If collaboration was easy... I'd sleep more.
I'm working towards a massive project. I'm trying to find a way to collaborate with three different newsrooms (one NPR station, one local paper and my NBC affiliate station). I'd like to give my market the most thorough election site possible for November 2008. Content from all three would feed into the website so no one has to hand type in the links to each newsroom's election content. That's not even the hard part. The hard part is learning how to communicate with each newsroom. I set up a project using Base Camp... But I'll be honest. I think most people ignore the comments I and some project members post. Either way, it is a good place to keep all of the thoughts, documents, links and images that we all need to talk about. If someone claims that I didn't tell them, I can prove that to be untrue. So I'm glad to have a place to collaborate work. There are a number of other open-source/free sites that have popped up since I started working with Base Camp this summer. One of my favorite is a very fun brainstorming tool called bubbl.us. I've tried it out a bunch of times to help sort out the many ideas that churn through my brain. There area couple of other products that have popped up, but I haven't had time to test them.
Anyway. I'm trying to collaborate with three different newsrooms that have different workflow and different personalities. I'm obsessed with workflow and communication. But I have to say, this has been some of the most challenging conversations. The good news: As I continue to communicate, I'm starting to figure out ways to reach everyone. I've also found using a database training manual as a good way to reach many of my student/employees who work on the komu.com content. A student of mine and I put it together with the help of Drupal. It's also the content management system that we hope to use to build our election website.
So much to do, so little time.