Monday, November 28, 2011

Open Source Communication

Question About Posting School Sports Events

So I'm in the middle of one of my more unpleasant tasks for nhv, which is to copy and paste as many calendar events as I can find.  Usually if I can find an .Ics file, it makes life immensely easier because those can be imported.  And one of the things which ought to be on there are the local sports games that take place.  Cross VS Hillhouse, or even the Hamden Hall VS Hopkins basketball games should be up there, if only for the fact to remind people about them.  Many of the New Haven Public Schools sports teams all use this website called MaxPreps, which is actually a really good site >> example >>,ct)/basketball/schedule.htm

They've actually gotten better since last year because now they feature these embeddable widgets and such, but I feel that the events shouldn't be isolated but rather these should stream along with concerts on the green and free art exhibits downtown in a neat, quickly browsable column.  Who should I ask where to get those calendar files, in other words, who are the people that are submitting the calendar information to Maxpreps?  If they were able to share the same calendar information with a with Nhv.Org that would also be rad.  A good example is the yale sports schedule which offers .ics calendar files.  (example:  at bottom, a RSS and .ics file link)

Other Calendar Initiatives

InfoNewHaven posted great calendar / info as a .PDF the other day.  I embedded it on this page.  I've been systematically adding events on that sheet to the calendar system.  This calendar has shared access controls, meaning that access can be granted to select individuals who have identified themselves as events organizers, and they can post (and change) events which appear on the site, effective immediately and from that point still in their control to edit.  One example of a group who participates in this is the Office of Cultural Affairs, who continues to post On9 events and Project Storefronts events up there automatically.

Sharing Posting Access

Posting to the blog can be given shared access via any Google account.  Anyone with a Gmail is able to be given access to the same flow of traffic for their posting content that accrues due to the blog's steadily increasing popularity.  Administrative posting access can also be granted.
Posts can be scheduled for specific points in time.  An article written on Tuesday at 4am can be 'scheduled' to be automatically released (and auto-announced) for 4:30pm the following day, at a time when more people statistically will notice the announcement that a page has been added.  This is useful in more than just that way.  People with administrative access can enter into scheduled posts and proofread/edit the content prior to it becoming public, to ensure that all information is accurate and positive in its presentation.

Adverts or No Adverts

I vote 'no ads' because it really screws up the aesthetic on the site.  I don't see that as having much of a future in its standard set of ways, as they increase any site's clutter/inconvenience factor.  Traditional advertisement is typically deceitful and distracting.  What's worse is that the advertisers would then have control over the site's appearance.  Therefore the policy which dictates the use of the site for promotional reasons is as follows:  it must benefit a business or organization not which is located but that is based in New Haven, and that it must also be produced or designed by a local production team, which is not to say that team needs to include me, nor that by this design it will be seen by people only in New Haven.

How It Helps Local Economics

This site assists the local economy in several ways, if it is to become more popular.  One, it gives people a market for social media videos.  Let's say Barcelona wanted to make a video commercial, rather than buy a New Haven Advocate print ad.  It would cost the same amount, but the differences are evident.  Video could do a great job of showing what the place looks and feels like.  By letting local businesses use this platform, provided it's receiving that kind of internet traffic, it will make it possible for organizations like the Grove to find work creating social media videos for these local businesses by giving them access to a stream of local traffic.  

I think that particular change is inevitable.  I also anticipate that these videos could become themed, that they could almost become like mini-series for locally produced shows.  The current technology allows us now to film and upload video onto the internet which is on par with the quality of a TV news network.  Therefore while the site itself doesn't need to be 'monetized' it can actually create business opportunities for local videography and social media.  As a site which is built to reflect the local area on an equal platform, it won't favor a particular group but it will post videos from all of the various channels available which already exist, such as Yale, who provides content such as a short film about Salovey, another about Pelli, and so forth.  These are all relevant and the site won't favor a particular group, but rather highlight the most attractive pieces of well-produced high-definition video which is the most relevant to the local area.  

Those folks making these videos shouldn't mind, since the goal for the creation of that media is to be shared.  Whether it's educational, humorous, or is basically those in the form of a hyped-up restaurant tour commercial, for example, the site's purpose is to make folks aware of those things, hopefully to migrate the collective attention away from the mainstream entertainment industry by some degree and towards something which is just as interesting, hopefully, but more accessible.

Future Administrative Plans

I've presented this idea to GNH Community and EDC.  The consensus is that nobody is particularly eager to pay me for something that apparently I'll do for free.  The problem is that I can't continue doing this site for free by myself for much longer.  As fun as it looks, it's actually a painstakingly boring hobby and there are other things I'd much rather be doing.  If folks would agree to having the site always adhere to a select set of rules, it would be possible for me to donate the URL to an organization such as the Proprietors, and run the site as an entity inside the existing organizational structure of Culture and Tourism, since the goal is, in fact, to improve the complexity of local culture with these videos that the site could support, and attract people from out of town to experience the places they see in the shows in real life.  That would be ideal.  In that event, I'd like to continue to run the site, and train someone else to eventually take over within a period of about 2 years, at which point I believe my video work should begin to present itself as a conflict of interests as a creator of site content as well as a site admin.  Video and videogames, I hope, will become more of what I'd like to concentrate on producing in the future.  

Please feel free to share the content of this email as if it were public information.  

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