Sanford News Network
Sanford News Network is the student media group that supplanted the student newspaper at my high school. From freshman through junior year I was an integral part of the group, working with students, administration, and the IT department to allow the group to reach new heights.
My project throughout my freshman year was envisioning and building a video livestreaming system. As this was before the launch of high-quality consumer livestreaming services, the system had to push to professional-level services that expected all processing to be done on our side. The goal for the system was to have software-level control of three 1080p cameras, four other discrete audio sources, and any amount of other pre-recorded content such as ads or interstitials.
The resulting system took into account the need to balance portability with usability by students as young as middle school and durability for streaming events outdoors. Occupying a portable rack mount, the system was entirely self-contained, possessing components for wired and wireless microphones, LTE and extended WiFi range, and a display and keyboard for the computer itself. As part of the development process, I taught others how to use and maintain the system.
I personally won an award from Sanford for the development of the system, and Sanford was recognized by multiple conferences for being the first school in the area with such professional livestreaming capabilities. I later provided recommendations to other schools on how to implement similar systems.
A continuing project throughout the rest of my time in Sanford News Network was the development and maintenance of a new website. The main goal was to remedy the problems of the existing site: lack of functionality on mobile devices, difficulty in adding new content, and high costs as a function of using an overpriced manager of the WordPress foundation.
The new website was built on a clean WordPress installation, with existing content being transferred over. I developed a new graphic style to unify the website and the printed materials used to advertise upcoming livestreams and worked to cleanly transfer domain names to eliminate any downtime for the site.
Another multi-year project was the development of a meritocracy-based management system to potentially overhaul the editor and writer positions left over from the Network's past as a student newspaper. By tying academic credits to stories produced or livestreams participated in rather than simply taking the elective, the hope was that project management software could better divide up the increasing workload.
I built the system using Filemaker Pro, implementing it as a web-based application that handled basic authentication, normal student access, and privileged staff access to add users or verify projects as completed. The project ended up being unsuccessful in large part because the application was solving a problem that didn't truly exist: the system did indeed foster communication and commitment within Sanford News Network, but the group was small and tight-knit enough that the increase to those things was too nominal to be useful.