Program Coordinator


I had the opportunity to attend a workshop in Springfield, MA. yesterday (october 18) and was very impressed by the speaker.  The subject was guerrila marketing, and he was so fast and able to communicate key items in a very limited amount of time that before I knew it 2 hrs. had flown by.  I have to get sponsors for our newly launched website and I have never been "trained" in how to do that.  The workshop entitled "Intro to guerrilla marketing" was offered to the Massachusetts small business development center network by The Steady Sales Group/J. Sheldon Snodgrass of 89 South St. , Williamsburg MA 01096  and he was impressive in that he was so on point about the info given. There was hardly time for in depth interaction, but we came away with a workbook that we could do our own study with.  So glad to have been able to attend.  I've been a wee bit nervous about the cold calling I need to do, but my background of 40 yrs. as a hairdresser alllows me a certain amount of comfort because I've been dealing with the public for so long.  It's always GOOD to get some further training anyway.

Comment from Stephen Wills on January 27, 2007 - 4:44pm

On the Monday following VISTA Pre-service Orientation, I went to YES, Inc., the organization that had sponsored my opportunity to join Americorps.

Pat, the VISTA who has served them during this past year had already opened up and gotten the place warm functioning. Amoung the features of YES, Inc. is a business center with copiers, printers and a cyber cafe, which is basically a room lined with
computers that the community can come in and use.

Pat and I took an inventory of the computers and identified a number of problems with various machines in the cyber cafe.

Tim, the director, and I talked about the websites I was recruited to assist with and I was shown a list of bugs, feature enhancements and wishes for the website.

As he talked about the various volunteers who were already assisting the program, what they had accomplished and how much more there was to do, I began to understand why it's important for a VISTA to be full time. If the other projects are anything
like this one, they could probably use even more help than just one VISTA could provide.

Still, the PSO was a wonderful investment and I would even suggest that CTC-Vista program hold occasional "open houses" so that prospective volunteers could
really get to know the program prior to the weekend in which they swear in.

Anyway, during this first week, I discovered the need for a helpdesk/bug/feature tracking system so that we can collect the IT needs of this on-going operation in a standardized, web-enabled way that will allow both staff and clients to contribute their observations
into an organized task oriented system. I also discovered that there is a big need to separate the email accounts from the website space so that volunteers can work on the site without full access to the more sensitive project information. I contacted Dreamhost and Gaia Hosting as prospective hosting solutions. I suggested Exohelpdesk as the bug/feature/helpdesk application platform here at YES Inc and started the installation process. Next week I plan to work with staff to train them how to use it.

end of week 1.

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Wills,

YES, Inc. Volunteer.