Tuesday, May 13, 2008

where's the party?

Many of us are getting ready for ALA in California, but I've got something coming up a tad more quickly that's keeping me from settling on any ALA plans. I'll be in Dublin, OH next week along with some of my WebJunction colleagues for a face-to-face meeting with our community partners. The purpose of our meeting is to train partners on the use of our new platform at WJ, and we're excited to further (and finally) show it off to everyone, not to mention having them get in there and start playing with things themselves. I say finally because we had to push off a partner preview period in order to, well, get a few things in order before showing it off. Surprises abound, let me tell you, anytime you're planning and implementing a major platform switch-a-roo.

I feel a little like a party hostess getting ready for guests (who've been asked to come a few weeks later). Online facilitation often feels like party hosting. But the stakes are higher now that anticipation is mounting *and* we'll all be together for the first time since last June, not to mention a few more additions to our partner group. I am in constant amazement of my colleagues here at WJ and all the hard work they've all done to make sure the meeting and all its preparations are a complete success.

At this meeting we expect to show off improved functionality the new site brings both to WJ members and admins. This includes enhanced personalization, professional networking, and ease-of-use. Contributions can take place in-line right from the page after a member is logged in (right now we use a separate, back-end content management system). Pages can be tagged and bookmarked, friends and groups will form, surfacing more relevant content based on your interests. Altogether, we think we're onto a much more engaging experience for members. On the admin side we'll show off easier management of content, courses, and users, and well as the ability to better message groups, control access to private resources, and track member engagement. What's more, our course catalog will be much improved, with Mac accessible 'just in time' course content offered in a much more blended online learning environment. All around, we're excited to hear what our partners think of the work we've done on the platform so far, and look forward to working with them over the coming months to get ready to show it off to everyone who'll be visiting and using the new version of WJ coming later this year. Woot! Woot!

1 comment:

Mike said...

nice post