film as it will play on OWN in its US premiere, for the LACE Campaign as we grow it beyond BC, and for Uts'am Witness Book project as we reach out to a decade-worth of past participants to re-connect, and send us their stories.

And so now I am pulling my thoughts together to be ready for this exciting next step!





Tag(s): Media Activism, open source, websites

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Katherine Dodds AKA "Kat" is the founder of Good Company Communications and Trained in renegade advertising & branding through her work with Adbusters in the '90s, Kat's early induction into the possibilities of the web-world was inspired by the term hypertext, which she immediately found comforting. She is dedicated to cause-related communication and to the development and use of tools that promote democratic processes.


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