As I gaze out my home office window (which I do in exceedingly rare moments when I’m day dreaming turning over thorny ideas) I can see a kowhai gently bending with the breeze. The plant is a farewell gift from the partners behind CommunityCentral. My paid role Project Manager came to an end last week after over 18 months involvement.
In the week of my departure we released two much awaited features: Private workspaces and Discussion networks. The features are set up to allow people to use a secure online spaces to support their work, learning and conversations. They’re in part about productivity, and part building connections.
If you login in you’ll see there are already people using these spaces. For instance, Tracy Kenyon, of Presbyterian Support Northern, has set up a Discussion network to link volunteer managers and coordinators. Her aim is to build up online community. You’ll see the names of Private workspaces, but that’s about all as these are for committees or project teams. They’re very much about internal workings of organisations.
In the latter half of the project my role was primarily focused on software development and setting up internal processes. My head was truly under the hood of Drupal as we endeavoured to wrestle the generic organic groups modules into something we felt would work for community and voluntary sector audiences. There also some cosmetic changes are well – in evidence in the banner above.
There is more to do, and likely a few rough edges here and there. We established a firm policy of being open to feedback. A suggestions forum has been added to the About section as a one way of collecting members’ comments and ideas for new features.
The project is now switching focus. As it says in the latest edition of the email update:
… attention is now turning to helping all members make good use of the platform, and telling lots more people about what is available. So, now is the time to spread the word!
I got an enormous amount out of working with a diverse group of people to turn the idea of community hub into a nascent community. Although it seems pretty obvious, I’m a signed up member of the supporters crew. It’ll be hard to forget, especially with a kowhai waving to me outside the window.