Author Topic: Basecamp.com  (Read 500 times)

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joeskins

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Basecamp.com
« on: Jul 04, 2017, 01:11 am »
This year the theatre program I'm in is trying out Basecamp.com. Has anyone else used this on a production? It let's you make schedules, assigning things out, group chats, message boards, file sharing. It all sounds nice, but the file sharing doesn't seem practical for SM purposes. When you go to open or download a file, it opens as a pdf and you can't do anything with that really. I know the site isn't meant for theatre. I'm used to dropbox. I like how I can share a file, and have my fellow asm edit it on their laptop right then and there. I still plan to keep a show dropbox for the purpose of editing flows, checklist, calendars, etc.

LCSM

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Re: Basecamp.com
« Reply #1 on: Jul 11, 2017, 10:43 pm »
Haven't used Basecamp before, but in my last year of school my program tried using Slack, which seems to be pretty much the same thing; it aims to combine everything we already do - text, e-mails, Dropbox, etc. - in one place.

I found the program easy enough to use, with some fun features, but didn't end up actually using it much. Partly because all our other systems of communication were in place (and working just fine...so no real incentive to change), and partly because we had to use e-mail/Dropbox/whatever as soon as we were working with someone outside our department (which was almost always). In the end, as I recall, we mostly used it as a social/casual group chat, and infrequently at that.

It's designed to be used in an office setting, where you have the same team of people working together all the time, and I can see it being successful in that context. But, as an SM, I didn't find it particularly useful. It just became one more thing I had to check in case someone had left me a message...far less simple/direct than an e-mail or text. (The number of times someone texted me to say they'd sent me a Slack message......arrrgh!)

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bex

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Re: Basecamp.com
« Reply #2 on: Jul 12, 2017, 11:07 pm »
I worked at a theater that insisted on using Basecamp for basically everything designer-related- draftings, research images, etc. They required the SM team to keep schedules, contact sheets, and script updates on Basecamp as well. I found the interface confusing and unnecessary, since there was also a Dropbox set up by the theater for stage management to use. It was completely redundant- had to have every file in 2 places instead of just one. I had my ASM/intern check it/update it every day as part of her tasks. Every single designer complained about Basecamp to me at least once- I have NO IDEA why this company insists on using it.
You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.

megf

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Re: Basecamp.com
« Reply #3 on: Jul 14, 2017, 06:38 am »
I've used Basecamp (briefly) and Slack (for over a year) in an office setting. They both fail to replace more mainstream communication channels.

It seems like these tools might be more effective for a team under these circumstances and parameters:

a) groups of people working in several locations (multiple tours/venues, or widely varying schedules like a college SM program)
b) used for internal team communications only, not conventional reporting or file-sharing (e.g., in the context of a tour, a newer PSM could post "Having trouble with the Filemaker for in/outs. Anyone around for a tutorial Thursday AM, Central Time?" so they're not emailing the 14 other SMs involved in the show)
c) the channel is a casual sharing space, not a deadline-driven space (so, share restaurant tips, but not show reports; discuss file formats, but don't publish script changes)

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KMC

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Re: Basecamp.com
« Reply #4 on: Jul 14, 2017, 07:16 am »
I work for a small (100ish people) division of a large corporation (18,000+ people).  Our corporation uses Yammer, an in-house social network, for a few things.

Things it works well for:
- Sharing company-wide updates and announcements.
- Broad, public, informal discussions between people in different regions/locations.
- Asking for help with systems/products (as megf alluded to below).

Things it would not work well for:
- Direct management of teams/deliverables.
- Time-sensitive communications.

At the end of the day it is a lot easier to walk down the hall and have a conversation or pick up the phone and call someone than it is to rely on any kind of online content management system.

Think of how you would be preferred to be communicated with.  Do you want to be managed by the equivalent of social media - impersonally and likely hastily-composed, or in person or by phone?

The collaboration and document sharing is potentially valuable, but as soon as you start involving freelancers (i.e. people outside your company's domain name) it becomes unworkable.
Get action. Do things; be sane; donít fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

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