ISIS - Innovative Student Information Services
During the summer of 2002, I met with other student group leaders at Stanford to form ISIS. ISIS originally met to solve the problem of event information at Stanford, but in doing so built a strong, flexible organization that became a permanent student group.
ISIS needed to share its plans and achievements with its supporters, users, and the community at large. It also needed to manage its knowledge, network of contacts, and group communication in a more permanent and centralized way than email provided.
We decided that for ISIS to succeed, it was important for the student body to understand how it worked and be able to contribute. Students expressed interest in knowing how our money was spent, the progress of our projects, and the ways they could contribute.
ISIS members were sharing information primarily over email, which clogged inboxes and made the burden of group membership too much for those who had limited time available. Experiments with archiving the email on a website led to users posting directly online and skipping the mailing list entirely.
I designed a public website to communicate our projects to the student body and the administration, which also gave us a public face for the press and community to see.
I also developed a blog-based intranet that archives emails and allows direct posting online, avoiding the inbox entirely and allowing users to catch up on ISIS news when they had time available. It supports file uploading for rich content, and searching of the entire ISIS database to find that content later.