A small group of Code-for-Ashevilleans marked the National Day of Civic Hacking last Saturday by working out details of a story collection project idea that emerged at our last Community Night. We left feeling quite excited about the potential impact on our community as well as on Code for Asheville itself.

Our first decision was to build a site that would enable community groups do story collection projects, rather than try to do it all ourselves. PRC Applications will create a lightly customized WordPress site that allows anyone to create a project and then upload stories to it as video, audio or text. Jesse Michel even came up with an initial design on the spot.

Our second decision was to make one of the first projects on the new platform a collection of stories about our own members! As Sylvia Landis pointed out, few people have any idea who we are, what we do, or why. Improvements to our website will certainly help, but nothing is more powerful than just hearing our members talk about what they care about and why they participate. At the same time, we will also reach out immediately to other communities to invite them to create projects as soon as the platform is available.

The focus of the platform is on stories that give voice to the most vulnerable in our community and those typically marginalized by our current systems, as well as stories that highlight the efforts of those working to bring positive change to Asheville.

Can you help? We have lots of places to plug in:

  • Intrepid interviewer? Help us collect Code for Asheville member stories, including your own. Stories can be video or just text, with or without pictures.
  • Magnificent manager? Help coordinate efforts to gather member stories and new projects.
  • Governance geek? Work with us to establish our Code of Conduct and identify ways to ensure that the platform remains a place that supports constructive efforts to enact positive change.
  • Extraordinary editor? Help pull quotes from stories to help draw visitors in.
  • Community connector? Help us connect with community groups who might want to do story projects of their own.

Email us and we will hook you up!