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Social + Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr University

We're thinking about....

by Alexandra Samuel


We're now well into the job of overhauling our site. As we chug along, I thought it might be useful for folks to see how I documented our requirements for the site. This is a fairly sketchy set of requirements -- I'd recommend a much more detailed set of requirements for most purposes, but since this is a simple site and since I (the client) know a fair bit about Drupal, we didn't need a detailed set of requirements in order to lay out the expectations for the site. The wireframes that I previously posted actually offer a much more detailed picture of the prospective site, but a table like this is a nice place to start. Apologies for the crazy-looking table but I was starting from a Microsoft Word document and didn't want to spend too much time on cleanup! You'll find this much easier to read by downloading the Word file here.

by Alexandra Samuel

Shh...don't tell anyone, but we're redesigning our website.

That's the standard attitude towards website redesign, at least since the (merciful!) death of those horrible "under construction" signs you used to find all over the web. It's kind of the way people are about disclosing plans for plastic surgery or corporate reorganization: nobody wants to admit an overhaul is needed until it's all done and you can put a happy face on the results.

We've decided to break with tradition and put the redesign out in the open. After all, it's no secret that the Social + Interactive Media Centre website looks pretty rough. We pulled it together in about 3 days, borrowing heavily from a pre-existing website profile and using a default theme. It got the job done but it certainly hasn't reflected the creative and design talent or innovative tech thinking that we find at Emily Carr and among our partners.

For the past few months we've been working on something better...hopefully a lot better. And since we are here to share Emily Carr's creative and design capacity with the community, we want to invite you along for the ride.

by Alexandra Samuel

SIM Centre partner Work at Play shared a great post summing up the best practices in crowdsourcing

The broad range of web-based tools that enable commenting, contributing and collaborating all helped pave the way for the crowdsourcing model. From the relatively straightforward acts of writing/editing Wikipedia and translating Facebook, through to setting briefs for scientists around the world, crowdsourcing seems to be able to offer a solution to just about any problem. 

A couple of key principles to bear in mind:

  • Start small: Try a crowdsourcing experiment within your company first, to see if it fits with your organization’s culture. 
  • Manage expectations: The 90:9:1 rule will likely apply - 90% consume, 9% comment, 1% contribute.

Read the whole post on the Work at Play blog.

by Samantha Lefort

In case you missed it, here are some of the latest, greatest and craziest digital art, design and software projects showcased at the Emily Carr's Social + Interactive Media Centre's show + tech!

Held on the Emily Carr Campus on Thursday October 28th, 2010 in Room 247A, these presentations had five minutes to share their work, in traditional show + tell format: one object, or one slide, to illustrate their topics - all relating to social + interactive media.


Lez Renovate - With their own YouTube channel, blog, and unique style - this Vancouver couple is renovating their house in EastVan, and invites you to follow along through all their trials and tribulations! 

by Samantha Lefort

Design can be a powerful driver of business innovation and growth, but design language can take years to learn fluently. So how do you engage companies in the design conversations that can help them make their next leap forward?


That's the challenge that a number of Emily Carr students have tackled through their real-world immersion at PowerTech, a division of BC Hydro. PowerTech made Canadian history by creating Canada's first and only Level III Electric Vehicle Charging Station, the fastest way to charge electric cars.


But it takes continuous innovation to stay on the forefront of alternative fuel-source technologies and initiatives. Emily Carr's Social + Interactive Media Centre, funded by a 5-year grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, supports innovation through applied research.


by Samantha Lefort

Karen Whistler is a currently completing her MAA at Emily Carr. She has a particular interest in systems, sustainability, and getting to know Vancouver. In an interview for the SIM Centre, Communications Intern Samantha Lefort sits down with Karen to talk design, SIM, and the future.

Samantha: What brought you to Emily Carr?

Karen: I am from Seattle and grew up in the northwest. My husband and I enjoyed  Vancouver every time we visited and were delighted to find out about Emily Carr. I was drawn to the emphasis on research in design, focus on sustainability and resources on campus. 

Samantha: Have you had a chance to explore the SIM Centre, and if so, how/why? What was your initial reaction?

Karen: I have worked in digital agencies and helped build social media strategies for clients and I can say that work was very flat. It was driven by technology as an end and sought to capture how people were currently engaging with media instead of pushing the concepts further. So, I think the SIM Centre is a working on a much deeper level.

by Samantha Lefort

The SIM Centre's own Dr. Alexandra Samuel has been named as one of British Columbia's 100 Women of Influence. The Vancouver Sun writes:

It wasn't an easy task to come up with just 100 women of influence in B.C., as so many women are accomplishing so many amazing things. But these women, from seven distinct fields, deserve to be recognized.

Here is what the Sun had to say about Alexandra and the SIM Centre:

Alexandra Samuel and her husband Rob Cottingham launched Social Signal, Vancouver's first social media firm. Samuel quickly earned a reputation for her writing about the impact of social media on work and personal lives. In 2009, Samuel (whose PhD dissertation at Harvard was on computer hacking) was hired as director of the new Social and Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr, created to further the university's research role and foster its connection with B.C.'s tech sector.

Read the full article here.