I was part of a group class project in which we designed and built two public computing labs in East St. Louis, IL, one at Pirtle’s Variety, and the other at The Word Cafe and Christian Bookstore.
After spending the semester learning about how information is organized, structured, and transmitted and what the implications of that conceptual and actual infrastructure are for users and institutions, we then used the popular library social media site LibraryThing as a case study to explore these concepts in action.
Through coursework and volunteer projects, I became involved with the Urbana Champaign Big Broadband Project, serving on the Marketing and Outreach Committee and working on multimedia authoring and building relationships with community organizations.
In this project, we formulated a strategic plan for our organization to take advantage of the coming UC2B network, both to enhance their own operations and to help their community overcome the digital divide.
This project was a good introduction to thinking systemically and contextually about the intersection of online and offline community, and about the deficits and opportunities that currently exist in these areas.
A regional social networking site and knowledge base designed to foster collaboration and exchange within the nonprofit community in downstate Illinois.
Local Progress was an attempt to create a civic tech nonprofit, which ultimately morphed into a nonprofit consultancy focusing on technology and social media strategy for small community organizations.
The Berkman Blog Group was the catalyst that got me seriously thinking about community technology and the real-world implications of social media. It was also my first real experience with outreach and instruction around technology.