A couple of weeks ago the Communications Working Group met and one of the key discussion points was a way of marketing the VLN community to a wider audience. As a result we wanted to see if everyone supported the development of a VLN Community website that was a public face for us. Something that looked professional and had a distinct domain name that was recognisably ours. This wouldn't mean the end of other community pages, as this is website would not be designed for us to interact in. Both Pete and I are happy to work on this for next year - any thoughts? Anyone else keen to get involved. Perhaps if we are to do this we need to consider rebranding to avoid confusion between our community and the VLN site (where we are just one of many communities).
Perhaps we also need to consider developing a presence wthin some social networking sites like Facebook, Google+ and twitter. Again, any thoughts on this?
Hi Darren, I think that this would not be a great idea, but is a necessity. So often we have discussions with new groups of people and it would just be great to direct them to a page specifically about us as a unique community and then from that site, the other links can accessed.
When I have spoken with people about the work we do, they are certainly becoming more aware of the VLN through the use with the ICTPD clusters and Core, but the specific of what we do and who we are is not clear, so I guess the rebranding will be a delicate matter to deal with, but I also think that we do need our own identity.
I know that I will not have the time to assist, but happy to provide any input through the journey. I had got an art teacher from Kings College, Dunedin to draft some logos out earlier last year when I was thinking about the need for us to have a new logo developed to identify us, including a cultural awareness. That was when I was looking at a brochure about the VLN Community that we could all use.
I think for any organisation there will be several layers to having a web presence.
I originally thought that the VLN Groups site would cover all bases but i now think it serves best to maintain a social touchpoint for our members (alongside ther listserv) and to maintain our presence within the elearning educational community, though not necessarily the wider educational community - which a 'glossy' website would be better for. So yes we would get more marketing effectiveness from an independent website. Would be happy to help out with this as far as identifying & repurposing content and information that we already have in this space and that i have created for the VLN Primary. We also need to have a plan about how to make Social Media work for us such as you say - a Community page on Facebook, Google+, which Twitter hashtag to claim etc.