So, awhile back I made a rather impulsive domain purchase and snatched up guide-dogs.org. Eventually, I had hoped to actually do something with it and only about four hundred different ideas ran through my head and/or were suggested to me. Five years later the domain has become a glorified test site, where “glorified” means that a bunch of people own email accounts from it, [Note: If you’re interested in an @guide-dogs.org email, do let me know and I can set one up.]
Now part of the reason it hasn’t gone anywhere is a personal one, which is still partially relevant but I’ve decided that it shouldn’t stop me from working on this because I think eventually this website could really be something. But there is an overwhelming amount of work that needs to go into it. Ideally, I would like to not do all this alone, but more important than even that I’m hoping that some folks will actually step up and help populate the site with content.
Even though it’s been on the back burner for several years now, I’m still not 100% sure what exactly the site should be. And I don’t think that’s entirely a bad thing because it leaves lots of room for it to evolve into more than my single, possibly narrow, vision of it might be. But here’s what I’m basically thinking:
- Information resource about guide dogs for handlers and those interested in guide dogs, such as puppy raising, training, or just general curiosity.
- First-hand experience in the form of articles and/or journals.
- Hosting of blogs/subsites related to guide dogs. (Debatable how interconnected these can or should be to the main website.)
- Community/network for members through a message board and/or social networking platform. (I’m on the fence about how extensive something like that can/should be, but I’m also thinking this is a “down the road” kind of thing.)
Some things I’m thinking I could use help with, in no particular order:
- Website Designer — I have a few designs in mind and I’m happy to work on this all by my onesies. It will just be a slower process and if there’s someone out there just dying to lend a hand with WordPress theme building and/or tweaking, I won’t turn that person away.
[EDIT: I would like to feature as many photos of guide dogs (especially in harness or puppy-training jacket) as possible so if you have any you wouldn’t mind being used in the website’s design, please send them my way. The higher the resolution, the better! (If you sent me a photo the last time I put out this request, yes I still have it but you are welcome to send me more!)
- Beta Testers – I’m going to need people to poke around the site, including in the backend, and see if things are broken and/or if they can break things. As well as take notice of anything that isn’t accessible. (I’ve been using WordPress since 2004 and so I’m very familiar with it. But that also means that things that might pop up as an issue for others, especially those using adaptive software, sometimes get overlooked.)
- Authors/Editors — Eventually, we’ll need content. And ideally it would work best if it wasn’t all generated from me. I have only about six million thoughts on all this, but this is less a priority until I actually get things up and running.
- Moderators/Administrators — This could go hand-in-hand with the above or be separate from it completely or a mixture of the two. Essentially, I can’t do everything on my own and I really don’t want to.
- Members — Duh.
I’m still sort of spinning my wheels on all this and so I apologize for being slightly vague and a bit all over the place with this. I think what I need most are people interested just to chatter with about all this. But in any event, if you have any interest whatsoever in any part of this, please do let me know. I have no timetable for getting this going, which is sort of obvious since it’s been sitting dormant for years now, but the less I have to do all alone the quicker things will come together. Anyway, I’ll be updating here as things move along.
So, if you’re interested in helping out or just want to help me brainstorm and plot things out please get in touch with me by any means that’s convenient to you: email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, mental telepathy or commenting below. It would also be wonderful if you could help spread this around to others that might be interested.
Thanks in advance!