Stanford Technology Commons - A Community Knowledge Base for New Technologies
by Claudia Engel
For years the Academic Technology Specialist Program (ATSP) has been looking for a common knowledge base to share their experiences in implementing and experimenting with new technologies for Stanford's research and teaching environment, both within the ATSP and within the wider Stanford technology community. One of the greatest challenges has been gaining the critical mass necessary to maintain such an endeavor.
In late July, representatives from various groups on campus came together for a kick-off meeting to discuss how to join forces. In September, the new Stanford Technology Commons Web site was officially launched at:
What's Its Purpose?
The purpose of this site is twofold:
- It offers a quick and easy way to share and expand a knowledge repository. Examples of some of the questions addressed are: How can I install pmwiki on Leland? How do configure the .htaccess file for Drupal? What's new in Final Cut 2?
- It serves as a hub, bringing together dispersed resources and connecting various technology groups on campus. It encourages communication and facilitates mutual exchange within a Stanford community that rarely meets face to face.
How Does It Work?
The Stanford Technology Commons Web site functions like a wiki. Any SUNet ID holder can create an account, allowing him or her to post articles, edit other's posts, and comment on postings. Optionally, individuals can subscribe to the site via RSS feeds to be notified of additions or changes to the site.
What Does It Contain?
The content is divided into main categories which cover topics such as Drupal, Video and Multimedia, GIS, Wikis, and Blogs. A free tagging system allows the addition of keywords to all posts. An events module allows contributors to post local events that are of interest to this community.
Who Creates the Content?
The Stanford Technology Commons content is created by the Stanford University community with significant support from the Academic Technology Specialist Program, SU Webmasters, the Stanford Video and Multimedia Group, the SULAIR Information Center, and IT Services.