A Member’s Survey form created by corps member Sam Kaplan.
“The results (of the survey) will help us (Access Humboldt) determine the following: A) how to improve our courses, equipment rentals, production services, and available software; B) what other courses, equipment rentals, production services, and software to offer to members.”
Corps member Katie Ingersoll at Prometheus Radio Project is surveying LPFM stations throughout the nation to collect information about their unique programming, how they manage their station, and their finances. The data will be added to the Community Media Database project to act as a resource to stations and future LPFM applicants, allowing them to locate and contact other stations, and see information about how other stations function.
Katie made the survey and will be heading up outreach to stations to drive participation.
The Digital Expansion Initiative uses participant-led media production, education, and organizing to expand meaningful access to all New Yorkers. The VISTA will support the project by producing and helping others produce radio and by conducting research.
- Develop a comprehensive understanding of the barrier to technology access in poor communities in New York City by training members of 5 - 10 non-profit organizations to research and report on the state of Internet access in their organizations and among their constituencies
- Produce and distribute community-produced content documenting the state of Internet access in New York City as a way to engage new constituents in the development of broadband infrastructure of programs to bridge the digital divide
- Based on community-produced content, produce and distribute comprehensive report on barrier to Internet access in New York City
- Build a new constituency of engaged and conversant experts on community access technology, based in communities with no or limited access to technology, and the capacity to continue expanding that constituency
During her year of service, Alexis served as the program associate for a new program: the Digital Expansion Initiative. In this capacity, she served as support for the program - maintaing contact records and contacting organizations for partnerships, consolidating data, researching articles and resources, updating website content, conducting audio interviews, administering a written survey, writing articles on public policy of telecommunications, and presenting the initiative’s finding and methods in workshops around NYC and the country.
- Lead community outreach and marketing efforts
- Hold information sessions about NTRC Programs and Services
- Develop our database, track client information
- Create surveys and evaluations for users to evaluate NTRC programs
- Coordinate community groups and leaders and hold meetings including users, stakeholders, and other community members on issues related to the NTRC projects
- Market NTRC programs and services to partner organizations, Service Connectors and Housing Developments
- Create publications, press releases and newspaper articles
The Community Center is seeking to further develop its social networking presence and find innovative new ways to use technology to expand its outreach so that it can better serve low-income residents in St Bernard Parish, located at the epicenter of devastation from Hurricane Katrina.
The CTC Vista member will be contribute to the success of the project by evaluating all current social networking strategies and, to the extent possible, determining effectiveness and ROI. Research into best practices to increase effectiveness of current strategies will also be undertaken, and the use of additional social networking methodologies will need to be assessed. Should the addition of new strategies be determined to be advisable, the CTC Vista member will work with the Development Director and Executive Director to develop means to implement, maintain and monitor them.
Activity 1: Assess current social networking methods used by the Community Center has been accomplished.
Activity 2: Assist Development Director in designing online fundraising campaign for Holiday Season 2009 has been accomplished.
Activity 3: Develop a cause-based marketing catalog has been accompished in cooperation with the Development Director
The VISTA conducted research into best practices, implemented the findings, and prepared monthly reports of social media participation data (twitter followers, facebook fans, myspace friends, etc). As a result, the VISTA has significantly expanded our social media outreach on MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. The VISTA also worked with our food pantry manager to develop a blog to raise awareness, funding and food for the food pantry – see ffon.tumblr.com for the result. The VISTA conducted a social media use study of other nonprofits in St Bernard Parish, Louisiana, and a preliminary study of social media use by nonprofits in the greater New Orleans area that are doing the same type of work as the Community Center (long-term disaster recovery) has also been completed. Data from these 2 studies is currently being analyzed and the findings will be used by our next VISTA to further develop the social media strategy used by the Community Center.
The VISTA prepared 2 short videos which the Development Director integrated into the end of the year fundraising campaign (both available at www.youtube.com/ccstb), including the “Thank You” video which was the cornerstone of this campaign. The VISTA produced a 5 minute overview of the Community Center and a volunteer testimonial (all available at www.youtube.com/ccstb). The VISTA also compiled a CD that contains a comprehensive introduction to the Community Center of St Bernard. The CD includes video footage of hurricane Katrina damage to St Bernard and surrounding parishes, used by permission of levees.org, along with statements from the Community Center’s Executive Director, and a 12 minute video shot entirely by the VISTA that has interviews with key Community Center staff and details both the services available at the Community Center as well as ongoing needs. This CD is distributed to Community Center donors who give more than $25 as well as offered for sale for $10 to the more than 1,100 volunteers from all around the world who come to the Community Center annually. The 12 minute video will also be a key component in the various fundraising tours that the Executive Director is planning for coming months.
Activity 3, the online giving catalog, proved the most challenging of all the tasks undertaken by the VISTA. Deciding on items to include and whether to structure the catalog as a retail sale (eg buy t-shirt with the Community Center logo and part of the sale price goes to the Community Center) vs a sponsorship sale (buy a hot meal for 40 people for $10 or 200 lbs of rice for the food pantry for $50) was the first challenge. In the end, after a review of what other non-profits are using, a sponsorship sale based on that used by Heifer International and the World Wildlife Federation was chosen. The next step was coding this catalog, including setting up a shopping cart that automatically generates the ability to choose from a variety of “thank you” e-cards for the purchaser after the sale is complete. We are very grateful to the VISTA for his dedication to the project and his willingness to develop his technical skills which enabled him to finish this complex project.
The VISTA member would conduct a three-month Community Needs Assessment to survey community organizations, members, board members, staff and community leaders for CMAP & AMP.
a) Provide in–depth analysis of what organizations currently are offering to the communities served, (services packages, community involvement, and community media offerings) and research opportunities for collaboration.
b) Report to Executive Directors on the Community Assessment Results and present recommendations
c) Develop a manual for collaborative work: “Cookbook for Regional Community Media Collaboration” that would be published in print and web form. This cookbook would inspire and create a template for other community media and community technology organizations to work more collaboratively in this new economic environment which requires and encourages new kinds of collaboration and partnerships.
d) Present this cookbook as a body of work at the ACM National Conference in July of 2010 to encourage and give specific examples of new innovative approaches to regional collaboration among community media centers.
With the help of our first-year DASC member, we have expanded collaborations with other community media centers in the state and region, sharing technology, marketing, educational content and curriculum to media centers and non-profit organizations.
-Increased communication with between two media centers to enable collaboration on several key projects including growing capacity of both organizations to fundraise, use technology tools, and manage staff and members.
-Increased communication enabling the implementation of new technology resources, including access to other center’s technical staff, new equipment for CMAP’s institutional network and engineering expertise from other centers.
-Increased CMAP’s ability to fundraise/build community awareness
-Helped to initiate new strategies to develop and share community content between centers.
Based on the success of the first year of this project, we are now in the second year, expanding to a statewide collaboration. For the first year, both organizations expanded our capacity through seeing the need to hire staff for fundraising, collaborated on grants that resulted in funding and staffing, and created an expanded collaboration program into our region. After the second year, we hope that agencies will work together regularly to continue this collaboration.
Our VISTA accomplished all of what was included in our project, but also helped to write grants for the organizations and learned development skills. He was hired by one of the media centers after the project to be a development assistant. He also became involved in developing the second year plan for our expanded collaboration.
The AmeriCorps*VISTA project we are proposing is a critical component of our community technology program to promote broadband deployment and adoption in the low income neighborhoods we serve. We seek to build the capacity of our wireless and wired networks that will be installed in our affordable housing projects through the development of a program that will distribute community-based resources (equipment, trainings, information), establish resident advisory committees, and deploy wireless networks.
Our AmeriCorps*VISTA member will support our initiative through community outreach, surveys, and technical support. Specifically, s/he will:
- Develop and implement community-based outreach strategies for community wireless adoption and participation.
- Collaborate with other project partners to develop outreach plans to expand our presence in the targeted communities.
- Develop educational resources for community technology staff and residents in the targeted communities.
- Coordinate and build the capacity of a community advisory committees in the targeted communities
- Organize, coordinate, and develop community education workshops delivered by volunteers on community wireless networks
- Develop sustainability models for the deployment of community wireless networks
- Coordinate volunteer efforts to plan and deploy neighborhood wireless networks
- Meet with technology center managers to coordinate community workshop activities
- Work with project partners to build the technology skills capacity of youth in South Los Angeles
- Develop a volunteer base of technology and community activists to support the deployment and sustainability of community wireless networks
Goal 1: Promote and increase the adoption of broadband within low-income communities
Goal 2: Build the capacity of deployed community Wi-Fi networks through community participation.
The VISTA member has been instrumental in increasing the overall capacity of the Community Technology department. We now have documented standards and procedures for deploying residential and community Wi-Fi networks, as well as a track record and experience that can be used to provide technical assistance to other groups seeking to deploy similar Wi-Fi networks. We have compiled not only the technical procedures for wireless deployment but also a best practices guide, as we have learned from the challenges we’ve faced. The VISTA also helped to develop criteria and a process for selecting future contractors for our new networks. To ensure the sustainability of our networks we need to continue working with LTSC’s real estate and property management departments to develop a system for ongoing support and maintenance of the networks.
The VISTA member also assisted with grant writing, reporting and research to support and build the capacity of the Community Technology department. She also helped with program and curriculum development for the DISKovery Center’s digital media classes covering basic computer and internet skills to more advanced digital video editing and production. She also established a public access WiFi network at LTSC’s DISKovery Computer Center in Little Tokyo. The VISTA’s accomplishments in these areas seemed a natural addendum to the stated goals. She has proven herself to be highly competent in many areas and has therefore been given additional projects and responsibilities, as time and her own interests allowed. Since she is extremely self-motivated and is capable of accomplishing projects thoroughly and quickly, we were able to involve her in additional projects beyond what was proposed.
- Development of community and residential wi-fi resource materials made available online.
- Development and dissemination of publicity and outreach materials to promote the Little Tokyo community through flyers, a community blog developed by and for community wireless users, print materials and a community wi-fi website.
- Establishment of a community wireless blog to document the challenges and successes in deploying community wireless networks.
- Deployment of three new free community Wi-Fi networks in LTSC’s affordable housing communities. Accomplishments toward achieving stated goals:
- Curriculum developed for wifi trainings in the form of a wiki. The wiki was developed with some server assistance from Wataru Ebihara, LTSC’s Network Administrator.
- Resource materials developed for wifi users / volunteers / nonprofits wishing to start wifi networks, also on the wiki.
- Flyers for outreach developed with Spanish translation help from Sugey Salazar, computer instructor.
- Community blog developed using a free blogger account. The VISTA has worked to transition administration of the blog to the LT community council for its ongoing sustainability.
- Computer Adoption Program (CAP) program planned and organized, and additional wifi curriculum developed for the class
- 10 families served.
- Wifi deployed in the Reno Apartments using open source mesh routers from Open Mesh and broadband over power (BPL) technology to deploy a robust network at Reno. Switched Angelina Apartments to open source Open Mesh to enable better usage tracking.
- Usage tracking of Wi-Fi networks
- using free and open source tracking called CoovaOM, developed tracking methods and documentation for residential Wi-Fi networks.
- Developed a Request for Proposals for the development of 5 new broadband networks in affordable housing projects; developed criteria for selecting a proposal and oversaw selection of contractor for these new networks.
While residents want broadband access, the majority are dissatisfied with wireless technology and the stability of the networks. With the support of LTSC staff, Melissa has helped move the organization toward a more sustainable model of providing residents with internet access (through wired DSL installation and through providing residents with information on low cost communications services). This plan was implemented in the latter half of her service year. Two of the current wireless networks were sold to an independent contractor, who will maintain a lower bandwidth free network while charging for a higher speed pay-to-play network. The remaining networks will be transitioned to an independent contractor after Melissa completes her service year.
While Melissa did not create a DIY computer curriculum due to shifts in program priorities, the other curricula she has created - Digital Histories film class, Internet Safety, Photoshop, and Social Media - will continue to be used in subsequent classes. Broadband Content Development Melissa has developed several websites for the organization, which have been instrumental in promoting our programs and services and raising our visibility. She also connected these sites to social media pages the create a seamless online presence. Melissa has made sure to document the websites she has created so that the organization will be able to maintain them. She has given trainings on Facebook and Joomla to the Little Tokyo Community Council and to LTSC staff.
“Thank you very much. We are sad to see Melissa and Tiffany go. They have contributed tremendously to our program and it is truly a loss to see them go.”
- Naomi Uchida-Boas, Supervisor
The CTC Vista volunteer will increase our capacity by providing the technical assistance to develop a new media training program, systems for volunteers to use an interactive website, and develop volunteers to become trainers themselves for future participants. The VISTA’s role is to help us through this transition and move KNON into a position where we can provide existing services in newer, more relevant forms. Once the project is completed, the additional volunteers, trainers, training tools, online protocols, online audience, and online tools will augment our community connections by making sure the station is as interactive as possible and acts as a community resource that uses the latest technology to give its listenership a voice in the community and the ability to affect positive change in their own environment.
The CTC Vista will be responsible for:
Work with volunteers to mae presentations to organizations serving lower-income and minority communities in DFW
Work with community members to conduct surveys to determine community media needs
Develop curriculum to train to community organizations and their members to utilize media tools including blogs, audio recording and editing, video recording and editing, and social networking.
Train volunteers to train additional community members to utilize media tools.
Work with volunteers to develop a community media campaign around one identified issue that will be used as a template for future issue campaigns
Develop protocols for volunteers to maintain the equipment and website for volunteer media work
Mark developed a list of 100 community organizations and events in coverage area and Developed outreach material describing community media project and volunteer interest forms. Developed on-air announcements and recruited audience members for project Recruited participants from current audience, community advisory committee and existing volunteer p Surveyed existing volunteer usage of social media networks and other online tools Integrated KNON station brand into new station website, facebook and twitter. Established user interface for volunteers and staff to update station’s online presence Activity 3: New Media Training for Community Volunteers Develop ed training series for community members for blogging and video (youtube) origination, editing and uploading onto station webtools. Also developed social networking training. Mark did all of this by reaching out to those at the station and in our audience during meetings and on air. He was assited by KNON volunteers and staff
Fundraising web componants. Developed well and continues to help us in fundraising
The Corps member will survey the constituents of Access Humboldt, analyze the data, incorporate these key elements into our programs and curricula, and increase the awareness of the available resources.
As a result of the Corps members service, new relationships with county media instructors and organizations have been created. Pre-existing relationships have been strengthened. Engagement with youth media makers has increased dramatically. Access Humboldt (AH) has contracted with a youth media instructor to work directly with students at the Community Media Center. (AH is located on a high school campus.) VISTA raised awareness on campus of the media resources available to students. VISTA built upon, strengthened, partnerships between AH and other community programs. These collaborations are key to sustainable programs. Still to be developed, a funding model for cash-strapped institutions.
The Corps member was also key in creating an opportunity to collaborate with a community radio partner arose with the passage of the Local Community Radio Act. Together with KMUD-FM, AH hosted Community Radio Day, a gathering of community radio leaders from around the county to share information and brainstorm future collaborations. Community members had an opportunity to participate in a Community Journalism workshop. VISTA developed two new social media tools for AH, a Miro website and a Twitter account. VISTA also revitalized an existing YouTube page. The goal of these activities was to attract more youth to AH programs.
The AmeriCorps*Vista will lead a commissioned survey of 150 CTCs in San Diego and take an active role in the centralization of the SDCTC as the regional organization for community technology in San Diego. The AmeriCorps*Vista also will revise and expand current bi-quarterly evaluation methods. The AmeriCorps*Vista will use the CTC survey data results to develop more opportunities for programming and resources sharing among San Diego area CTCs. The AmeriCorps*Vista’s crucial role will also be that of helping to faciliate more workshops and trainings focused on curriculum and resource sharing in collaboration with organizations and agencies involoved with community technology. The outcome will produce tranings and events that network San Diego area community technology centers, thus allowing more program development directed towards CTC staff and end-users.
Rodrigo has done an outstanding job with providing statistical data in our FLOCs. He provided demographics by charting the number of children, racial breakdown, income levels, languages spoken, and interest in all OTS’ core program areas.
Our AmeriCorp*VISTA at OTS has conducted Art workshops in low-income apartment communities for disadvanted youth. If our Americorp*VISTA did not think beyond his workplan, these youth would not have been exposed to art in such a way that opened their minds. As a result the youth who have developed an appreciation for art. Our AmeriCorp*VISTA was also able to learn from our youth that everyone comes from various education and socio economic levels but we can work together.