University of Georgia: Linking “Connected” Communities
I’m not sure there’s a better-defined “community” than the members of a college or university. Student, faculty, staff, alumni and friends generally have strong feelings and ties to the institution where they teach, work, study, play and spend (or spent) a good part of their adult life.
With ready access to computers, cell phones, personal data devices and the like, this community has the potential to be one of the most “connected” of communities and benefit from the shared ideas and goals from those both physically located on campus, to those who share a virtual connection.
As a daily student newspaper and online site (http://www.redandblack.com), The Red and Black already serves as one of the key connecting mechanisms for the University of Georgia community. This independent and not-for-profit corporation is highly motivated towards maintaining and improving this role through improvements to the daily publication, website and development of a forthcoming community portal, UGAToday.com.
From print to broadcast to “new” media, many of these conventional and digital services are already in place in some form or function on the UGA campus. Enhancing these services and making them interconnected through existing and yet to be discovered networking opportunities, could better assist this community achieve the shared educational and personal development goals most all of its members share.
While we already serve a key role in the networking of the UGA community, we’re looking to do more. We believe the next step to improve upon these existing products and technologies lie with the future of digital communications. We’re looking for innovative ways for tying these various forms together through a new online and digital community portal, UGAToday. We already own the domain name due to some forward thinking a few years back. Though not economically viable at the time, we feel there is now opportunity to produce and maintain such a digital site. We are in the early stages of producing a business and operational plan to launch the site in fall 2007.
UGAToday.com will focus on connectivity in areas that don’t fit comfortably within The Red and Black newspaper, online site and similar existing UGA communications. Citizen journalism, social networking and sharing of publicly available databases in user-friendly manner (see ChicagoCrime.org), are a few of the components we expect to implement.
In dissecting the 2007 We Media Conference program, I’m excited to see programming that not only includes workshops and demonstrations of new technologies, but discussions of who and how these new methods of connecting communities will be financed. I not only expect for us to be both inspired and learn a great deal, but also look forward to sharing our ideas on how to better connect the University of Georgia and similar communities.
The Red and Black Publishing Company, Inc