Friday, August 5, 2011

All things new and exciting

In NHS we always have a lot on our plate.  From graphic design to architectural work, boat restoration, promotional material and blogging - we run a huge gamut.  And it certainly keeps things interesting as focuses shift from one thing to another and back again - it has a certain freshness to it that just makes it awesome.  But as my individual focus shifts from one thing to another our volunteers seem to follow in step, shifting their focus as well.  It means that of all these great things, most are works in progress, completions are little victories unto themselves and more commonly overdue than not.  I suppose that goes with being your fearless leader - or maybe it makes me "John" (see pic).

So what other awesome things are in the hopper, besides the things I've brought up lately?  Plenty.

I've been looking at some of the new website features - well, actually they are built in already, just not functional - that we've got planned and all the cool graphics that were worked up for them.  Web work can be tedious and unless you're paying someone it's difficult to 'maintain the strain', not to mention that most web people, including our volunteers, have other more pressing business.  One of those great pieces just waiting in the wings is the HORNET virtual tour.  Our 3D graphics and animation capabilities coupled with some 2D graphics made an awesome cutaway/walk-through tour element that's intended to be added to our website at some point. 

One of the problems with this is that as HORNET's design takes shape, some of our initial conceptualizations are changing.  Things like the placement of machinery and accommodation spaces are shifting as we play with them and more carefully define things - which prevents our graphics people from fully developing the product.  The nice thing about all this is that the "work as you go" plan means we have to do less going back and fixing things later on, which when we are paying people means we're more cost-effective.

We could just finish something now, with what we know, and the skills of some of our talented volunteers - if I decided it was going to be my primary focus and stuck with it, almost grab and arm and pull, until it was finished.  But I don't see the return on it at this point, and our volunteers would more than likely slowly lose interest.  Not a knock against our volunteers at all - we all have other lives at this point, and it's important to keep things in perspective.  If it's not fun, why break yourself doing it?  All of these projects will have their day, and even if today isn't it, they're there, progressing at their natrual pace.


As NHS and the Hornet Project grows, we're finding more volunteers who are willing to take charge of various projects and see them through to completion.  Most of these are finding unique focus areas that are familiar to them, already embedded in our various projects - and once the connection is made, they pick it up and progress more or less on their own schedule.  Overall, this means a speedier completion time than otherwise left to unskilled volunteers trudging through learning while doing.  It also adds more interest when someone else, who knows what they're doing, steps in and just shows you how it ought to be done.  Learning is faster, accomplishment is faster, and the product is better overall.

We have many, many more projects in our back pocket, more ideas on the drawing board, and an endless supply of creative enthusiasm to keep 'em coming!


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