The Outreach working group met to discuss current and future planned outreach events and opportunities as well as provide feedback on the development of communication tools for the West Coast Ocean Data Network. At the Network meeting in November 2013, members identified the need to have some public facing forum to connect and communicate with eachother, share ideas and best practices, document Portal activity and progress, and list upcoming events and opportunities for engagement. You can read the Network meeting summary here.
After discussions with the IT Working Group about the appropriate open source software to use for this purpose, the group decided on the blogging platform WordPress, for its ease of use and large catalog of plugins that could accommodate the blog, social network, and calendar. The WCODP Coordinator and IT Working Group members have been busy developing the blog, setting up the functional components, and creating a continuous visual identity with the Portal. You can view the prototype here.
The Outreach working group provided much needed feedback on the design and function of the blog to facilitate broader use and recognition as a component of the WCODP. After we finalize the design and function of the Blog we will create integrated links between the Portal and blog to create a seamless (as possible) user experience. At that point we encourage network partners to register for the site so that they can participate in working groups, share comments and feedback, and stay up to date on WCODP activities.
You can read the full working group notes here. Leave us a comment and tell what you think of the new communication tools.