Staff training at Red House Media: a Basecamp shock turns out to be a good thing

basecampI spent a day last week at Red House Media (RHM) in Brainerd, MN, conducting a staff training session on how to use Basecamp, the web-based collaboration/project management service by 37signals which I’ve used since 2004.

Aaron Hautala, RHMI’ve gotten to know RHM’s founder and CEO Aaron Hautala in the past year, as we have a mutual love of mountain biking. He’s president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, the club which helps manage my favorite MTB park, the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail System in Crosby/Ironton, MN. When I offered to help with the club’s blog site and mentioned that it would be best if we used Basecamp for our communications, he told me that his company had been using it for a while but wasn’t quite getting full use of it.  He wondered if I was interested in helping.

The night before my training session, I discovered that 37signals had announced a new Basecamp last spring, and that the one I was using was now called Basecamp Classic. Oy. Evidently I’d unsubscribed to the Basecamp enewsletter years ago and thus, never got the memo on the new version.

Red House Media staff: Heidi Lake, Keith Larson, Anna JohnsonOnce I took a look at the features of the new Basecamp, it became clear that this was the version I needed to present to the RHM staff. So I crammed into the wee hours, moving a couple of my own Basecamp Classic projects over (easy) to the new Basecamp for experimentation.  I was wowed, visit website if you would like to learn how I did it.

I showed up the next morning, prepared but still sweating it. I told my tale of woe to RHM staffers Heidi Lake (media director), Keith Larson (art director), and Anna Johnson (newly hired production manager). They were more than understanding and whenever my lack of knowledge became apparent, they gamely joined me in a hunt for answers.  By day’s end, they were off and running. I was tired but pleased and excited about getting my own Basecamp Classic projects moved over to the new Basecamp. If you use Basecamp, you should, too.