FreeGeek Information Management Strategy
The communications committee needs to identify goals and priorities, then start working at tasks of manageable size. This document attempts to delineate some of those tasks and goals.
Free Geek currently maintains several channels of communication with the public, few of which are co-ordinated & none of which is organized in accordance with a strategeic plan. We need to change that. Here are some of those channels & the functions we think they ought to serve:
The Wordpress site is the main public face of Freegeek. We use it to announce our mission and programs to the public. It's not a bad site, but could be more dynamic and in particular, could do a better job of announcing our courses when they happen.
Note: We have a beta website being constructed at client.artscubed.ca by Linda Rogers, volunteer
Task: Make our website a dynamic channel that attracts people (volunteers, clients customers) to freeGeek
Timeline: This may not possibly be done until the move is complete. Aim for a website facelift around the time we launch new initiatives in February 2014.
External Mailing Lists
Our volunteer & donor mailing lists are in disarray. We need to fix them both up.
Task: Revive our outward-facing mailing lists. this involves getting access to the lists via Allen, & both doing the list migration, & establishing guidelines for using them. Timeline: Soon enough to solicit help with the move – next two weeks? URGENT
The wiki is intended to be a repositiory of knowledge for FreeGeek, in which we store information related to:
- FGT charter & policies
- FGT procedures and howto's
- FGT course documents
- tutorials and other resources intended for the public
- records of FGT's decisionmaking process (e.g., board minutes)
For about a year the wiki has been mostly moribund, due largely to the huge number of spam users it accumulated in early 2012. That spam has now all been cleared out, and we can get back to using the wiki. We should clarify our priorities, in terms of what information we most urgently want to add there. Task: Use the wiki to communicate our aims effectively, and to provide public resources that will (as a secondary benefit) attract geeks to FGT.
Timeline: Begin immediately, but we need to decide what information most urgently needs to be available there.
- We currently have a twitter feed which publishes a "Free Geek Toronto Daily", but nothing else (<https://twitter.com/FreeGeekToronto>)
- We have a facebook page <https://www.facebook.com/Free.Geek.Toronto> with a couple of hundred likes
Task: Formulate a social media strategy.
Timeline: Doesn't seem like a high priority; perhaps aim for February, around the time of our launch.
We currently do some sales through word of mouth, and others through eBay/kijiji. We need to do more of both, and work out a co-ordinated strategy. We could even consider AdSense down the line.
Task: Improve our sales
In addition to public communication, FGT has a number of internal communication channels. These need to be streamlined so that
- information is available when staff, board, or volunteers need to find it;
- sensitive information is restricted only to those who ought to have access to it;
- Staff & board members are not overwhelmed by a flood of emails, documents, etc.
Inventory and Record-keeping
We need a rational method for this, which needs to be set up in collaboration with the staff.
Task: Establish an inventory System.
Drive (Board but perhaps also Staff)
We've set up a shared Google Drive folder to which all board members have access. ALL of the following document categories should be stored there:
- All Policy Documents
- All grant applications and supporting materials, with one folder per grant
- All official budgeting documents
- Board minutes and document, with one folder per meeting
- All committee deliberations and documents, with one folder per committee
- All contractual agreements (eg., lease, utilities, etc.)
Task: Encourage cajole, and bully board members into getting their documents into the Drive.
Timeline: starting ASAP. URGENT
FGT staff (e.g., Allen, Dana) have discussed setting up a network share for staff documents, with various workgroup permissions. This sounds like a good idea & has both advantages and disadvantages vis-a-vis the Google Drive. We should decide whether this is a board priority or something we should leave to the staff.
Task: Determine if this is our job
Internal Mailing Lists
We are in the process of shifting all our mailing lists over to google drive.
Miscellaneous Document Management
There are some tasks that don't fit neatly into these categories. Here are some of them:
- we urgently need a rational, sustainable password management protocol.
Task: decide on a system & strategy