As many of you know, the state competitions are coming up! Although the mad-rush of the day keeps most of us from being able to look around and take things in, the state competitions are in many ways an opportunity to see how other teams have gone about building their robot, doing community outreach, and to communicate with teams you maybe haven’t heard of. But why is this? Why is it that many teams don’t end up talking (on a regular basis) with other teams in their area, in their state, or even worldwide?
Wouldn’t it be great if every FTC team had a free blog on WordPress? Teams could establish their website at the same time they posted updates about their robot; and most importantly, comment and connect with other FTC teams! Not only would teams learn from each other, but this would give teams a big picture view of what other teams are doing. Unlike a Facebook page, a WordPress site allows a team to show off their team in the best of light. I feel that team websites should be designed to show off the team in the same way they would want to present in front of the judges at a competition. WordPress allows teams to do that. In contrast, a Facebook page only allows teams to update what they’re doing, and post pictures. There is very little organization and the presentation is textbook-standard. Not to mention that on WordPress, teams that follow other FTC teams will have a refined newsfeed (exclusively other robotics teams) and will be more likely to actually read what other teams have to say. This idea is not something that would happen overnight, but I feel that it is something that if promoted correctly, could grow into a movement of sorts.
I plan to type up a simple brochure that explains the idea, and what teams can and should do to connect with other FTC teams. Our teams will then spread this brochure around to other teams at the Iowa FTC state competition, and with any luck, many teams will follow this idea and do as we have done.
The point of this post is mainly to get feedback from other FTC teams about the idea. Is it realistic? Is there something else I could do to make it better? Really any advice is helpful. In addition, if you would like, I would be happy to put your team’s blog address on the brochure. For many teams, having blogs to follow right away would be incentive to continue to update and enhance their own site. Also, teams whose addresses I have on the brochure would also likely gain extra followers to their site and would give them more teams to interact with.
Please comment below if you would like your site address on the brochure and/ or if you have any feedback to give.
Thanks and good luck with your season!