Happy Holiday from Swindon Viewpoint

Happy Holiday from Swindon Viewpoint

We would like to wish all our registered users a very happy holiday and a healthy 2010.

2009 was the year Swindon Viewpoint re-established itself, as you all will know, and in May the new website was quietly constructed and the first archive videos posted. We have since then been busy building up the catalogue. It’s taken a lot of work but we now have over 400 films and videos on the site – all available for immediate viewing. No other community media or archive site is so advanced as far as we are aware. One of the areas we have paid particular attention to is providing innovative search methods (see ‘location search’ and the ‘tag cloud’ for example),

There have been many compliments about the site and its uncluttered layout, but we should always be open to improvement, so if you have any suggestions do please let us know. Another of the ways we are breaking new ground is the software Alan has been working on and has now rolled out, which allows GPS enabled devices such as a laptop, iPhone, iPod or Android phone to present you a list of videos and photos relevant to your current location. You could even use it to take a walking tour of Swindon!

In this context you have probably noticed another new area of the site called ‘Then and Now’. This is administered by volunteer Judith Wilkinson and already contains around 1000 images. Here we are gathering historic images of the town, location positioning them on the map, and whenever possible providing a current image taken with the same position and angle for comparison. An often fascinating contrast. Do check it out if you haven’t already; and we hope you will agree that Swindon Viewpoint is fast becoming an invaluable educational and social resource in many different ways.

Film or video programmes on the site range in origin from 1913 to 2009. Yes, we did manage to get some new programmes up this year (almost twenty); primarily on the music and arts scene, but we want to place even more emphasis on new programming in 2010, so that we are more completely a ‘living diary’ of the social and cultural life of our town. Many thanks to our current programme volunteers, Ana K, Amos A, Colin R and Jon B, - you are invaluable. We are all volunteers, including Alan, our web wizard, and myself; but we do need even more volunteers to make Viewpoint really swing. If you can help in any way with new programmes, either with ideas and topics or with helping getting them made, do please get in touch. It’s a lot of fun, you meet interesting people and you also have the satisfaction of building the best local media site in the country!

The new Swindon Viewpoint is not yet formally relaunched, and we are currently drawing up press releases for this purpose. The thinking here has been that it would be best to build up a substantial body of material and iron out any technical wrinkles before doing so, and that point is definitely approaching. There is much more to do, and many, many more programmes to be digitised and posted, but this has been a very successful year and we now have regular and substantial traffic to the site. (Well over 1000 unique visitors each month and climbing – and that without formal publicity). So do keep in touch with the site and spread the word to anyone you feel may be interested.

You can follow Viewpoint on Twitter or on Facebook, and will then be notified as new videos are posted, so why not sign on to one of these tools? Ana Kelly is doing a marvellous job hosting Viewpoint’s Facebook presence.

Viewpoint belongs to you, so if you want to get involved in any way, do please get in touch.

Finally, here’s a media xmas card for you. Hopefully, next year perhaps, we might be able to make our own, but this one comes from Canada’s premier social media agency,

http://nfb.ca/greetingcard

Once again, here’s hoping you are enjoying the holiday and the New Year is fruitful for us all.

Regards,

Martin Parry

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