I’ve gotten over a bit of the apprehension to sub, but not completely. I’ve applied to sub at a district close to me. I’ll see how that goes and perhaps apply to sub at more districts later. I’ve also continued to apply for open positions in Seattle. I’ll keep you all posted on how that goes.
I’ve been occupying my time by keeping up with technology and doing consulting. As many of you might know already, this website is one of our projects. Being less than a month old it seems to be struggling getting good placement from organic searches via search engines. It isn’t just Google, but MSN Live, and Yahoo. They all seem to have some type of age attribute they use in their algorithms for determining place value in searches. Either way, I’d like to thank those of you who have found us and are following along with this adventure. Please feel free to join us at any time.
On that note, we haven’t had anyone join our site and choose to blog with us yet (at 3 weeks not a big deal). I’m sure they will, and I’m aware there are many options available to would be educational bloggers. For example, someone could just start up a blog at Blogspot and do perfectly well. I think we are hoping that the idea of community building will appeal to educators and they (you) will eventually make your way here. In the interest of further community building features and adding to the appeal of our website, I’m playing around with the idea of adding the ability for users to create custom groups. For example, a user could create a group for their own school district, where other teachers/educators could come build community and discuss issues relating to that district. A teacher or administer could make a group for their school, where news could be shared and discussed and community built. Now it is just a question of how many features to add, and at what price to usability and aesthetics must be paid.
I want the site to be as feature rich as possible, but I don’t want the user to feel overwhelmed, so I’m working on ways to make the experience as user friendly as possible. Another issue I’m thinking about is whether to allow custom visual themes or not. I understand that custom themes allow us to feel empowered and a sense of ownership over our content and those things appeal to me quite a bit. Conversely I like the uniform feel of a site where clean non-distracting visual attributes are the norm. As always, user feedback is greatly appreciated.