Metronauts

Metronauts.ca is an open community of people from across the greater Toronto region (and beyond) who care about the future of our cities and the role transportation has in our lives.

Aiding the Greater Toronto Transit Authority/Government of Ontario to draft a long-term plan for transportation infrastructure in the Greater Toronto Area, a group of stewards came together to create a series of un-conferences called Transitcamp sessions which would work hand-in-hand with a website that could empower citizens with a common platform to raise their voice on issues relating to transit in the city of Toronto.

Metronauts.ca is this platform - designed by Smack with iconography and design input from Peapod Studios, we built this site in Drupal taking its main purpose to be conversation.

Uniquely, this project blurs the lines between off and online communities by hosting events and using the website to bring conversations into the un-conference sessions, whilst also letting the website be a space for event attendees to share their reflections on the discussions going on @ Transitcamp sessions.

We used the theme of 'conversation' to inspire neat interface innovations such as a rotating header background image that can be clicked on for more information about the photo - allowing site users to submit their own headers to the site and then comment on the photos in rotation.

As a way to relate content's appeal to users as well as add definition to the online identities of site members, we employed an experimental 'karma' system on the site that gives karma to people who post comments and start conversations - with more karma alloted to the latter. In lists of on-going conversations on the site, karma points are listed and offer suggestion to site users that certain topics of conversation may be more interesting or popular.

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