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geek weeks 9 + 10

taking off

apologies for skipping the geek updates here kids, life kinda sideswiped me for a bit.

the end of geek week 9 saw me in sydney for the Major Performing Arts Educators workshop, which was a rather satisfying experience. fee and three geeks took the poor unsuspecting lambs on an exercise in using tech/digi-type tools for education.

interestingly, my group (2) - who made up a national contemporary opera company spent most of the time focusing on our audience, our intention, a tech inventory (what our low-socio kids probably had access to/could be given access to) and almost ran out of time without any content! but, thanks to all that work we had done, all that knowledge sharing, we came up with content and platform in 7 minutes and delivered a kick-ass program.

amazingly, it was very similar to the floating worlds program that i mentioned on here (without any mention of it from me, BTW) and we were all super excited about the 'choose your own adventure' style opera game/movie/thing we developed.

it was a great lesson in realising the importance of audience/content-driven programs, rather than platform/technology driven ones. i hope that we were able to reinforce the organisations' power in education and not have anxiety about 'keeping up'. we also reminded them that an openness and collaborative approach to digital education/innovation gave the best outcome, rather than a closed, competitive one.

back at west space, geek week 10 reinforced the importance of content-driven process.

we met with the web developers/designers for the second time and made some really helpful leaps towards our finish line. i had been spending the last few weeks uploading content like it was on sale, which gave them a whole chunk of awesomeness to design/structure around.

virginia and i worked on the structure - she gave me an extra level of access, we added some extra fields, move things around a little, sured up the templates, clarified how the tabs were going to work and answered a bunch of my functionality questions. it was pretty damned exciting, i can tell you.

apparently it's common to commission a website to be designed without content.

that makes about as much sense to me as tits on a bull.

i'm guessing their the same folk who want the logo bigger too. heh.

so, as it stands, the designers are working on the interface (which is concurrent with a new visual identity being developed), i'm continuing to drive the content - which feels a bit like playing 'chubby bunny' - and work on some of the meta bits'n'pieces like analytics, preparing our DNS to redirect, creating new paypal buttons for the publications and writing procedures.

i'm going to be leaving very soon, so the next few weeks are going to be more and more about delegating, managing, troubleshooting and working on the support aspect of being the geek. that's a whole other post, really.

throughout the residency, the geek project has been managed as a west space project - it will have a little publication that gives it context, the people who are part of it profiled, and some of the outcomes will have a section on the new site. our 'digital innovation' has been from a framework and personnel perspective and collaboration has been vital.

inventive labs and golden grouse have been such fabulous partners, because they also work that way and we're pretty excited here to be part of their new collaborative project, that mob. a little like the jacky winter group for webby peeps, they represent a swag of small designer/developer operations, which is a great way to take advantage of a broad range of skills, experience and clients whilst preserving autonomy.

west space and westspace.org.au are their first client which is super exciting for everyone and kinda fitting, given that westspace is a similar model of collaborative and collective practice.



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