Chris Bolger – USA
Working at the A/V and IT departments at the national headquarters for the Theosophical Society in America has given me the unique opportunity to help focus the direction of our internet development with wide reaching potentials. The TSA website development has been the focus of my work over the last two years.
Now that we have transitioned our website to an open-source software (OSS) content management system (Joomla!) we are in a good position to keep up with the quickly changing technology online and adding more functionality to the website. Open-source philosophy is one of truth, communal development, and the freedom to make necessary changes, and I consider it to be in line with the theosophical world-view, so I try to incorporate using OSS whenever practical. Many times this software is free to use, so this helps us spend money where we can get the most impact with it. In the near future we will be compiling a list of recommended software for lodges or groups to use so they don’t have to redo all the research we did to find it!
Chris at the mixing panel
In addition to website development, I am also involved in the the Audio/Video department. We have a huge inventory of audio and video programs built up over the past 30+ years and much of it has not seen the light of day since it was recorded. This amount of material has been slowly transferred to digital format over the past 7 years and a small percentage has been available online.
We are now beginning a major project to get all A/V content uploaded to a new media library, which we hope to get online in 2012. With this migration we want give members and the public access to a vast range of resources to further their own path of studies. In addition to the upcoming media library, we have continued to expand our online live programs through the webcast lectures and more interactive virtual classroom webinars. Offering these programs online is one of the best ways we can reach a worldwide audience, often times doubling the number of attendance here at our national headquarters. As more people around the world get access to the internet, we will be in a strong position to reach a much wider audience than traditional forms of media.