After watching the screen cast this week, I realized I need to put more thought into my theme. As I have previously mentioned in my reflection, I probably should have picked a different theme. I am having a difficult time “exploring Denver” as I work two jobs and I do not know many people. Upon searching through the “Web Assignments” I found one called Harness Relationships: Make a Map with Kumu. As soon as I saw this activity I was inspired to create a Denver web.
**By clicking on the various bars I inserted things the bar is known for that I found online. I also inserted a link directly to the bars website so when I decide to go there I don’t have any research to do.
According to the Hawaiin dictionary I viewed, kumu means reason. This definition is applicable to the program I used to create my assignment this week. Kumu is “a toolset designed for dismantling complexity” according to their website. It is a free product that can be used to store data in order to show relationships and identify connections between companies, department, and people, almost anything that a person could think of. I decided since I do not necessarily have a lot of time to visit places in Denver since I work seven days a week, I could plan out what I can do on my days off. Finding fun things to do in Denver is a pretty simple task. I visited web pages such as Thrillist, West Word, Trip Advisor, as well as other sites.
To start using Kumu, or to understand what it is capable of, I recommend watching this short clip.
I still have endless questions after watching this video and I tried to dive deeper in the help menu. I even googled Kumu videos in attempt to learn a new application. I did not find much that was helpful. There was not much that was needed to start your own “spider web.” The best place to start for me personally (for things to do in Denver) was to find the best “beer bars” Denver had to offer. I compiled a list and began my web.
There is a LONG list that could fill more than one blog about the difficulties of using this product. It is not easy to create a web. The names for things are not necessarily intuitive and trying to customize colors, pictures, and general settings takes practice. I have not mastered (nor have I have up trying) on making this web more user friendly.
I was under the assumption when I began this project that there would be ways to add hyperlinks to the website in a more visually pleasing manor. Even using pictures required a URL. I was extremely disappointed that there was no way I found to achieve this task. I do not think many people use this application in the same fashion as me. I saw this as an opportunity to organize my thoughts and to remember places that I have read about that in the future I would like to visit. The intentions of this website were probably based more for the supply and demand of the business world. I think why can it be both?
I also feel that there was a need to incorporate maps for this tool. If I was able to upload a background of a map of Denver I would have been able to position the circles for the bars over where they were on the map. Is this really asking too much? I think certainly not. Today 48 hours after I started on this project I got an email from Jeff Mohr the CEO of the company of Kumu. I know this was an automated email but I think it is good customer services to ask how the product is working. I have decided to forward him my opinions about what could be added to make this project work for me. Maybe there is some way that I can achieve these things I have searched for.
I enjoy the practical way that this tool can be used. I do the documentation for policies and procedures at my job. There are a lot of step by step guides I create that involve multiple departments in order to complete things. I know this tool can help me in the future in organizing things for training purposes. I find this to be especially easy to understand when considering work flows.
UPDATE: I tried for THREE days to figure out how to post this map to my blog to make it as interactive as it is on the KUMU website. I failed. I will try again later today when I have more patience. I put so many descriptions and hyperlinks into this map only to not be able to figure out how to publish it without seeing the dreaded ERROR screen. I will commit to a fourth day of trying to figure it out.
I have begun a list of things I plan on adding to this. This is definitely a project in progress. I plan on adding to it not only this week but in the future as a way to organize places I would like to visit.