We’ve had two dream team meetings, in Brooklyn (Faisal, Erica and Dan) and last Saturday in Beulah (Steve Elrick, Melonie, Jonathan, Lucas Kelly and Dan).
Inviting collaboration and contribution was the focus of Saturday’s meeting. Components of the ask package for fundraising were presented and discussed. Our collective web presence, including project blogs like http://artisthouse.com/domains_core/desire and contractor blogs (http://meloniesteffes.com and http://jonathankellyarts.com) are key. We reviewed the design of the landing page for http://artisthouse.com/domains_core/desire and discussed what our expectations are for it.
Melonie – The silhouette image of Dan on Hello World looks “girly”. It’s the first thing I think about when I see this page.
Dan – This is because the camera pack on his left side gives an impression of wide hips which combined with the long hair makes the image a little confusing.
Is it disturbing or discordant to visitors? Some testing is needed. It’s possible to either switch out this picture or try to ps the camera pack out. Might not be a bad idea to broaden my shoulders and add an ornate cod piece while were at it.
Jonathan – I’d like to see a link to the latest news, so that folks can jump to immediately to the last 5-6 posts.
The simplest solution is a link to all posts. The most recent will show up first.
Melonie – “Desire – the crux of human experience.” That’s important, it should be a headline or bigger.
Dan – “You are here” was intended to give a sense of place, suggesting maps and geography. We can repurpose this for the maps area.
Replace “You are Here” with the crux of human experience” to give it more prominence and simplify the page. Move you are here to the maps page.
Dan – On Desire was conceived as a container for many projects, Around Lake Michigan being one of them. Currently, ALM is the only project in there, so it needs to be more prominent.
On the sidebar, move Events up to the top and all the ondesire.com background down to the bottom. Perhaps move the background out of the sidebar totally.
Jonathan – The archives take a lot of real estate, be good to move them farther down the sidebar so it’s less cluttered up top.
Dan – Not sure that’s possible. If we had a little WP magic we could link to a separate page where the archives could live. Look into it. A benefit of the archives being on the sidebar is it demonstrates project longevity.
Investigate whether archives become a landing page link?
Dan – Perhaps Dan and Hello World are the vanguard for a wave of expeditions worldwide, perhaps one objective is to inspire other expeditions. ALM could be a demonstration on how to look for artifacts of a survivable future. How could the site be an aggregator for artifacts? Searchers could report discoveries by…
writing a letter / email
leaving a phone message
sending audio or video recordings – youtube, vimeo etc.
Steve – what about incorporating song writing? Steve relates a recent effort to rewrite the lyrics of Route 66 to fit the sights along M22. Could this be worked into ALM? Would song writers and performers be inspired with images of trip geography?
Dan – I really wanted to bring my guitar with me last September, the idea of a giant song writing quilt is awesome. Lucas and Melonie are both making music too, Steve sings so maybe we already have a strong base.
What other ideas can we deploy for hooking the general public into the project?
Who could organize and manage the music project? How would it work? What’s our protocol for integrating new artifacts, a resource for contributing must be developed.
Melonie – Right now the project is the Dan show. We need more artifacts up ASAP.
Dan – absolutely. We have some great material.
Priority – put up other interviews.
Dan – The premise, the pitch. We know that a sustainable civilization is coming because if it doesn’t show up, we (human beings) are doomed. Since we all expect to survive, a survivable civilization must emerge within the next 10 – 15 years. That means it must be already coming together, it must be in the process of emerging. We can can expect to find fragments and partially assembled components everywhere, right now. These artifacts of a future survivable civilization can be discovered and shared, growing awareness globally. That is the objective of Around Lake Michigan.
Jonathan – What’s the proof that we are doomed? That reminds me of mainstream media’s fear mongering and exaggeration which makes intelligent folks are allergic.
Dan – maybe “doom” switched to “things getting really unpleasant,” (wink, nod). Kind of under-promising approach.
Jonathan – Showing change from past to present, activate personal observation.
Melonie – focus on the good stuff, spreading the solutions
A 15 second premise video could be the first thing that visitors encounter.
Jonathan – we need definitions on the site, like xroll, civilizations and artifacts.
Build a project dictionary or a wikitionary
Dan – How do you guys feel about the process of blogging?
Melonie – an old friend found me through my website, I was embarrassed. the first thing I thought was I hope he didn’t read my blog.
Jonathan – I am posting technical stuff because I don’t feel very creative right now. When writing about technical issues, there’s a lot of overhead involved in explaining something simple. Saying exactly what I want, a process of taking stuff away.
Melonie – What about exploring your feelings about the project?
Dan – We will continue to blog, because it’s very powerful to look into ourselves and express what we are becoming. It’s very helpful for our development as artists and for our ability to communicate clearly – to each other and to the world at large. It’s an investment in ourselves. Melonie’s reaction is very telling, why should we be embarrassed about our own thoughts and feelings? What’s the matter with developing a public presence? Is that ego or just sharing? An open project means we share our lessons and discoveries.
Steve and Lucas can be encouraged to launch showcase sites with Jonathan and Melonie’s help. Jonathan and Melonie write a 1 or 2 paragraph premise – why writing and sharing my journey makes sense for me, or if it did make sense for me, why would it?