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Learning the UBC ropes through UBCevents

I’ve hinted here or there at what my latest gig is — on top of being a Master’s student, that is — and I’m now happy to be able to announce it because, after a few delays, my team and I were (finally!) able to launch our blog today.

Since mid-August, I have been working as the Communications Coordinator for a unique project the University of British Columbia called UBCevents. It’s exactly what it sounds like — an events calendar for everything happening at UBC’s three campuses (Point Grey, Robson Square and Okanagan). I sometimes refer to it as “Upcoming.org for UBC.” The fun part is that the tool, being built on an open source product, makes ample use of open standards like RSS and iCal formats. But the best part? I get to apply my ideas and express my enthusiasm for social media in large organizations and get my feet wet on balancing transparency with meeting a mandate and providing a service — an experience I may never get tired of.

More than that, it’s been a great way to learn about the incredible work of fellow students and faculty at UBC — not a day goes by in this job that I don’t learn about a new group on campus with a three-or-more letter acronym doing something really cool that I’d always wanted to know or wondered about. And it almost gets unfortunate, because I tend to be way too busy with school to go to any of them! But knowing what I’m missing out on is certainly better than being in the dark on it all.

As I said, we’ve just launched our UBCevents blog. It’s primarily intended for our content providers and people who are integrating UBCevents into their website, but it’ll give you a snapshot into a project I am extremely proud to be a part of. I work with a fantastic ensemble of team members — who I’m either less technical than or more technical than at times, depending on what it is you’re wondering about — and does some cool stuff within the institutional constraints and aims of the university, which is officially the oldest entity I’ve ever worked for. I’ve interacted with people from groups as diverse as Student Development, Public Affairs and UBC IT, and it’s been a blast.

Now that the blog’s launched, what’s next? I’m hoping to eke out a workable strategy for UBCevents on Twitter (you can take a peek at what’s gone on so far). It’s been fun to participate in conversations about UBC where I can, but as I’ve sometimes bemoaned, I actually do like to pay attention in class and am also very happy with my non-smart aka. dumb phone, so an effective and consistent mechanism for re-tweeting and conversing still remains elusive.

Next time you find yourself at a UBC campus with some time to spare, look up the UBCevents calendar to see what’s up!

One Comment

  1. entertaining stuff! :D

    Posted October 24, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink

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