Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Creating Connections to Physical Places from Afar

I have been a terrible poster* lately. Stella is not unaware of how she is neglecting her duties, and she apologizes, but every living brain cell has been going toward work work lately. That said, I've soldiered through a number of all-consuming projects (all of which came due at roughly the same moment) and now I'm trying to cast my brain on figuring out how to use the web to produce meaningful connections to a location without having people physically be there. And it seems I have some insight into this because of my own (remote) location.

I work in the fund raising and alumni relations arm of an eastern university. Not east coast. Eastern. In fact, it's in a place with a reputation as a snowy wonderland that is nearly impossible to get to by plane without making at least one connection, a reputation which is not entirely undeserved, honestly. But that said, it's also a wonderful place where people make lifelong connections and where really cutting edge research in a number of important areas is happening. A gem. We're gearing up to get a lot more people engaged and involved in the institution, and we're working to use the web to make it easier for people to be a part of the fun, without losing their luggage.

I'm thinking web video stuff. But what, and how, and what kind of production values do we want? The best, I'm thinking. I've seen the Parkinson's Foundation's use of the webinar, and I think this is a great thing -- a meld of important content, unique expertise, and a clear focus on the audience. But what other great uses are out there? Any ideas?

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