JANUARY 2020 NEWSLETTER

Kia ora to all our friends, supporters and visitors

In case all this is new to you, lightcolourvision.org is a non-profit project exploring light, colour, vision and also asks the question, how can we see more? In a nutshell, it’s all about making sense and altering our views of ourselves and the world and is designed as a resource for students, teachers, educators and researchers of all ages.

We launched lightcolourvision.org eight months ago and it’s a rollercoaster. The site grows every day as we add new content and functionality. You can find out what we have been up to since our previous newsletter in the updates below. To see the site for the first time, or to see how it’s developed since your last visit, just follow the link below.

lightcolourvision.org

TASKS COMPLETED DURING THE LAST 20 WEEKS

Let’s start off with an update on what we’ve been up to since our AUGUST 2019 NEWSLETTER. This is just a summary, there have been many incidental additions and improvements to the site as well.

  1. Donations and Payment gateways have now been added to the site. This is key to our fundraising efforts. We selected DONORBOX to handle the donations and STRIPE to handle credit card and Paypal deposits. Both platforms are widely recognised, have multiple levels of security and make the donation process as smooth and straightforward as possible for all those who want to support lightcolourvision.org.
  2. The HOMEPAGE now has a new Donations Panel featuring the new donations and payment gateways. The panel alerts visitors to our 2020 fundraising campaign. Supporters and other visitors can make a donation right there, or navigate to the new 2020 CAMPAIGN PAGE if they want to know more.
  3. Every image in the RESOURCE LIBRARY has now been updated to the latest version, ensuring they all share a consistent format and quality. The result is images that load more quickly and are optimised for viewing on-screen. At the same time, we have updated the file formats of images available for download and streamlined the download process for users who need a copy for their own use. You can see thumbnails of the whole set here.
  4. Every page of the RESOURCES LIBRARY has also been rebuilt. This means that the pages that introduce and explain each image have also been optimised for quick loading, consistent appearance and standardised features. With this step behind us, there is still more work to do to improve the load time of the whole site – but we are working on that!
  5. Many more written explanations and Q&A’s have been added to pages in the RESOURCES LIBRARY. Around 80 pages are now complete which means there are around 60 to go. This is another major priority!
  6. We have decided to automate the selection of KEY TERMS that display on RESOURCES PAGES. It took 6 very full-on weeks to resolve how best to implement this but the final outcome will produce a more relevant, tailor-made selection of terms (and definitions) on each page of the library.
  7. A new ARTICLE entitled The Visual Pathway has now been completed and uploaded. This means that two out of the five currently in the pipeline are now in the public domain. However, adding diagrams to the first two is the immediate priority!
  8. A floating menu has been added to the lower left of every screen where visitors can CONTACT US, provide FEEDBACK and find out about GETTING INVOLVED in the growth and development of this wonderful project.

As well as tasks already mentioned above there are other outstanding tasks on our to-do list. These include:

  1. Updating the campaign video ASAP.

FUNDING AND THE 2020 CAMPAIGN PAGE

You won’t be surprised to hear that raising funds to cover the overheads and development of the site is a challenge.

Our 2019 Crowdfunding Campaign successfully reached its target and the $2745.00 raised was used to cover the costs of getting the site online, paying subscriptions for our tools of the trade and for the launch event we held at Parnell Community Centre, Auckland.

Our strategy for 2020 involves a call to friends, supporters and visitors to help us cover our most basic tier of running costs, a total of NZ$1716.00. We hope to complete this phase by the end of March. If you would like to take part, follow one of the links below.

Campaign page 2020

Donation page

UNIQUE VISITORS LAST MONTH

It is worth noting that the number of visitors continues to grow steadily with well over 12,000 unique visits in the last month. This seems quite extraordinary and a wonderful affirmation that we are on the right track. It seems that most visitors arrive via a search engine, landing on a page matching their search terms. A simple test of this is to type “light colour vision” into the search bar of any browser. The results of an image search will produce anywhere between 10 and 40 results from our site. As time goes on, it should be possible to improve the relevance of the returned results as we focus more effort on SEO (search engine optimization).

 

SITE DEVELOPMENT

Our overarching focus as we develop the site is how best to bind together our core values, short-term objectives and long term goals. Let’s review the three of them now.

Core values

Lightcolourvision.org challenges contemporary threats to open, diverse, inclusive and well-informed communities by advocating and demonstrating an appreciation of and care for each other and our world. To achieve this, we disseminate information and promote discussion of the very real processes that interconnect and sustain us on planet earth.

We are committed to responding to the call for people to make web-content that is rich and relevant to communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity and use the open web as a global public resource for people everywhere.

Lightcolourvision.org is designed as a multi-disciplinary curriculum resource able to function effectively within a range of educational contexts. But it is also designed to play a part in ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated life-long learning. In both contexts, it aims to enhance active citizenship, personal development and self-sustainability.

Short-term objectives

Our short-term objectives for 2020 are all about building on our 2019 successes. In summary, we have three main areas of focus:

  1. Content: Adding more content to the site and improving how visitors navigate to the resources they need.
  2. Fundraising: The first target for the year is to cover our basic running costs. You can see our Budget: Basic running costs 2020 here. We need to raise NZ$1716.00. After that, it’s about developing strategies for attracting new patrons, sponsors and regular donors.
  3. Online-community: We want to reach out to teachers and educators in Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond, inviting them to provide feedback and to encourage greater involvement in all aspects of the project.

Long-term goals

We introduced some of the thinking about the connection between our short-term objectives and long-term goals in the last newsletter. Put simply, the website currently contains resources that investigate the connections between light, colour and vision and explore how they shape our understanding of ourselves and the world. But we want to go further and explore how we can change the way we see the world, ourselves and each other to address the pressing challenges we are all facing in communities everywhere. We want to explore how to see more in both quantitative and qualitative terms and how to move beyond habitual and uncritical ways of viewing things and so to see the world afresh, through new eyes.

Our 2020 strategy

With all of the above in mind,  we will be putting a heavy focus on the site’s bi-line how to see more this year. At the same time, we will also introduce a major change in style. The plan is to produce material that can be used to workshop the ideas we will be exploring. So we will be working on a package of resources that deal with the prerequisites of seeing more. In practice, this will mean that instead of starting with the physics of light and the biology of vision we will be starting with questions concerning our location, personally, socially, culturally, physically, institutionally and geographically and working from the point of view of wellbeing and self-development.

Confused? Well hang on, we are hard at work already and will be uploading material very soon!!

[To be continued in our next newsletter.]

KEEP IN TOUCH

Thank you for reading this Newsletter. We would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts 🙂 Ric Mann. January 2020.