A quick rundown of some of the projects I am involved with inside and outside of regular work. If any of these spark your interest, check them out and give me some feedback. Would love to hear your thoughts.
I work at a media company in Iowa and politics is one of the things outside of work that I follow most closely. We’ve launched a niche site, IowaCaucus.com, without many resources to keep people engaged. It’s a start. We have one internal content resource and two people contributing regularly to compliment curation efforts and wire content.Our SEO efforts need to improve, and we have plans for a couple of features that would help engage with the audience.
I’ve been involved with the Hoopla Music project from the start. I enjoy the live music scene in Eastern Iowa, and it’s better than you might think. This site is easy to navigate as include the most comprehensive list of live music shows in the area. From the start, we committed a live person to contact bands and local venues to create the data. It launched about two weeks ago and so far the traffic is low but the audience has had nothing but good things to say.
I’m no stranger to the barcamp experience and when I heard a group of local people in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area were starting the process to organize one I wanted to help in some way. I am currently working on the content of the site. It’s live and we formally hope to launch late next week. The goal of the barcamp is to get the creative and innovate minds together in the area and start a dialogue and do some things that help better the community.
Other ideas I’m working on:
The essential mobile app for Univ. of Iowa college students – The name sounds pretty lofty but all the mobile apps out there seem to cater to the classroom experience. We are working on focus groups to learn exactly what could make the experience of living in the Iowa City area better. So far, the hypothesis centers around these topics: study, drink, recreation, style. We should learn much from the focus groups.
Proactive approach to community contributors - Our company has done well in recruiting and receiving photos, videos and news tips from people who are willing to help us cover the news. But we have no internal mechanism to easily contact them when breaking news or weather events occur. These contributors could also be good sources for community news and events we don’t know about. I’m working with a small group to define the requirements of building a service to group contributors into affinity groups with a trigger to email, text or phone them when it is most relevant.
Mobile strategy – As the web continues to shrink and the need for local media to be more liquid, how a media company plays in the mobile space will be essential to our survival. Not to mention how we make money on mobile platforms.
Product differentiation via storytelling – We have newspaper and broadcast television packages that look and feel very similar on web and mobile platforms. No on is really training or educating well on storytelling on digital platforms. I’m working with a few others to define the training and tools necessary to transition our teams to work that into the everyday workflow.
What projects are you currently working on?