When we see a project that is using the story tool, the mapper and the Who's Listening widget and is inviting engagement through Hashtags in Instagram and Twitter, we know we are onto something special. The team at Charles Sturt are exploring boundaries here and are creative. We love this project.
Site: Your Say Charles Sturt
Project: Place Making in Charles Sturt
Publish Date: 12 June 2015
Topic: Place Making
Tools: Stories, Mapper
Widgets: Sign up Banner, 2x Photo Gallery, FAQ, Instagram, Custom (Twitter), Who's Listening
What we like:
- Idea: This project is a great example to show that you don't need a current consultation or project if you want to engage your community. There is no immediacy about this project, rather the team at Charles Sturt are exploring how to involve the community through place making.
- Combining Stories and Mappers: We often applaud EHQ admins in the staff picks for the combination of tools they use. We do it here again, although this time we are even more excited because the two tools in use are two of our less conventional tools. Since this is not an every-day project, the team has done well to choose tools they ordinarily might not use. Especially not in this combination.
- Instagram: This widget is too often overlooked in EHQ. Admittedly you need the right project to include Instagram, still, we think Instagram widget is great and should be used more. It feeds colours and imagery into the project without the project team having to do anything about it, other than choosing a meaningful hashtag.
- Engaging through Hashtags: Hashtag specific engagement is really new in the realms of EHQ. We can count the instances we have seen on one hand, which is why we are so excited to it in use here. Similar to the previous point, you cannot use a Hashtag to engage with your community for every project, but when the topic is right, we think it adds a lot of creativity and uniqueness to a consultation.
- Who's Listening: The widget was developed to allow admins to give a project that personal touch which is sometimes lacking in the digital world. This is particularly important in a place and community focused project. Awesome to see it in use and lovely images of the team too!
For further consideration:
Length of description and first image: Both the project description and the first image take up a lot of space. Imagery and a proper introduction of what 'place making' is, is very important. On the downside however, this means that some of the other great aspects of the site, in particular the story tool and the Instagram feed, have moved below the site fold.
- Project name: We brought this up a few times in the staff pick by now. This project name is nice and short, but we do like titles to also include call-to-actions.
OVERALL: We love to see projects like this. The team at Charles Sturt are exploring how EHQ can be used to engage the community beyond what topics might be open for regular consultation. We can only applaud them for it and are excited to see people from the community contributing.
NOTE: The above is based on a visit to the site on 19 June 2015. Changes made to the project after that date may have altered the appearance of the project.