Finding good food to eat on campus can be extremely difficult. There are many reasons why this is the case. For one, there are only so many choices offered at the diner- especially South Campus, and sometimes they’re just not good. Also, dining points and Terp Bucks can run out much faster than it seems they would. That is why we came up with “Feed the Turtle” as a way to help students not starve and pursue a more exciting and varied eating experience.
“Feed the Turtle” originally began as an app which would tell students about all clubs and groups which were holding free foods events on campus. We slowly realized several problems with this however. First and foremost, making an app is a lot harder than it seems, and would require a lot of expensive software. Our solution was to instead create a website and use twitter as a way to make it compatible with a smart device.
The other problem with our project was that it is extremely difficult to garner a following and thus a base of people to contribute information to our site. On top of that, free food events generally only happen frequently during the first few weeks of college when the groups are trying to gain new members or reconnect after break. We realized in order to have a successful project occurring during the “off-season”, we needed to include more than just free food. So, “Feed the Turtle” became less about free and more about alternatives. Some of the events cost money, but they’re still good to know about because they are either cheaper than the dining hall, or offer a different option for students.
In our project, we each took on a different role. Stephen worked mainly on getting the website up and running. Jenny handled the graphic design aspect- she spent countless tedious hours coloring in the graphic in our banner. Greg ran the twitter, getting it going, and keeping track of updating events while the website was still in the works. Dan worked on contacting various groups- first compiling a list of all the people who we already had contacts with to start up our list of liaisons to various clubs. He then worked on sharing the club over social media sites- primarily Facebook. Ryan was sort of a drifter in the group- he helped with whatever needed to be done that day. Mainly, he spent a lot of time with Stephen, manually entering the data into our Google Map and also writing the about me section. Kelsey mainly documented the project and kept the group organized and focused at meetings. She also helped Dan with social media.
Aside from the individual assignments, a lot of the work was done as a group brainstorming–I would say we spent at least 8 hours in different meetings just discussing ways to troubleshoot various issues we came across, what kind of direction we wanted to take our project in, and which components we’d like on our page to best display the information.
Overall, I think our finished product is a success. It’s fairly easy to navigate, and though it doesn’t yet have many submissions, that comes with the fact that it is only in its infancy and thus, given the time, could much further expand. It took a lot of work and we all learned a lot about coordinating and creating a webpage.