Setting Up, Part I

I spent last weekend setting up the NCR 594 project for the real world. Though it is a school project, it occurs to me that if I achieve any real level of success there would be no reason to shut anything down after the semester is over and I receive a grade. Conversely, if it is a total failure I can track the efforts and costs associated with setting up and maintaining everything and use that data to inform my next project.

I set up a website from an existing site that I already had registered. I had intended to set up in individual consultancy firm and had registered a website to that end. However, recent developments have pointed to an individual consultancy not being such a good idea. Because I already have that website I just repurposed it to be the site for my project.

I wanted to set up a website because the project as I originally conceived it was a feasibility study on creating a community involvement program to work with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Since this would be a community based project I decided that a website would be the perfect instrument to have people acquire more information and it could be used by people to contact me. I could also use it as a tool to document my efforts and track progress.

When I spoke to my advisor he counseled that this was too vast a project to highlight my knowledge and skills. He thought that I should pare it down a bit. He suggested that I limit the scope; perhaps by targeting Latinos as a constituency. He also suggested that I might pursue a grant of some sort so that I could conduct a longer-term study.

Limiting the scope of my project does not limit the usefulness of a website for marketing, documentation or communication purposes. It would also offer me the opportunity to track activity via the website analytics. I also set up an online system for email and document storage and handling, a PayPal account, and acquired a distinct phone number for the project. I also set up a CRM system to monitor and guide my efforts and to track my progress.

I did all this so that the project could be self-contained; that is, not mixed up with any of my other activities. I think, administratively at least, that the NCR 594 Project is prepared to exist as an independent entity. Though it now exists only through my own efforts and will be associated with me for the foreseeable future, I hope to create something that will survive and thrive outside of my own identity and efforts. Now I must refine my original ideas to find a new mission suitable to my interests and new goals.

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