Guest Contributor: A. Harry Williams, Director, Community Enablement

Community Enablement has such a lofty sounding name, but I am often asked what does it mean? The general idea is that SHARE is attempting to provide facilities to become the digital resource for the net-generation as it was for the previous generation, to become the “must attend event” online, around the year.

Over the past year, the web site has been upgraded with an improved look and new functionality has been added. The efreshed layout has allowed additional and dynamic content to appear on the home page and yet reduce the need for scrolling in the browser.

The Web site has been converted to an open source framework called “dotnetnuke” which will allow the updating of the content of the Web site to be decentralized. One of the modules of dotnetnuke currently being implemented will allow implementation of a SHARE online store with the feel of a traditional online shopping experience.

One significant improvement is the new discussion forum area. The look-and-feel is the same as discussion forums on many other Web sites, and allows tagging of entries, e-mail notification of posts and follow-ups, private messages and e-mailing of topics to friends. It is available on the Home Page under the “Discussion” tab on the top border.

There are major improvements happening in other areas of SHARE too. The Conference Operations team is working on a new conference scheduling tool that is a major shift from the current Notes based system to a Web-based system and in the long term will allow greater functionality. This change is also requiring SHARE to look at an improved proceedings section of the Web site, and to answer the questions I’ve heard, yes, being able to point directly to a session so that you can share with a colleague is something we will be looking at doing. Not all things will be there day one, but we will get there.

Not all functions will be solely on the SHARE Web site. SHARE now has a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Expect that in the future you will be able to integrate them with mash-ups of SHARE’s Web content, along with enabling various tagging services such as Digg, Reddit, Delicious and others. As our Keynote Speaker Don Tapscott discussed, the net-generation does things differently, and we will find ways to meet them so that we as a community can continue to SHARE our experiences.

Continue to look for new features on the SHARE Web site, and if you have ideas of things you would like to see, please feel free to contact me at Harry@marist.edu.

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