The Project Play blog was originally established by Annick Collins after meetings and discussions with John Jackson of CLTAD to explore requirements and identify and prepare the most suitable platform. It was further supported by John Jackson and Mike Kelly of CLTAD’s eTeam. Annick is currently on maternity leave – and the background to this exciting initiative is described by her colleague Michael Lehnert (Business Relationship Manager, the Enterprise Collective, CCW).
“The EDEN Project/PLAY blog was part of CCW Enterprise’s international project of the same name. The project was an income-generating knowledge exchange with two Japanese global corporations: Hakuhodo, and Kokuyo. It focused on various themes related to the topic of ‘play’.”
This was the first CCW Enterprise project of an international nature. It was also the first project that took place across all three colleges of CCW (Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon), and with students and academics from different courses and indeed disciplines.
The MyBlog platform was chosen to enable and facilitate exchange of research and experimentation knowledge between the students, the tutors and corporate clients, based in London and in Tokyo. MyBlog allowed the easy and flexible management of several subpages, creating metadata tags, and posting rich content either through embedded links or uploaded images. The fact that it was a ready-to-use in-house solution at UAL played a further role in deciding for this platform rather than other solutions on offer.”
The blog was one of the key online tools used by the project, as described by Michael:
“ … after conducting Skype conversations (or ‘knowledge exchange forums’) between London and Tokyo, myblog.arts allowed students, tutors and corporate clients to post rich content in relation to what was discussed earlier: uploading research notes or material studies, product concept sketches, place hyperlinks to source material that was mentioned in the Skype conversations; basically anything to further deepen and broaden the conversation, and initiate further Q&A interplay.”
As the students were tasked to develop ‘play’-themed product concepts, their postings of them over time allowed a narrative, a scrapbook and a visual history of their own thought developments and concept stages to be created on the myblog.arts platform.
As Michael says: “Revisiting blog entries from a few months earlier showcased clearly how much intellectual progress had been made by them during the time of the project.”
The MyBlog platform worked well throughout the project with proactive and responsive support from the CLTAD eTeam to address specialist requirements.
It was found that the blog’s “user dashboard” was not immediately intuitive to use. However, after a short introductory session for students and (especially) the Japanese corporate clients they managed to operate it fully and well. “Knowing some HTML code was also useful (albeit not essential) as occasionally WYSIWYG editing Sometimes, WYSIWYG editing was not immediately executed, so typing the text in HTML code (possible with myblog.arts) always allowed a quick-fix solution”.
As Michael concludes:
“The blog was project-specific and after conclusion of the project at the end of 2012 it was closed down. However, we will certainly be using myblog.arts for future projects run by CCW Enterprise”.