Taking collaboration to the online environment

December 14, 2009 by

ColumbusNeighborhoods.org and Ohioana Authors

Many nonprofits and public institutions are constantly challenged to demonstrate collaboration and innovation. However, local examples of success are rare, and even more so when it comes to collaborating for online experiences. WOSU Public Media and the Columbus Metropolitan Library have stepped up to the challenge by working together on a new community site, columbusneighborhoods.org. Columbusneighborhoods.org is a significant component of a community engagement project featuring the special qualities of neighborhoods throughout Columbus. The online component is designed to provide a space for residents to interact and share their stories; past, present, and future. It serves as an repository for CML and a mechanism for telling and sharing local stories, images, and video for WOSU. Another successful project we spearheaded was ohioana-authors.org, a joint venture with the Ohioana Library and the Humanities Council. A 52-week radio series (three-minute radio stories) was paired with a website featuring our finest Ohio authors. Our three organizations worked together to choose the authors, and the WOSU Book Reviewer, Kassie Rose, recorded a three-minute piece on each author. We directed folks to the web site for more information including a biography and a bibliography. Ultimately, each institution we’ve worked with has applied what they do best in the new interactive age.

These projects demonstrates how nonprofits and the community benefit through collaboration. They successfully leveraging resources (time, talent, networks, promotion channels, and finances) to create a long-term, local resource for the community. Our presentation will define our process for collaboration and our plans for rolling the site out to the community in Feb 2010.

4 Responses to Taking collaboration to the online environment

  1. Marjorie McLellan on December 14, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    This sounds like a great initiative and partnership. I look forward to learning more about it.

  2. Erin Bell on December 28, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    ColumbusNeighborhoods.org sounds similar in some ways to a project we are planning here in Cleveland, so I look forward to hearing more about your experience, particularly the community contribution aspect, which can be a challenge to conceptualize, communicate, design and promote (and perhaps to monitor/vet as well, depending on your institutional policies).

  3. Boone Gorges on January 12, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Sounds like a great project. I’m the lead developer for an online collaboration project at the City University of New York, called the CUNY Academic Commons. The purpose of our site, much like yours, is to provide a space that allows for and encourages communication and collaboration between people who have common interests but may not otherwise have found ways to work together. I’ll be anxious to hear about all the aspects of your project and to see how far the analogies between our two projects can be taken: the technical details of your setup, the strategies you’ve used for fostering community, etc.

  4. Scott Gowans on January 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I’ll be sitting with Jamison on this. She’s a co-worker. We’ve been doing more collaboration-type projects with WOSU, including another one that she didn’t mention: Ohio War Stories (www.ohiowarstories.org) It was an entirely new project for wosu, one in which that we didn’t try to be the experts on a topic. We simply opened the doors and let Ohio war veterans tell their oral and written histories to us. No fact checking. No limits on content.

    In many ways, the web aspect of Columbus Neighborhoods will follow that path. We’ll build the space, and we’re looking for input.

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