Communications

From CASRAI

The CASRAI community relies on a number of methods to ensure effective communications.

Publishing

Corporate Website

CASRAI maintains a main website at http://casrai.org where all CASRAI content

Blogging

Every group organized in CASRAI can have a regular blog. This ensures a consistent approach to updates and news and conversation related to that group. You can find a list of all active and archival group blogs here.

Any group member can contribute a blog post by sending a simple email to the CASRAI Secretariat containing the following information:

  • the proposed title of the post,
  • the main body of the post (if just posting an interesting link then the body can be as little as a single sentence giving context to the link)
  • the date for posting (if the post should be delayed for any reason)

With this information the CASRAI team will prep and publish the post under the by-line of the submitter and can trigger optimum sharing by email and social networks.

Email

CASRAI uses a number of mailing lists to disseminate timely news to our community.

Social Media

CASRAI has an active presence on the following social media networks:

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Collaborating

The CASRAI community uses a number of tools and approaches to ensure effective online collaboration by groups. It is always a challenge to coordinate and manage a set of tools that pleases all community members. This is especially true when each community member might come to the table with their personal list of favourite tools. The CASRAI Secretariat has a responsibility to decide on a tool-set that balances the widest possible access with the greatest simplicity and optimum affordability to maintain.

Content Authoring

Most groups will need to collaboratively develop textual content before publishing to the public website. There are a number of ways of doing this including authoring and change-tracking word-processing documents and then each member downloading/editing/uploading version for the other group members to review and edit. CASRAI has adopted an approach of online live editing rather than moving change-tracked files around. There are a number of online editing tools available including Google Docs. CASRAI has adopted a popular open source tool called Etherpad for collaborative authoring as many members of our community (especially government employees) are not allowed to use tools like Google Docs.

Group Messaging

All groups need a simple and effective group messaging approach in order to start and advance conversations and to get alerts and updates around quickly. There are many web-based tools and mobile tools for meeting this need. CASRAI has adopted email mailing lists as the most simple, efficient and effective approach. We use the popular open source tool called Mailman for group messaging. Each group gets a dedicated email address and every message sent to that address is delivered to the email inbox of each member.

Small Group Meetings

There is a regular need to convene meetings of a small number of people who are geographically dispersed. Using a standard telephone conferencing service is an option but can be expensive and does not support any screen-sharing by the participants. CASRAI has adopted online meeting tools (combining voice and screen-sharing) for this purpose. We use a combination of the free Google Hangouts tool and the paid GoToMeeting tool. We alternate between these tools depending on various factors in each meeting.

Larger Group Meetings

There is a need to convene online meetings for larger numbers of people (see our ReConnect conferences and workshops). CASRAI is currently evaluating a number of tools to meet this purpose.