Friday, April 2, 2010

Give Camp: A different perspective

My friend made a comment on my last post of panic:  "Funny how personal and intimate web administration can be, huh?"  Intimate.  Funny she should say that.  Intimate is the word that was floating around my head the last half of Give Camp.  Intimate is the word that has stuck with me the last week and a half.  (Not that meaning of "intimate" -- it wasn't that kind of a give camp.)  But the other meanings?  Absolutely.

Give Camp lasted only 44 hours.  For that little bit of time, a fair-sized number of strangers and nodding acquaintances were put together in one location.  After the semi-formality of the opening -- which in itself required some level of detail when stating who we are and what we needed -- the whole "feel" of the place became open and friendly, getting down to business but not businesslike, if ye ken.  This despite the very intense nature of a Give Camp.

Each team had one focus, one goal:  To meet the IT needs of the nonprofit organization.  Everything revolved around that.  What must the NPO communicate to the IT team?  What skills, talents, and tools can the IT team access?  Who will do what?  When?  How much sleep does one person really need in 44 hours?

I've thought about the kind of relationship we had as a team.  It wasn't doctor-patient, though we were certainly cured of "sucky-website-itis."  It wasn't teacher-student, though I tried to explain the framework and the lead taught me how to maintain and update the site.  And it wasn't like any service provider-client relationship I've ever had as the lead listened and far surpassed my expectations.  (I thought we'd get "less sucky"; instead, we got "un-sucky."  Big difference.)  And for free.

Maybe the best comparison is that it was like a relationship with a realtor.  You're moving to a new location.  You tell the realtor what you want in minute detail, the realtor shows you what you can have, and you rely on the realtor to get you through the process, from finding the right house to recommending schools to finding a vet.  The realtor is a lifeline for the first little bit, but the more you get to know your community, the less you need your realtor.  (Until you hit your first home repair and frantically call your realtor to recommend a plumber...  Oh, yeah, that would be my last panic post...)

Did we hit the definitions of intimate when working together on our shared goal?
  1. Closely acquainted, familiar, close; (of a place or setting) having or creating an informal, friendly atmosphere; involving very close connection (Check)
  2. Private and personal (somewhat, anyway, by nature of the topic of autism; that and the fact that I can happily cry as easily from a kind word from strangers as I can at a Hallmark commercial)
  3. (of knowledge) detailed; thorough (you betcha)
FYI:  While I didn't learn our developers' favorite colors, the number of children they have, or how they take their coffee -- only that they take it! -- I can tell you that one liked to "visit," the other had a wicked keen sense of humor, and both were committed to the project.

Give Camp:  Temporarily Intimate.


Lori said...

Hooray, Give Camp! They sound AWESOME!

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

Excellent. Happy Easter to you, I hope it was wonderful!