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Greater Pittsburgh Web Hub
arts | awareness | media | networking | online | politics | promotions | small business | web-based
A summary of the idea, the needs it serves, and a description of a possible pilot program
A substantial web presence, made by and for the people of Pittsburgh, would bring together the many disparate groups and individuals working for a better Pittsburgh. Such a system would not only allow for greater networking, but provide a point of entry for people new to the Pittsburgh community and act as a one-stop directory for all things Pittsburgh.
Concretely, the creation of this network would improve city and regional infrastructure for better civic and business initiatives.
A Greater Pittsburgh Web-Hub would offer a number of portals with member sites linked back to the main hub:
- Business Portal to aggregate existing websites, categorize by area and business sector, provide a small business forum and bulletin board
- Politics and Civic Engagement Portal with an elected official finder, a calendar with meeting and voting alerts, online e-petitions and referendums
- Arts and Culture Portal to aggregate existing websites for galleries, artists, collectives, and venues, post a calendar of events, calls for submissions, ads for studios, and provide a community forum and bulletin board
- Pgh FAQ for locals and for visitors
After the initial set up, content would be kept current by participating members through posts and updates.
These ideals are integral to a successful project design
- ease of use and accessibility
- increasing awareness of new activities in Pittsburgh
- providing an open platform for the civically engaged
Possible difficulties, pitfalls, and obstacles to consider
- high cost and expertise to run a sophisticated network
- raising a suitable level of participation
Learn more about the idea, from genesis to dialogue
Information Gap brought the small business element, Knowledge Base focused on increasing civic awareness and engagement, while Pulse of Pittsburgh was about linking artists, business and the public, and Word Up Pittsburgh described a user-built and maintained catch-all bulletin board and discussion forum for what has happening in a variety of realms in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh FAQ would answer frequently asked questions spanning all topics and was thought of as valuable to both locals and tourists.
Get to know these groups, organizations, projects, and authorities, their current and past activities, the possibility for consultation or partnership, and in-roads to collaboration.
These important questions are asked of each idea. Try your hand at answering them as a way to explore the idea and how to make it happen. Answers to these questions help to demonstrate the Idea's strength and potential for success.
- What level is the idea at? (Research, Planning, Fundraising, Advocacy, Deployment, other (explain))
- What is a reasonable next step/phase for the concept? How can investment move the idea forward?
- What other resources or opportunities are available or necessary to make the idea happen?
- What existing activities or organizations in Pittsburgh duplicate some or all of the program components? How can this idea compete with, complement, and/or learn from these other activities?
- Who should be included in this discussion? Does the concept call for outside consultation or assistance from other organizations?
- How should the idea be promoted?
- How should project success be measured?
- What questions should be asked of a proposal for this project?
These questions address some of the anticipated programmatic concerns that come with administering small projects. Consider them test questions for model projects-- responses should be incorporated into the project's design.
- How will staffing for the site be funded?
- What model will be used to collect, manage, deploy and update information?
- How will multiple sites be arranged around a central hub and coordinated to be user friendly?
- Who will manage the site?