|AmeriCorps VISTA working with KDHX for one year on the Interactive Web Media Project.|
“The mission of KDHX is to build community through media, with diverse and independent voices that enrich the perspectives of our audiences.”
Here at KDHX we’re finishing up a brand-new website. It’s been a year-long project, starting from surveys, research, and whiteboard brainstorms and ending up with a website that will help KDHX fulfill its mission in new ways.
What makes this new website great is that it takes “community through media” to a new level. It provides a new, rich medium through which KDHX DJs, programmers, and producers can deliver and add to their content. At the same time, it creates a space for people to engage with that media and continue the conversation. This means a far richer experience than a website that’s just about the social aspect, just about posting media, or just has information about an organization.
I was actually really quite intimidated by the scope of the project when we started a year ago. Having been in charge of quite a few areas in which I had no background or experience, I’ve learned an incredible amount over the past year (probably more practical development skills than I gained in four years of college). Reading back over some email exchanges and some meeting notes from the beginning of the project reminds me of just how far we’ve come.
One of the hardest and most rewarding things we had to do actually had nothing to do with technology. KDHX encompasses a quite diverse group of people; the staff members, volunteers, DJs, producers, interns, and community members I have worked with and consulted brought a wide range of ideas, needs, and passions to the project. This variety is a huge asset to the project and the organization, but coordinating and aligning such different opinions was a challenge. We’ve had to make sure that everyone’s opinion is heard and taken into account while keeping the resulting website from ending up as just the least common denominator of all of these inputs, and it’s great to feel that we’ve accomplished that.
I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to work here with such fun people! My year as an AmeriCorps VISTA is up, but my experiences of both community and media at here at KDHX are an ongoing gift.
I recently realized that I’ve just passed six months of being here at KDHX, redeveloping the KDHX website through our Interactive Web Media Project. That means my year here is halfway over, and it means that I have a lot of updates to share.
Some highlights from the process so far include:
- Concert & Event Calendars
We have been looking at web calendar tools for the Concert Calendar and Arts & Events Calendar. I’m happy with what we’ve found; it offers some exciting new functionality that should make the calendars more useful.
- Calendar back end & radio calendar scripts
A big project right now is figuring out how to integrate that calendar tool with backend systems already in use to help us manage the calendar data and also produce scripts for the on-air calendars.
- Donation system
We’re working with an awesome volunteer from the community to improve our membership system, making it easier for people to support KDHX.
- Online community interaction possibilities
KDHX has a vibrant community in Saint Louis and beyond; we want the website to help members of this community engage with each other, the station, and the larger community in new ways. Get excited!
That’s a brief look at a few of the highlights so far. Over the coming weeks I will be posting in more depth about aspects of the project, including some of these. Stay tuned!
In the mean time, I would love to talk to you more about the process; feel free to email me: robyn.haas -at- kdhx -dot- org.
Hello! Robyn Haas here. I’m joining the KDHX staff for the next year as an AmeriCorps VISTA. I’m excited to be working in St. Louis for another year, after having been here for the past five years. (This is the seventh place I’ve lived… so having been here for five years is pretty significant!)
I’m here at KDHX to work on the Interactive Web Media Project. Our goal is to spend the next year working to improve KDHX’s online presence. I’ll be taking a look at all the ways KDHX currently interacts online, talking to community members (you!) about how you use the website and what you would like to see, and doing research on the many web technologies out there. In the end we’ll be rebuilding the website to better facilitate ongoing conversations between KDHX and the community. As we go, I’ll be blogging here regularly to keep you in the loop.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this process. Feel free to post comments below or send me an email!