Embracing the Ephemeral

In early 2017, 8 Bridges Workshop launched Wanderway, a free online course to help small nonprofits and creatives tell their stories and connect with their audiences online.

Throughout the course’s development, our collaborator Beck Tench underscored that we were entering an ever-changing terrain. With 24-hour news cycles, shifting trends, and continuous social feeds, the digital landscape is far from stable. We crafted Wanderway to help users build skills and confidence to learn on their feet, while also addressing basic practices like cultivating a voice, building networks, and planning content.

Over the past year and a half, we’ve repeatedly revisited the concept of digital impermanence. Since the last presidential election, we’ve seen widespread social media burnout, news of Russian election interference, revelations of political silos on social media, and the repeal of net neutrality. Wanderway continues to offer useful tools by providing an approach rather than a set of answers. That said, these dramatic changes in the digital landscape inspired us to choose an end date for the course, so that it will end gracefully and not be repeatedly updated in response to ever-shifting contexts.

Wanderway will retire on September 1, 2019.  We hope that over the upcoming year Wanderway continues to provide vital support to an expanding number of users, and we will find a new home for some of its core tools and concepts. You can check it out until then at wanderway.org and share the course and its resources with friends and colleagues. We’re grateful for the insights we gained through creating Wanderway and look forward to building on that learning with new projects and clients.