By samoore (1251644914|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)
I have enjoyed putting together the transition wiki for the SEMCOG Transit Panel. My wiki is designed to explain to a new panel the current public transportation systems in use in Southeast Michigan, as well as the plans that currently exist to upgrade the transit infrastructure in the region. I tried my hardest to design my site in a practical way and lay it out exactly as if I were actually employed by SEMCOG. That being said, I am pretty pleased with the way I was able to blend a conversational tone with a practical resource, meaning that for the future user the site will be informative as far as background is concerned, but also helpful because I clearly lay out and emphasize how to handle certain aspects of information retrieval.
I think that for this topic, the most important type of information that is going to be retrieved is news. Let’s be honest: there is nothing flashy about transportation in Southeast Michigan (have you seen a SMART bus?) and I think my conservative site design emphasizes the information aspect. News is clear on the front page and draws the user’s attention to stories that I selected myself from my news feed. Notably, I added a decent amount of articles about local politics related to public transportation as SEMCOG is a government organization. That was the tone I chose to set for the news area, but obviously this section can be changed by the new user.
E-mail Alerts and Page Monitors
I used page monitors and email alerts to keep track of relevant information as well. When using more general sources like email alerts, I found it was important to be specific in my queries in lieu of the recent developments in the auto industry. Unfortunately for my purposes, the word “Detroit” is interchangeable with the Big 3, so queries on [Detroit|”southeast Michigan” transit] or something like that, is going to retrieve a lot of information that does not pertain to my topic at all. I revised my email alert and noted why I did that and thus gave guidance to the new transit panel on developing more targeted e-mail alert search queries.
Current Transit Plans and Videos
Finally, I am particularly proud of the fact that I was able to incorporate videos into my “current transit plans” section. I thought it was important that when describing these kinds of crazy concepts with videos that clearly demonstrate how they will fit into the existing infrastructure of the region.
After seeing how some people so clearly were able to set up tabbed browsing pages on their wiki's to discuss search resources, I might have considered adding something like that to my wiki. While I do like how conversational I am throughout and think that I do eventually touch on how to use the resources that are appropriate for the SEMCOG transit panel, it might have been a neat cool to offer such a clear analysis of the available resources.
Overall, I enjoyed working on this project. It allowed me to combine my academic interests in business and emerging technology with my passion for creating stronger urbanized regions.