I just realized I have been heavily involved in using web 2.0 to create community but that I haven’t really shared any of my efforts with the class in which I am further exploring some of these concepts. This entry started with the intention of sharing a podcast that I had just created and then expanded into a full blown entry recounting all of my online endeavors. It’s partly to share with you the way I am already using blogs, videos, flickr, social networks, podcasts and wikis, but it also became a great way for me to record my efforts and progress. It is interesting to be involved in and responsible for the comprehensive creation of a brand new community for the camp during the past 10 months, and I look forward to the future implications of the technology and this class. Without further adieu…
For those who don’t know, I am the Program Director for Golden Slipper Camp (GSC). Last summer, I decided to start a GSC blog where I gave little, periodic reports on things happening at the camp (Johnny won the talent show by burping the ABC’s, or Bunk 4 won Honor Bunk for being cleanest, etc.) — it was one of my ideas to generate some excitement with parents and alumni. Little did I realize how popular the blog would be! Parents were sending emails and phone calls sharing how much they loved knowing what was going on, and that they felt more like a part of their child’s experience.
The next step was that I set up a GSC Flickr account so that we could share the photos taken by Alisa, our camp photographer. She ended up taking nearly 14,000 pictures, and I even found ways to link them to the blog, like when we had a rainy day activity that ended with a GSC mascot contest. We had each bunk create a mascot for the camp, then took their pictures and posted them on Flickr (mascot picture pages) where families could view them and vote through the blog. We ended up crowing the winning bunk at the camp — and reporting the winner on the blog — a week later.
As soon as the summer ended, I started uploading GSC videos onto YouTube and embedding them into the blog, further generating interest from campers, alumni, parents/families, staff, and club members. I have 40 more hours of skits, songs, and fun things to upload, but my miniDV camera is on the fritz (Tweet or email me if you have one I can borrow!). One piece of advice if you do something similar for one of your organizations: set up a separate YouTube account! I have to be careful now that my identity is directly linked to the camps’ — I can’t upload some of the videos I made as an undergrad (PG-13 rated language or plots) or display my favorites for fear that a camper will see them and it will open a can of worms.
Since the summer ended, I have been using the blog to share news that is passed on to me. At this point it primarily contains announcements of things happening at the camp, contests, alumni marriages, births, and engagements. I hope to start including camper news (Honor Roll on report cards, awards won, graduations and college acceptances, etc.).
The final two pieces of this are an exploding alumni social networking site (400 members in 3 weeks!) and a brand new podcast. I realize that this is long, but just wanted to share. It is interesting to be involved in the comprehensive creation of a brand new community over the past 10 months, and I look forward to the future implications of the technology and this class.
Phew! Sorry for the length! I am very interested in having further conversations about this, and look forward to helping others enact similar efforts.