After a quiet summer — too quiet — the new Ars Communica web site is finally live!
The content of this blog has been migrated to the new site. All the posts that are available here, plus all the comments, are now live on arscommunica.org. It’s our plan to continue the discussions we had on this blog on the Ars Communica web site. We have a more robust taxonomy on the new site; blog-type posts are clearly labeled as such, and they have have bylines, so you’ll know who wrote what. I definitely want to see a stronger mix of ideas and opinion on the new site.
This site won’t be updated any further. I want to thank everyone whop participated in the discussions on these pages. Ars Communica needs to keep in mind that our purpose is to support the community of tech writers on Montreal — emphasis on community.
It’s been five weeks since my last post. This was unintentional — illness and heavy work schedule left little time for anything but the essentials.
However, this blog will continue to be an important part of this association. The plan is to fold it into the main web site and make it a regular feature. One of the problems with the current web design is that it is very news-and-events heavy, and provides no space for the administrative council to speak their minds. A new design is underway that will rectify that issue. The content of this blog will be moved into the main site, and the thread will pick up there.
Volunteer meetings have been keeping to a regular schedule. New people have been taking up roles within the organization, and you’ll be hearing from them soon.
We have a entirely new kind of event — Blitz Talks — coming up at the end of the month, a new kind of participatory event that has both a creative and social dimension. The announcement will be forthcoming this weekend.
We’re building a new web site.
We’re building a proper business plan.
We’re researching software to manage membership — something to handle payment, acknowledgement and followup emails, and renewal and cancellation, all automatically.
And none of this is happening as fast as we’d like. But all our effort is on a volunteer basis, subject to the available time that each of us has in our own lives.
The gears are engaged, the wheels turning, and Ars Communica is coming to life. It’s going to be a great year.
The new organization’s volunteer group met on March 20, 2012. Good progress was made toward picking a name for the organization, and we’re moving forward with a social event inspired by Pecha Kucha.
Attending were Charles Roburn, Jim Royal, Mary Perchanok, Sebastien Cayer, and Susan Armstrong. Two members of the group — Chris L. and Kelly L’Archeveque — could not attend, but submitted comments in advance by email.
The Name Game
To recap, during the most recent round of polling, the following were the top contenders:
It was gently pointed out to me that the previous post on picking a name for the organization crossed a line. There’s a crucial difference between guiding a conversation and pushing an outcome, and I stepped over that line. So, I’ve widthdrawn the posting.
Instead, I would like to open up the discussion to you with an open thread on the general topic of naming. How do we proceed with this project in the weeks and months ahead?
The results of the first round of voting are in, and I have to say I’m a bit surprised by the results. The voting was far from conclusive, so we’re going to do another round.
Those names that got no votes last time have been disqualified. And as before, if you have a new suggestion to make, please do! This is a great time to exercise your creativity.
Edit: Some people have asked in the comments if we are restricted to voting for these names. Absolutely not. Check out the previous post on naming for additional suggestions. But one idea that is coming out of this process is that maybe a long name that turns into an acronym is too stuffy, too 90s. This process will continue until we have something workable.
I had hoped to have a second poll posted early this week to narrow down the name choices. But life and work have intervened.
A new poll will go up over the weekend.
One of the interesting things that came out of the previous poll was the popularity of names that don’t include the traditional phrase of “technical communication” — YULC, for example. I see the appeal of such names; they are less stuffy and much more creative. They are also a marked break with the past. At the same time, we should not stray so far as to leave the core mission behind.
If you have any more thoughts along these lines, post them, and I’ll include them in the next round of polling once I catch my breath.