Educational Network Project
"Keeping-Things-Alive" Message Assistant

This will help you write "Keeping-Things-Alive" messages for the ongoing educational network project you are coordinating. Enter as many of the fields below that are relevant for your project, then select the "All done - let's write a draft" choice. Modify the draft message to be more appropriate for your project. Then copy the text from the "message" field and paste it into the body of an email message.

Note that you can combine several of these into one message, or put them in different messages that are spread out over time. You don't want to overwhelm your participants with messages, but you also don't want to pack everything into one "keeping-things-alive" message, with lots of "dead time" before or after it.

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Choose a type of "Keeping things alive" element


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Ping messages
The major function of a "ping" message to be reassure the project participants that the project is still going. A second function is to reassure yourself that people are really participating. If a person decides to drop out of a project, a "ping" message will often spur them to send you a note asking to be taken off the project list.

Here are some typical "ping" sentences:

Type in your "ping" message:





















Reminder messages
The major function of a reminder message is to keep the project on track, especially after a period of relative network inactivity. Much of the work of network-based educational projects is done off the network, and during that time, participants may lose track of what is to be done next. A reminder serves to help keep the project going.

Type in your "reminder" message:





















Cheerleader messages
"Cheerleader" messages keep a project on track in a positive way, through the encouragement of particularly noteworthy actions on the part of any or all of the participants. By highlighting in a message to the whole group some exemplary activity by one or more participants, you make it more likely that others will follow.

Type in your "cheerleader" message:





















Progress Reports
Another way to keep a project on track is to send out progress reports, which summarize what has happened so far with the project. You can also conclude the message with a short description of what's coming up next with the project.

Type in your "Progress Report" message:





















Additional Details
You can keep a project on track by sending messages that contain additional background details concerning the project. When preparing for your project, you'll often gather information that you cannot fit into your project proposal or the follow-up organizing messages. This information can be sent during the pursuit of the project.

Type in your "Additional Details" message:





















Amusing stories, jokes, etc.
If you have cute stories or jokes that relate to your project, these can also make good messages to "keep the project alive".

Type in your "Amusing stories" message:





















If you have any suggestions for this page, please send them to <j-levin@uiuc.edu>
Return to the Network Project Planning Guide
Last updated: 17 Feb 1998