Wanderway Navigating the Digital Engagement Landscape

Wanderway is an open online course created for small non-profits, artists, and creative small businesses. It will teach you how to experiment with digital engagement when you are strapped for time and resources. It will also guide you through exploring the emotions and ethics behind digital work. It was made for individuals, conference buddies, teams, boards, and even entire organizations across the non-profit world. It’s free, unfacilitated, and entirely online. You can go at your own pace, or be led through a series of email reminders and prompts. You don’t even need to login to access content.

The purpose of the course is to befriend uncertainty, try things that might not work, know yourself and your institution, and persist despite difficulty while you learn to engage audiences w/digital media & tools.

 

Let's Begin Start now, or remind yourself to start later

Self-Paced + Team-Based

We recommend you get started by heading over to the section on Fear, but before you do… consider shooting an email off to your team, colleagues, or favorite conference buddies. The course was also designed with the hopes that it’d be taken with others.

Get Weekly Email Nudges

Enter your email to subscribe to an 8-week-long series of emails designed to pace you (or your team!) through the course content.


 

Structure The Format for Each Section

The content in each section of the Wanderway curriculum is divided across six types of engagement. Feel free to click around the different sections to get an idea, or read their descriptions below.

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Introduction

An overview of the content area.

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Interviews

Interviews with practitioners about how they navigate challenges and opportunities.

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Exercise

A short exercise to experiment with digital engagement.

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Reflection

An opportunity to reflect on what you’ve learned and how it might change you and your organization.

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Go Further

An expert shares resources for exploring the topic further.

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Think Deeper

Questions that ask you to think deeply about the intentions and impacts of your efforts.

Syllabus What You'll Learn and How

Wanderway has seven major sections, which are described below. While we imagine most people will follow the course in order, you can start with any section and go in any order you like.

Section 1: Fear

This section will help you get going.  We start by facing directly the fear you may be experiencing. We offer frameworks to help you think about the fear of failure.  We’ve interviewed people who’ve been able to overcome their fears, especially around media, and asked them how they did it. We offer a list of readings on the role of failure in learning, and we have a self-assessment tool you can use to reflect on your state of mind as you begin this course.

👋 Get to know Make It @ Your Library, Axis Dance, National Arts Strategies, and create your own Personal Advisory Board.

⏱ Plan to spend about an hour and a half.


Section 2: Audiences

In this section, we’ll introduce you to organizations that have found their north and made the switch to an “audiences first” mindset. Through interviews, they’ll share how they’ve built and benefited from deeper connections with people and communities.  We’ll offer an exercise to help you reflect on your audiences today and what they need and expect from you, and we’ll map potential future connections. And we’ll help you consider ways to lower barriers that keep you from connecting authentically with new people and communities.

👋 Get to know Museum Hue, HowlRound, ArtsLabNina Simon and go on a Digital Cultural Plunge.

⏱ Plan to spend about 4 hours, over several days.


Section 3: Voice

In this section, you’ll learn how to play with your voice before, during, and after you post content online. Exercises will ask you to deliver the same information to different audiences, testing different writing styles and tones. You’ll meet people and organizations that are interesting, informative, and fun to follow because they’ve found their voice and use it authentically. You’ll reflect on the values and attitudes you want to model so that you can use these touchstones as you experiment and play with discovering your voice.

👋 Get to know Ranger Greg Dodge, John Killacky, and Play with Your Voice.

⏱ Plan to spend between 2-3 hours.


Section 4: Strengths

In this section, we’ll help you involve your entire organization in understanding who you are and how that manifests online. Through careful noticing and listening, we’ll develop a mountain of sharable assets you have available to you, including things you may not have inventoried like the personalities, hobbies, and specialist skills of staff; your working processes for making art or working in the office; your data; and the ways you plan and develop your work.  We’ll encourage you to make the list so long it will become gangly and unmanageable. Then we’ll help you step back and decide where you want to experiment with sharing, with whom, and with what voices. We’ll show you ways to encourage your audiences to re-mix what you share with them, and to help them invent their own projects using your assets in their own organizations. Finally we’ll give you a list of people and organizations to check out—people who have found intriguing and surprising things to share that audiences find engaging and enlightening.

👋 Get to know John EmersonSeb Chan, and start your own Wonderbook.

⏱ Plan to spend at least 5 hours, over the span of a week or more.


Section 5: Channels

In this section, we’ll share some practical information about the most widely used channels, what kinds of content are most frequently shared on them, and how the channel functions for users. We hope this will help with the feeling that there a lot of channels and you’re not sure where to start. We’ll also share interviews with organizations active on multiple channels. They’ll explain how they think about channel choice. Finally, we’ll give you ideas for creating a channel “watch list” to learn about that channel works and to think about how you might join in.

👋 Get to know OnBeingEric Woodhams, and develop a Watch List.

⏱ Plan to spend about 3 hours.


Section 6: Habit

In this section, we will show how to make editorial planning easy and straightforward. It may sound complicated, but you won’t need anything fancy to get started. We’ll share examples of editorial calendars from several different organizations so you can see how others approach this work. We’ll offer suggestions for fitting editorial planning into the flow of the work day and point you to resources for more advanced editorial planning if that interests you. We’ll link to resources for editorial planning around revenue projects like Kickstarter or season ticket campaigns. And finally, we’ll show how you can use editorial calendars together with a channel strategy to create an integrated content plan.

👋 Get to know BandaloopLibrary as Incubator Project, and create your own Editorial Calendar.

⏱ Plan to spend 4 hours, over several days.


Section 7: Impact

In this section, we will help you consider what data and tools you’ll need to gather in order to tell stories of influence and impact for your organization.  We’ll try to keep you from being distracted by the sheer quantity of metrics you could be monitoring, and focus instead on measuring what will help you deepen your work. We’ll offer interviews with organizations that have amassed a large and active social media following to understand how they collected, measured, iterated, and adjusted their activities as they grew. Finally, we’ll ask you to think about which audiences—internal and external—will want to know about the data and stories you collect.

👋 Get to know WounderboundChad Weinard, and create a Listening Dashboard.

⏱ Plan to spend 4 hours, over several days.

Partners The Heads and Hearts Behind Wanderway

Commissioned by:
Wyncote-logo
And created as a collaboration among Beck Tench, Sarah Lutman, & Jessica Fiala:

With help from the many organizations and individuals:
partners

Let's Begin Start now, or remind yourself to start later

Self-Paced + Team-Based

We recommend you get started by heading over to the section on Fear, but before you do… consider shooting an email off to your team, colleagues, or favorite conference buddies. The course was also designed with the hopes that it’d be taken with others.

Get Weekly Email Nudges

Enter your email to subscribe to an 8-week-long series of emails designed to pace you (or your team!) through the course content.


About

This course was created to encourage small and under-resourced non-profit professionals to navigate the changing landscapes of digital engagement with a spirit of possibility, experimentation, and thoughtfulness.

Read more about what inspired the course and learn about its makers.

Wanderway was commissioned by the Wyncote Foundation

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