Building 365ride.org for Operation Overnight

Operation Overnight 2012 came and went quickly. It was a huge success! We had 24 hours to build four websites. A daunting task, surely, but not one that we wanted to shy away from. That wouldn’t have been the Geonetric way! 50+ volunteers, lots of coffee, soda and food, and an all-nighter full of fun and we produced some great results!

My team was assigned to build http://www.365ride.org from the ground up. Unlike the other three teams, 365ride came into Operation Overnight without an existing Web presence and very little source material (brochures, etc.). In the end, both our team and our client were very happy with the finished product.

The site’s purpose is to be a place for people seeking information. Before the site, information was scattered across many places on and off the Web. The Frequently Asked Questions section was a high priority and the team did some really cool things to keep information flowing through the site, only duplicating it where necessary. The end result is a destination that the community can use to get information about public transportation options throughout Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area.

There were some advantages going in with no source material. We didn’t have any “standard” to live up to but our own – which might be the toughest one to achieve. We had a lot of freedom to be creative. There were no expectations of how visitors used the site.

My team rocked it out and had a lot of fun working together! I didn’t have relationships with some of my team members going into the event. And although you know someone’s job title, seeing them really put their skills to works makes you truly understand what they do for our company. I know something about all of them as a person. We had music playing, we had food, and it was really a fun atmosphere.  And while we “partied,” we worked really hard to produce a great website in 24 hours. It didn’t feel like work… that was the best part. Work should always be like this! Guess what? It can be!

I was very excited when Geonetric announced we would do this again next year. It was a great experience! Above all else, we as a company got to give back to our community. I’m so proud to be a part of an effort like this!

I’m also looking forward to seeing our company grow from the experience. The only realistic way to achieve our goals of launching four new websites was to be Agile. I think that we all saw some powerful benefits from this process that we can take back to our daily work.

Here’s looking forward to Operation Overnight 2013!

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