When I visited the Community Sector Taskforce’s new website I actually had a few problems signing up. An RSS-feed was broken, I couldn’t find my profile to change a password and an unsubscribe email address didn’t work. These niggardly things were more irritating than earth-shattering.
Thankfully within a couple of hours of sending an email to the help address I had all the little hassles ironed out. It was great service from Dan at onlinegroups which is providing the website and technical support.
The Taskforce have chosen a platform that allows interested people to subscribe to emails to receive news or items on a variety of topics, as well as view archives online. At the moment, aside from a weekly news summary, the other subject areas covered are government resourcing, jobs and what’s on. More subjects are planned. Links to RSS-feeds give people another option for staying in touch.
The decision to put email at the centre reflects the high level of comfort the grassroots constituency of the Taskforce have with this means of communicating. It’s good strategy to go to where people are at rather than providing applications that aren’t commonly used within the sector.
While the main list has over 1,200 members, the others are growing slowly. Without a critical mass of both users and posts lists won’t work. From my time managing the CommuntyNet Aotearoa website I know that it takes a lot of effort and sticking power to build up a critical mass of content (something I’m not sure we every did manage to achieve). In time, I’m sure this list will gather steam.
As well as news and discussion, there are historical documents and background materials. Included amongst these materials are an explanation of the powerful two-house organising model being promoted to ensure the structure of the Taskforce is soundly Te Tiriti o Waitangi based.
As part of the goal of facilitating collaboration I’m sure the Taskforce will have it’s sight set on increasing the numbers of active members. I’ll certainly point people toward the website and look forward to seeing what else the is done to promote participation.