Dear Fellow Parents,
“A Journey of thousand miles starts with a single step” & I wish to extend my thanks to the Mrs. Urwashi Warman, the Principal of The Palace School, for allowing me the space to become a part of the steps in their success journey.
I’m Ravish Gupta, CEO of Webspiders Interweb Pvt. Ltd, our co. is one of India’s leading web-hosting and data warehousing companies and is involved into providing technical consultancy for this initiative. I was asked to do a technical write-up which could help parents to understand more about the concept of Blogging, Facebook & Tweeting so that the parents could make maximum use of it and stay connected and updated about everything that’s happening at the school. I’m simply bewildered to see how excited other parents and the school staff has been about the concept of this blog and also the integration of technology into their daily life with twitter & facebook. In last 3 days I observed that a lot of parents have already started signing up at Twitter,Facebook and leaving comments on this Blog, so it appears that I do not need to go into elaborate technical details. Technology may be intimidating at first but it soon becomes your ally when you start making use of it.
Why was their a need of School Blog ? Blog is simply an online open diary, which was started with a concept of logging your day-to-day thoughts. Later on the concept of blogs started evolving and soon they became an essential part of most organizations to stay connected with their customer base and for the visitors it became a new way to stay updated with what that’s happening at the end of the blogger.
Twitter on the other hand is a new service that allows people to stay connected each other on their mobile devices through the help of short messaging. It is also called as micro-blogging. You can sign up your Twitter account by going to www.twitter.com and start adding your contacts by following the contacts that are available on Twitter. If you follow me on twitter and I update my twitter with a message it would be immediately broadcasted to the entire group of people following me on their mobile phones. In turn, they can reply to me and it would come to me on my mobile phone as a tweet. When you sign up with Twitter and start following up the user “thepalaceschool” every time we’d tweet a message or a holiday announcement it would immediately come up on your mobile. There is so much you can do with twitter that I can write pages on it, but that would be simply beyond the scope and purpose of this space.
Along with the technical aspect of these initiatives, I’d also love to share the emotional aspects which were responsible for bringing this blog live. Being a geek by nature, I love to work on technology and constantly strive to make it work for me in my daily life. Social media like Facebook, Blogging & Twitter have changed the way the communities can be created and made to interact. My daughter is a part of The Palace School and as a parent I always wanted to know what goes behind the scenes of the learning process that my kid experiences at school. Just like other parents I’d always been interested in becoming the part of every process that school involves my kid with and the way this was possible was to have a medium, which could help school management to communicate with us on regular basis. The only thing I could really think of doing it was by trying to bring the school on a blog.
Around 6 Months back I proposed the idea of a Blog for the School to Mrs. Warman, and she being a very dynamic leader, is always willing to try new things and is open to creative ideas. Though she was really willing to get this done but she had her own apprehensions about the feasibility of this system. It didn’t work out at that time but I never gave up trying to convince her on this. Finally, the right time of Annual Function Day came when a medium like the blog was actually needed to share the information. So I decided to press again for the blog with all the logics I’d had in my mind & a hand-grenade in my bag to threaten her with, should she still decide not to approve my idea ;=) , I still remember the only thing she asked me “How many parents would actually use it?” and I said I don’t know about the people who won’t use it, but I know there would be many who might use it …and finally she decided in favour of the blog.
We had a very short time of less than 3 days to roll out everything. I knew that the only race here we had was with the time and if this didn’t turned up on exactly on March 03, we’d not be able to involve the community. I geared up my development team in Ahmadabad with a deadline to produce a design to compliment Royal Traditions & Value System of The Palace School and we wanted it in less than 12 hours. Morning 6 a.m… I had first design…at 9 another design and at 10 I had this design that I wanted to go live with. Our technical centre in Jaipur immediately started integrating this with the blogging application & getting the database integrated…soon we were on air with our beta design ! This is one of the fastest turnaround time we had achieved on any project and that was just because we were doing it for a cause. It makes me wonder what can be achieved if you are passionate about anything in life.
By noon I met Mrs.Warman and showed her the design and then the next phase of collecting & editing the pictures, video format conversions, choosing right plugins for the application started. We were on war front racing against the time and in next couple of hours everything was set right and our first post went on the air – the rest is now history !
I remember long hours when Mrs.Warman sat in her office, busy drafting the articles for the events & daily updates, handing it over to our team in the nick of the time…a lot many times the proof reading was done by her on the phone while travelling back to her place in the car. In all, the entire process has been full of such fine and fun moments that the making of this blog has become an unforgettable experience for all of us. Once the blog was live and people started following the blog and leaving comments, I decided to press her again for the Facebook integration. I’m deadly addicted to Facebook and I know how deep the penetration of FB is. When I approached her with this idea, she sat quietly as she was a little worried about the privacy issues. Then she heard everything I said in favour of going online on Facebook and said “I’ll review it and get back to you”. Later in the evening, I got the SMS that the Facebook integration is on the Green Signal and within the next few hours, the blog went live with a test post on the Facebook as well.
I was asked to do a technical write-up for you but I decided to use this space to publish the fascinating journey I have experienced while trying to build this project because most of you seem conversant with these new technologies. For me, life has always been a fascinating journey, and the journey to making of this blog has been an unforgettable experience, full of ecstasy, contentment & sheer joy. I’m sure you’d love & appreciate the entire school management for being open to the integration of these technologies and bringing such beautiful moment to all of us.
Till March 16nth I’m actively available on this blog to help parents make the most out of it. Should you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to get back to me on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Finally a word of caution: applications like Twitter, Facebook have changed the way we communicate & socialize with our family & friends. Just like two sides of a coin, the technology has its pros and cons. I’d urge all parents to ensure that your kids do not reveal any personal information on platforms like blogs, facebook, myspace, orkut & twitter as any sensitive information available publicly could be used against them. If time permits I might write an article on the security of aspects of using social media.
With all this I’d like to thank the Founder of the school, Princess Diya Kumari Ji and the principal of The Palace School, Mrs. Urvashi Warman, once again for the support extended to make this project live and also for their kind gesture to allow me to post on the school’s blog. Please do not hesitate to post any of your queries or questions in the form of comments or mail and I’d be happy to address all of them.
CEO – Webspiders Interweb Pvt. Ltd [WIPL]
About WIPL – WIPL is a customer oriented co. that provides premium services by supporting businesses & consumers in over 35 countries from the moment they first establish an Internet Presence through the lifecycle of e-commerce activity. Our solutions range from domain name registration, Shared, Reseller & Cloud Hosting on Windows & Linux platform, Managed Dedicated Servers, Enterprise Messaging Solutions, Dynamic CRM, Digital certificates, E-Commerce Business Packages with Payment Gateway Services & more.