Today I met attended a workshop with BTCV to try to decide on the future of the Volunteer Passport that I was involved with a few months ago (especially as I’m not going to be here to maintain it).
The Passport hasn’t been used that much yet – but there are several reasons for this, firstly that it’s not been promoted anywhere yet (many people in BTCV don’t know about it), secondly, it’s functionality is slightly confused and thirdly, it still need finishing off.
The original purpose of the Passport was to allow volunteers to record their skills and experience and then use this as evidence to put towards formal qualifications (NVQs etc) and act as an ePortfolio system. However since we decided to use Elgg as the basis for the system, this opened up the possibility of it becoming a social network for BTCV.
Much of our discussion today was about whether or not BTCV should be providing a social networking system for it’s volunteers (why not just use facebook?) and how it could be justified. We eventually came to the conclusion that it probably could be justified if we had some good use cases and evidence of how it would benefit current BTCV activities, but that the system as it stands would need work on the interface design (layout, structure and terminology).
If there is anyone out there who is interested in following up this work (especially from a technical/development point of view) then please drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with the BTCV team 🙂