Notes from the SubCAT

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I’d make a post about the Wiki and then I opted instead to ramble on a bit about what some other online communities are doing with their network.  Sorry Scott @ScottVoth , I just got excited.

Before I get to the Wiki though I’d like to talk a little about this week’s SubCAT meeting.  You might remember the SubCAT.  Way back in the beginning I made a post walking everyone through who does what around here if you’re a little lost.  The SubCAT meeting on Thursday was a good chance for us to get together and report back on what we’ve been working on the past month and toss around some ideas for where we’d like to head in the future.  One of the big themes for the semester that’s been coming up again and again is outreach.  We reach out to everyone here in some direct and not-so-direct ways already, but there’s good reason to revisit this theme.  We have the help tab if you get a little mixed up or can’t figure out why something isn’t working.  Scott Voth, Sarah Morgano @Sarah_Morgano and myself on the Community Team are always available to answer questions.  Blogs like this one and the Commons News blog are good places to check in to see what’s new with the site and talk to us about what you’d like to see more of around here.

But outreach isn’t just sweeping off the welcome mat.  We want to have a serious discussion about usability, utility and communication.  Part of that is getting to know our members better and taking a closer look at parts of the site that work really well and those parts that could use some love.  One idea we tossed around was to find groups that seem to be doing well and talking to their leaders to see just  how they do it.  I love that idea and I’m looking forward to getting to know some of our group admins better and seeing what tips they have to share.

We’d also like to learn a bit more about how you use the site.  Do you spend much time exploring?  Do you usually just have emails forwarded from your own groups and projects?  We have to be focused with the time we devote to development so it’s helpful to know what aspects of the Commons are areas you would like to see expanded.  On way to do this is to create better opportunities to get feedback from you and to emphasize that you play an enormous role in how we move forward.

As you can see there’s a lot to consider when thinking about outreach and I hope to hear back from you as we start to unpack some of these ideas and others that came up at the meeting.

The Wiki!

I wanted to plug the Wiki just in case you hadn’t had a chance to see it in a while.  Scott has been super busy wrangling MediaWiki and we get updates all of the time.  Everyone has something to contribute, so be sure and check in and add your expertise to the Commons Wiki.

Till next week!

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