Online Community: Still Crazy After All These Years

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Slides from a session with the IBM online community builders group, March 2011.

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Online Community: Still Crazy After All These Years

  1. 1. Online Community:still crazy after all these years…<br />Nancy White Full Circle Associates http://www.fullcirc.com<br />
  2. 2. Is “community” dead?<br />Irrelevant?<br />Over-used? Abused?<br />Spot-on?<br />When?Why?<br />
  3. 3. “And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.”<br />
  4. 4. #1 Whatdo we reallyMEANbycommunity?<br />
  5. 5. http://technologyforcommunities.com/<br />
  6. 6. Tech + Social:Technology has fundamentally changed how we can be together<br />
  7. 7. Go Solo?<br />Thinking, my tasks, exploring…<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/h-k-d/4777491309/<br />
  8. 8. Pairs, triads and very small groups?<br />
  9. 9. Reciprocal Apprenticeship (Levy)<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachstern/87431231/<br />
  10. 10. Reciprocal Apprenticeship was a rare form of Jedi apprenticeship and has hardly been practiced since the Cleansing of the Nine Houses. This is where two Jedi were both Masters and Apprentices to each other. The most famous pair to be under Reciprocal Apprenticeship were Jedi Masters Kyle Katarn and Mara Jade Skywalker of the New Jedi Order.<br />http://misc.thefullwiki.org/Reciprocal_apprenticeship<br />
  11. 11. Fly with the flock?<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/odreiuqzide/3184901242/<br />
  12. 12. Roam the network?<br />
  13. 13. Personal identity, interest & trajectory<br />Me: the Individual<br />Bounded membership; group identity, shared interest, human centered<br />We: Communities<br />Boundaryless; fuzzy, intersecting interests, object centered sociality (Engeström)<br />Many: Networks<br />
  14. 14. Consciousness, confidence level, risk tolerance, styles, emotion<br />Me: the Individual<br /> Distinct power/trust dynamics, shared forward movement or strong blocking, bonding, stasis, attn. to maintenance, language<br />We: Communities<br />Flows around blocks, bridging, brokering, less cohesion, distributed power/trust, change<br />Many: Networks<br />
  15. 15. My email, journals, email, portfolios, Facebook page, etc.<br />Me: the Individual<br />Meetings, confs., projects, wikis, group blogs, collaborative platforms…<br />We: Communities<br />Facebook, ELGG, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia,etc…<br />Many: Networks<br />
  16. 16. enable people to…<br /><ul><li>discover & appropriate useful technology
  17. 17. be in and use communities & networks (people)
  18. 18. express theiridentity
  19. 19. find and create content
  20. 20. usefully participate</li></ul>http://www.flickr.com/photos/stillthedudeabides/186852754/<br />
  21. 21. facilitators<br />community leaders<br />technology stewards<br />network weavers<br />Independent thinkers<br /> moderators<br />
  22. 22. A Practice (practical) Example<br />
  23. 23. … meetings<br /> … projects<br />… open-ended conversation<br />… access to<br /> expertise<br />… content publishing<br />Community activities oriented to …<br />… relationships<br />… individual<br /> participation<br />… community<br /> cultivation<br /> … context<br />Base material from: Digital Habitats: Stewarding technology for communities<br />© 2009 Wenger, White, and Smith<br />
  24. 24. Example:The Birdwatchers<br />of Central Park<br />Weekly bird walks, winter bird feeding fillings, irregular celebrations and events…<br /> … meetings<br />Bump into another bird-watcher? Have a conversation…<br />… open-ended conversation<br /> … projects<br />Advocacy drives, adopt parts of the park, bird counts…<br />The “Register” (print) is central to community…<br />… access to<br /> expertise<br />… content publishing<br />activities oriented to …<br />The participation of the “Big Guns,” and “Regulars.” Mostly F2F<br />Anyone can bird watch, but sharing what you see/know is important…so the community accommodates both<br />Note when people missing… Invite people in<br />… individual<br /> participation<br />Internal and External focus: Publishing, the “Register,” available to media…<br />… relationships<br /> … context<br />While everyone pays attention to the community, no centralized efforts…<br />… community<br /> cultivation<br />Base material from: Digital Habitats: Stewarding technology for communities, © 2009 Wenger, White, and Smith<br />
  25. 25. Community Name: KM4Devglobal knowledge sharing network<br />Once a year and only about 10% do/can participate.<br /> … meetings<br />Email list is core of community activity<br />… open-ended conversation<br /> … projects<br />When funding allows. E.G. supporting ShareFair<br />Community knowledge wiki, content management system to bring together resources. <br />… access to<br /> expertise<br />… content publishing<br />activities oriented to …<br />Informally via the email list by asking/answering questions. <br /> With only one meeting a year, large size and diversity, KM4Dev focuses on enabling individual participation.<br />Relationships mostly via meetings and core group. <br />… individual<br /> participation<br />Strongly external – all resources public/shared.<br />… relationships<br />While everyone pays attention to the community, no centralized efforts…<br />… community<br /> cultivation<br />Base material from: Digital Habitats: Stewarding technology for communities<br />© 2009 Wenger, White, and Smith<br /> … context<br />
  26. 26. Birdwatchers and KM4Dev-ers<br /> … meetings<br />… open-ended conversation<br /> … projects<br />… content publishing<br />… access to<br /> expertise<br />activities oriented to …<br />… relationships<br />… individual<br /> participation<br />… community<br /> cultivation<br />Base material from: Digital Habitats: Stewarding technology for communities<br />© 2009 Wenger, White, and Smith<br /> … context<br />
  27. 27. OrientationsPicking tools?How?<br /><ul><li>Meetings – Web meeting tools for online, shared calendars and wikis for planning, wikis, blogs, images/audio/video to capture and share during and after.
  28. 28. Projects – Email lists/forums to coordinate, shared calendars, project management trackers, blogs to journal/report.
  29. 29. Access to expertise – Online profiles, social networking sites, “yellow pages,” discussion forums, blogs.
  30. 30. Relationship – Twitter/IM to share small frequent messages, member directories, Skype/VoIp for conversation.
  31. 31. Context – Public, open websites for outward facing. Password protected for inward facing groups.
  32. 32. Community cultivation – Outward facing web sites to attract members, Twitter/IM to feel connected, Skype for voice.
  33. 33. Individual participation – RSS/aggregators, tagging, so people can craft what content they get, customizable settings on web tools, using synch and asynch
  34. 34. Content – content management systems, blogs, wikis, podcasts, social bookmarking, tags, video/audio, images, mindmapping.
  35. 35. Open ended conversation – email lists, forums, Twitter, chat.</li></ul>Base material from: Digital Habitats: Stewarding technology for communities<br />© 2009 Wenger, White, and Smith<br />
  36. 36. Looking forward…<br />
  37. 37. new fabric of connectivity<br />active technology landscapes<br />multiple engagement modes<br />reconfigured geographies<br />From Wenger, White and Smith, 2009<br />In collaboration with Nancy White and John Smith<br />
  38. 38. new fabric of connectivity<br /><ul><li>- togetherness and separation
  39. 39. - always on
  40. 40. - virtual presence
  41. 41. - peripherality</li></ul>From Wenger, White and Smith, 2009<br />
  42. 42. active technology landscape<br />- interacting and publishing<br />- social/informational computing<br />- semantic web<br />- digital footprint<br />From Wenger, White and Smith, 2009<br />
  43. 43. multiple engagement modes<br />- generalized self-expression<br />- mass collaboration<br />- creative re-appropriation<br />- thin connections/weak ties<br />From Wenger, White and Smith, 2009<br />
  44. 44. reconfigured geographies<br />- competing spaces<br />- multimembership<br />- dynamic boundaries<br />- global reach<br />From Wenger, White and Smith, 2009<br />
  45. 45. Epilogue<br />ContactNancy Whitenancyw at fullcirc dot com<br />http:www.fullcirc.com<br />www.technologyforcommunities.com<br />@NancyWhite<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/poagao/527259905/<br />

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