Nearly three years after launching and with over 2500 registered members worldwide, the Gather website is getting a new look. You’ll still get access to the community conversations on our Slack workgroup and expect to get our newsletter every week. We’re making it easier to find them along with the resources, case studies, and featured projects we’ve been curating and creating with you. And we’re excited to share our plans to continue to support our community of practice of engaged journalists who are making journalism more responsive to the public’s needs. We suspect you’ll immediately find three main differences: 1) cleaner look, 2) improved findability, and 3) easier to navigate.
Why the Redesign?
Three years ago when we first developed Gather, we listened to the needs of this community and designed a platform with you to feed the appetite for collaboration and shared knowledge. When we conducted our 2019 Gather Survey to learn about your challenges, how Gather has been most useful, and how Gather could be more useful, one piece of feedback came back loud and clear – an “easier to navigate and open website” would help you “find resources connected to a question I have.”
The new website makes all resources, case studies and featured projects easier to find and share – no login needed. We’re featuring the latest content right on the homepage. We’re also curating “topics” as a way to help people discover different engagement strategics or answer a question. Topics such as Changing Culture, Community Participation, and Evaluating Impact are readily accessible in the menu or this list.
There’s More to Come
In the coming weeks and months, expect additional features that will address some of the other needs that we’ve heard, including:
This community loves, well, community. We value each other and the expertise we so generously offer. But how do we deepen that connection perhaps by geography or skills? And how might Gather facilitate that networking and meetups? We’re building out a membership directory that will satisfy that craving. Members will be able to find other Gatherers by geography or interest area, and we’ll be making the Lightning Chat notes, videos, and archive available to members only. You’ll have access to over 45 archived Lightning Chats as well as an easier process to pitch your own.
Build capacity and knowledge
We recognize that our list of resources and featured projects would benefit from an update. We’re working on it. And we’re also making it easy for people to suggest resources and projects that are missing in our database. And we’re adding a feature for members to build their list of favorites. That aggregate information can then be used to sort the most favorite content. In addition to topics and favorites, we’re also producing a series of guides to walk you through the rich content on the platform.
We’re doing what we’re doing because we believe that journalism can and should be better. We believe that we can improve our relationships with our communities to serve their information needs fully. In the coming months, we aim to increase the value and purpose of this network to feed on other networks, or what Peter Block would say is “today’s version of a social movement.”
We hope you’ll enjoy and continue to find value in your new Gather website. As always, we’d love to hear from you. If you find any bugs, missing content, or any general suggestions, please email me or fill out this form.
Published: April 22, 2020
Photo of attendees at Elevate Engagement by Winnie Huang.