Saturday, January 07, 2006

Making a Compendium FAQ in Compendium

I spent much of today constructing a FAQ for Compendium, in Compendium, then posting it as an HTML export. The contents were all taken from postings on the compendiuminstitute yahoogroup, which I edited a bit to fit into the format I was trying to follow. As usual, I didn't really plan it out in advance, more just winged it (wung it?) and created the categories, tags, visual layout etc. as I went along.

At the end I decided to put it up on the web (up til then I was just going to have it as an xml export for a small group of people to play with and give me input on how it should be), so that prompted creation of nicer containing maps and lists for the content. I also made a custom background using Snagit's editor then laboriously added it to each map. Then, when I went to upload all the HTML files to the kmi server, I realized that I didn't like having the long ugly URL that Compendium generates to mail out to people, and that if I wanted to avoid that I'd have to figure out how to do an HTML redirect, which I'd never done before. A quick Googling found examples of the code to use, which is very simple, and after a few trials-and-errors my shiny new site was in place.

I also recorded the whole process of making it using Camtasia. I did this for two reasons: first, for potential use in my own research. I could analyze what moves and thinking process were used in the creation of this particular artifact, which is different from most of the materials I've been analyzing, which are recordings of other practitioners doing work with groups in live settings. Second, I (or someone else) could pull snippets out to use in further training videos -- lots of different techniques and tricks illustrated in the course of making these.

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