Project E.R

Sunday, December 12, 2004

YMCA- Final Installment

Text Messaging

The Head Counselors in Beacon are the ones who receive money for their phone bill. Their phones are used for emergency contacts when they are on trips. Since their phones are used for business purposes then their bills are payed and depending on which phone they have they might get phone cards instead.

Making phone calls can get a little expensive so in order to save money I would suggest for them to use text messaging. It can be used when someone needs to ask a quick question.

Walkie Talkies

The Walkie Talkies are usually used when each age group is in different parts of hte building or when they are on a trip to the local park.
The walkie talkies are used in order to save money for the cell phones. The ranges of hte walkie talkies only allow them to be used whe nthe counselors are a couple of blocks away from the site. That's why it is used only on local trips. Having a walkie talkie is one of the best technologies that they use and I wouldn't change it at all.


My ideas for improving Beacon's communication is based on one of the six conditions necessary for succesful change, which is implementing new ideas in a carefully organizaed and gradual manner.

Beacon is a place that has very common and "old fashion" ways of communicating as a business. They use fax machines, telephones, and e-mails. For goodness sakes they still make flyers. Adding in these technologies would be an easier way to bring Beacon into the new age of technology. Weblogs,Wikis, news aggregators and technologies are very simple technologies. You don't have to be a computer wiz in order to use them. So it would be very easy for the organization to keep it up-dated. And they are free which really fits into the organizations budget.

It would be easy to adjust to these technologies if the organization would get at least two more computers for staff use. It can be placed withing the office since the staff members using go there right before work starts or it can be placed within one of the extra rooms that they have.

Bringing in Technologies like blackberries and the idea of Smart mobs or flash mob would have not been great ideas for this organization. Blackberries would have been to expensive for the organization and Smart Mobs and Flash Mobs just don't fit Beacon at all. They are mostly for organizations that have a specific quick task to do and want it done quickly even if they don't have a specific task such as Sarah said in a previous post.

Informal Networks

Beacon's informal networks as mentioned in my earlier post is a very simple chain but sometimes it is difficult to get in contact with the big boss simply because he is always busy.

Sometimes the only link between the counselors and the boss is the secretary and that is weird for such a small organization. She there for can be the gatekeepers of the organization. She controls the flow of information since she is the one who receives and sends the information

Adding in these technologies will hopefully knock out the middle man and help connect everyone together. Staff members will not only be receivers but can also become senders as well. No one will be excluded from the network.


As mentioned before my ideas will be used to bring Beacon into the new age of technology. Making it adjustable to it's world around it would be what Weick's idea of requisite variety is all about.

Requisite variety is the ablilty to make the organization's inside world as complicated as the outside world. Having a news aggregator and weblog would make Beacon more identical to its outside world. Since Beacon would have these technologies it would be able to become like the rest of the wolrd and being connected with them would help the organization know what is needed and what needs to be changed. It will keep them as up-dated as possible.


It was very easy for me to suggest this idea to Beacon since it is in my neighborhood and I know every one there. I proposed the idea to the program director whom bascially can act like a producer and gets things that are needs for the Organization.

He really liked the idea of having a Weblog For Beacon. He really believed that it would bring more people to their program especially when they host their Halloween parties. He thought it would really help them raise more money since they sell alot of goodies at those parties.

He had never heard about a news aggregator before and thought that it sounded like a good way to keep everything well kept but he wouldn't know for sure if the other YMCA's in the neighborhood would set a blog up as well manly because the problem is funding. That's why most of these places have parties to sell things as a fund raiser to be able to buy what the organization needs like more computers. This when I introduced the idea of a Wikis board which would be a place to discuss what problems each organization has and what ideas they have to fix it. Again the main problem would be having the money to communicate like this and pursudaing a gorup of people who are very used to using paper and pen.

Even though problems may occur he kept the idea of weblogs and mind and proposed it to his computer wiz staff member who works as a counselor at the program.


Putting the Technology to Work

The YMCA is a huge organization. They are spread throughout the world. There are some in Canada, Mexico and even New Zealand.

But when a person checks out a YMCA on a website the only ones that appear are the bigger organizations like the ones you get to see on TV Commercials. No one gets to see the smaller organizations like Beacon.

I would like Beacon to get some exposure. Their way of getting exposure is by word-of-mouth and flyers. Setting up a weblog on a free easy three-step program like will help them get even more exposure.

Weblogs are known for people to give up-to-date information to the public as said by Leezy. They also archive and catergorize information as Suzanne said. Having a catergorized archive will aloow the public to go back to old post to keep up with the organization.

Having a weblog for Beacon will allow them to tell the public how their organization works. It shows their personal side like Lauren said.They can post information on the trips they have taken and special events that they host in their building like their infamous spectacular Halloween parties. Being able to do this will allow many people to see how they really are and there will be a higher chance of getting more parents to put their kids in the program.

Now if every small YMCA were to have a Weblog set then all YMCA's can see what the other is doing rather than hearing about it through a phone call that will then have to be passed down by word-of-mouth. A weblog is a simple journal that can be shown to the public to help this small organization became more well known.

News Aggregators

News aggregators is a simple program that can be set up on a website such as Its goal is to keep a periodical list of sites you had subsscribed to. When you log on to the news aggregator a list will appear of the most up dated post. Each site will have a title or short summary of the post they have made. Being able to see this will help you determine weither if the post is even worth reading. Thus letting you control the noise that goes through. There will also be no need to send double e-mails to make sure that the receiver gets the information.

Having a news aggregator for Beacon will help them avoid a flurry of e-mails but only if every other YMCA has a weblog set up. Then Beacon can subscribe to their sites and keep it in the news aggregator. A lot of time can be saved and it can help them avoid missing important information as people like Melissa regularly do with their e-mails.

These technologies are both set up to bring the organizations closer together and to help avoid noise and redundancy but bringing in the other technologies will help break the organizational heirarchy that exist in this program.


Beacon has a very simple chain line. Their organization is like the original Organizational Chart. It starts with a president then breaks down from there. But within Beacon there is just a program director, program coordinator, head counselors, counselors, assistant counselors, and then SYEP (who are young teens that are working under a summer youth program)

Everyone can talk to each other but it doesn't happen all the time. Assitant counselors usually ask the head counselors a questiong then if the counselor doesn't know then the head counselor is notified and so on up the chain of commands.

I would like it if they were to be able to connect more with each other and other employees at the other sites that are near by. For this I woulb bring the idea of having a Wikis board.

Having a Wikis board is very similar to a weblogs the only thing is that it allows other people besides the creator to go back and edit certain post. It can be an easier way, as said by Leezy to exhange ideas and it is also the fastest way to network with each other. Being able to edit it can help the big bosses control noise that enters the board such as very inappropriate things that can be said about a certain YMCA site. In this ocassion a phone call can be made to discuss this problem personally.

Having a wikis board will help connect employees who are at the bottom of the barrel to the employees who are on top. It can be used to state any ideas employees have or it can be used as a company diary to help express problems that each employee has.

One main wikis board can be set for a number of YMCA's in the neighborhood or one can be set for each individual organization. But my idea is to get everyone involved so I would like one main wkis board to be set up.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


YMCA's have been known to change the lives of many children. They have given children , from underprivleged homes, the chance to be... kids. They have after school programs in certain schools throughout the year where the kids are able to play with other kids from the community. They get to go on free trips and they get access to computers to help them with their homework. When the summer time arrives the Y becomes a summer day camp.

For four years I've worked at my local Y called the Eastern District YMCA in Bushwick, Brooklyn.It began in 1990 in my old junior high school. Children, between the ages of 5 to 13, from the neighborhood are taken in. The amount of children accepted into the program helps determine the amount of counselors that will be hired.

Within the Eastern District YMCA, which is also called Beacon, there is a program director who is the boss of that local Y. His job is to act as a producer. He deals with the "higher power" in the chain of commands of the Y and tries to get money for certain programs and trips. Under him is the program coordinator who sets up trips and meetings with camp counselors. There is a secretary who is the main link that connects the counselors to the coordinator and director of the program. Head counselors ( RTE and CPR certified), counselors (CPR certified) then the children come next.

Beacon is an organization that uses the same basic technologies that the Universal Music Group use. Telephones, e-mails,regular mail, and faxes are all they seem to know. Other things that they do use are cell phones and walkie talkies. The head counselors use their cell phones,for emergency contacts only. The program director helps pay for their phone bill since it is used for business purposes. When the different age groups are on local field trips the head counselors carry Motorola walkie talkies with them. If someone needs to reach them from the office they just beep them on the walkie.

Beacon has the same problems that the Universal Group has with these technologies. There is a constant amount of noise and redundancy preventing the message from being sent to the receiver.

Double faxes are sent creating redundancy. E-mails are interrupted by spam and you can never tell which one is truly important. Telephones are a hassle because the voicemail picks up at times and interrupts the message.

The cellphones and walkies are the best ideas that they have ever come up with. Counselors are reached at a quicker pace and it is inexpensive. One main problem that doesn't occur very often with the walkies is noise. There are channels that everyone would tune into to speak to one another but an outsider that owns the same brand walkie can tune into the same channel as well and interrupt conversations but this rarely happens.

I would like to bring a few varieties of technologies to update this organization to help reduce noise and redundancy. I would also like to make this small organization become a more connected organization. I would do this by bringing in the idea of Weblogs , news aggregators, text messaging, and aWikis. board.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Bush won I am so angry. He better fix himself before things get worse.

Monday, September 13, 2004

favorite site

I am an extreme Jay-Z fan and for all of you guys who are not to familiar with him he is under the Rocafella label and this is his site