(Paul Oh asked that I share this blog post from our last Western Mass Writing Project meeting)
The National Writing Project’s new networking space — NWP Connect — is a move towards making connections among various NWP site members and within sites. At the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, we have been using a Ning site for our leadership team (sporadically) but yesterday, I presented to our board the possibilities of using NWP Connect. Among other reasons, we don’t want to keep paying for Ning.
After a tour of the NWP Connect site, we had an engaging conversation about we might best use the main site and our space within the Connect community. There were discussions around:
- Do we make our space public or keep it private? We mostly seemed to lean towards a public space, particularly as one of our missions to visibility to our teachers and our community.
- How do we use our social networking site in a way that does not conflict with our website?
- How do we label and name things in our Connect site in a way that is clear and understandable for users? You’d be surprised at how difficult that can be at times.
- How do we best integrate the Connect site with our website, so that a user can move fairly seamlessly from one to another?
- What activity can we launch (book talk?) to get people on the site and writing?
- Who will be in charge of making sure that every post gets a response?
- And more …
It was interesting and a good discussion. The key is for us to keep designing our WMWP Space with simplicity of use in mind, and to avoid making another site that people don’t need to go to. We don’t want to stake out some ground that is never used, or replicates what people already have in their professional teaching lives. But we also see Connect as another way to bridge connections with teachers who are part of WMWP and maybe need another line to our organization.
Here is a document I created and shared with our WMWP folks, but it may be helpful for others, too.