AFTERBURN REPORT 2012
We quietly released Spark - a new tool for participants to connect with others in our community for collaborating on projects. Spark leverages open source technologies and was designed, developed and deployed with a handful of our web team volunteers in less than two months. Spark's peak usage prior to the event reached nearly 300 postings, and boasts almost 800 users to date. We look forward to a more focused and directed announcement so that participants can leverage this tool year-around for projects beyond the festival (decompression events, regional events, etc.).
With the overall increase in mobile and tablet device traffic, it made perfect sense for us to revise the Survival Guide section and retool it in a mobile-friendly way. We worked closely with the Communications Team on re-architecting the revamped content into its own site that leveraged the Responsive Web Design (RWD) approach. We utilized the look and feel of the printed version to create an engaging and useful Survival Guide that is viewable, searchable and digestible on any size device.
We collaborated with the Communications Team on a new tool for participant video intake and display. The Communications Team brought us a suggested tool called YouTube Direct, which provides a vehicle to intake, manage and curate videos submitted by our community. We worked within the API supplied, set up the intake forms, and created multiple pages that display the different channels and their curated videos.Donation processing was improved for Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) and the Burning Man Project in 2012 with the migration to the nonprofit tool Click & Pledge. At the start of the 2012 Burn, the Project completed its fiscal sponsorship by BRAF and began using its own independent donation system. The new user-friendly donation forms reflect the website design of each organization (http://donate.blackrockarts.org and http://donate.burningmanproject.org). These forms are also used to collect funds designated for projects such as Fly Ranch Project (http://donate.flyranchproject.org) and the Rural Centers. All donations flowing through these pages funnel contact information into the central database for relationship management.
We also streamlined data collection for the Burning Man Project. A hosted form integrated with the website provides a means for community members to subscribe to the Project's email newsletter and to apply to volunteer. Information collected through this form is added to the central database for relationship management. The first email newsletter – a visually rich HTML template - was sent out by the Project in August 2012.
Additional projects that have crossed our digital threshold this year include the assistance with Black Rock Arts Foundation's new site development and migration, and the development and support of the resources site (http://www.brcvpc.com). We are developing our Innovations section for http://burningman.com, which will enable to developers in our community to create their own applications and digital experiences from approved content. Additionally we are developing a revised Regionals section for burningman.com that will allow for over 180 Regional Contacts to self-manage their sections. This is currently a laborious process of manual updating each individual contact's page, maintaining multiple website content updates, bug fixes, security and framework upgrades.