Thursday, June 30, 2005

More on Live 8

Well, if I'm a block away from Roma's part of Live 8 I realized I should learn a bit more... Technorati is organizing blogger responses with a tag (which is ). Want to blog about the poverty issues highlighted by Live 8? Contact a G8 representative? (optimism lives, I see). Check it out.

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Rome is HOT!

My blogging silence is due to work in Rome but I have a moment and am sitting near an internet connected computer so I thought, why not blog?

I'm sorry I've missed a number of cool gatherings while on the road: Gnomedex and the great meeting in Minneapolis on e-consultations and e-democracy. There were so many people I wanted to meet at both, but duty called. I'm glad I came. Interesting work, great people, but lordy, Rome is HOT. I'm grateful for my air conditioned hotel room and two showers a day.

Rome does not feel like a wired city. I see few internet cafes, no sign of wifi where I've been (which is admitedly limited... I'm working after all!) But mamma mia, do the Romans know how to be alive on the streets. Everyone is eating and drinking at sidewalk cafes and bars. Outdoor shopping markets abound. The Circus Maximus, just down the street, is being transformed to a concert stadium for Rome's arm of Live 8. (I will need to go to the airport early, methinks. They say 1/2 million will converge here on Saturday. In the heat. Bless them. I'd wilt.

That's it for now. This bambina is done for the day!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

LA Times WikiTorial Update - vandalized

Via Weblogsky,
The vandals got the handles: "The LA Times' experimental 'wikitorial' last week disappeared after pornographic images were posted there. [Link - NY Times, requires registration]

'Nothing bad happened really until after midnight on Saturday,' said Michael Newman, deputy editorial page editor. At 8:32 p.m. Saturday, a posting on, which bills itself as 'news for nerds,' directed readers to the Times wikitorial.

'Slashdot has a tech-savvy audience that, to be kind, is mischievous and to be not so kind, is malicious,' Mr. Newman said. 'We were taking stuff down as soon as it went up and staving them off. Finally we had to go to bed. Someone called the newsroom a little bit before 4 a.m. and said there's something bad on your Web site, and so we just took the whole site down.'
This is a critical issue: how do you promote and support openness and transparency when a small faction wants to trash it. The downside of networks. Nothing is pure light. We balance dark and light in everything we do and to think otherwise is shortsighted.

The question is, how do we utilize productively both forces? We need both. But in some sort of balance.

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Monday, June 20, 2005

Creating Passionate Users: Building a successful online community

Elana Centor pointed me to Kathy Sierra's post on online community - Building a successful online community.

Elana suggested I'd have an opion. YOU BETCHA. But life intervenes. My son (my BABY!) graduated from high school tonight. My parents are here. I keynote a conference tomorrow and Wednesday leave for 10 days of work in Rome.

Can you spell FRAZZLED?

So no opinions tonight. Don't expect a lot of blog posts over the next two weeks. Bella!

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Zen-Like Robustness: communities, technologies and learning.

Bev nails itEm duas linguas - metaphorically speaking
"Recently at two different conferences which represent two different international communities I belong to I was aware of the genre boundaries we are crossing in our work on communities, technologies and learning. The combination of different modes and technologies and a focus on emerging processes and diversity changes the whole nature of communication. It also changes our ways of of working together, what gets done, whose voices get heard, and where power lies. To survive it you have to develop a Zen-like robustness with the unsettling effects of communicating and learning in ways that expose your fragilities and the precariousness of human relationships. It deeply challenges all the securities that come with fixed roles, linear relationships and clear objectives. "
My robustness is a little tired today. But I had a total gut reaction to reading Bev's words. She nailed it. I'm working on my presentation for the Collaborative Technologies 2005 online conference next week about the 7 Compentencies for Online Interaction and I think I need to quote Bev. Back to work.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

My Flickr Buddies

Ya gotta love a meme... Make your own here.




Edward Vielmetti






Stuart Henshall

Peter Kaminski






Kevin Marks


Ben Gross





Lilia Efimova

Sue Braiden

Lee LeFever










Julie Leung








Koan Bremner










!Habit Forming

Messy K

Corporal Tunnel

Rosie O'Donnell


Mim Z.


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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Customer Communities: alive and well

Jackie Huber has a nice piece on Continental Airline's community. She mentions a NYTimes article on Continental, and the relationship companies like the airlines and Starwood Hotels maintain in the FlyerTalk community (for frequent airline travelers.) The post is worth reading for anyone who uses or is thinking about how communities matter in their work: commercial, voluntary, NGO/NPO. It all relates!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Wikitorial? Editorials Remixed

The LA Times left an interesting tidbit that they plan for their editorial page: wikitorials. Here is what I found in To Our Readers
Watch next week for the introduction of 'wikitorials' an online feature that will empower you to rewrite Los Angeles Times editorials."
Stay tuned for this one.

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I think I'm in love with Odin

Talk about a person with an eye for the visual. Odin's dad has peppered his blog with the most engaging pictures of his son, Odin. > ex machina. I'm so glad the pictures show up in my bloglines feed so I can get a hit of Oden most days! But a day without Odin might look like this:


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BBC - Radio 3 - Beethoven Gifts

The gift economy is alive and well at the BBC. After a week of playing ALL of Beethoven's works, the BBC will offer the Beethoven Experience - downloads. You can download for free the following:
"Symphony 6 will be broadcast on Monday 27th June, and available to download from Tuesday 28th June to Monday 4th July.

Symphony 7 will be broadcast on Tuesday 28th June, and available to download from Wednesday 29th June to Tuesday 5th July.

Symphony 8 will be broadcast on Wednesday 29th June, and available to download from Thursday 30th June to Wednesday 6th July.

Symphony 9 will be broadcast on Thursday 30th June, and available to download from Friday 1st July to Thursday 7th July.
MARK your calendars!"

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Gataga - Social bookmark search and exploration engine

Yet another tool I have to check out. Gataga - Social bookmark search and exploration engine. Alex Samuels has a review on TagIt. No, no, no, it's YOU'RE IT!

I think my brain has been over tagged. Did I mention I tagged a dream in my sleep last night?


(Obligatory tags)

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More Cooperative Writing: Social Bookmarking Tool Comparison

Marnie Webb and Beth Kanter started writing up a piece on Social Bookmarking, particularly from an NGO/NPO perspective.

The Social Bookmarking Tool Comparison piece is slowly growing, and as word spreads, I see the sign in signatures of more people adding their knowledge and experience.

Yet another example of the power of cooperation. I haven't been able to contribute much this week (losing my mind enough). But can YOU contribute something? If you do, add your name as a contributor. It is nice to see visually the fingerprints of those cooperating!

Oh, and here is another nest of collaboration for those in NPO/NGOs NPTech Community | Aggregating ideas, knowledge and social forces for good. Mission: "To empower non-profits to collaborate and succeed via shared resources, knowledge and community"


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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Win a free trip to BlogHer, courtesy of Technorati

Dave Sifry has posted a contest to send one lucky blogger to BlogHer. Includes registration, US hub airfare and two nights hotel! Check it out if you want to come, but haven't been able to scrape up the dough! Win a free trip to BlogHer, courtesy of Technorati
Technorati is sponsoring a contest that will bring one lucky female blogger to Silicon Valley for a weekend with fellow female bloggers...How has blogging changed your life? Did it lead to a new job, new friends, a new life? How would a trip to Silicon Valley to meet other female bloggers help you accomplish your goals? We want to hear your story!

How to Enter

Tell your personal story on your blog and be sure to tag your post as 'TechnoratiBlogHer' so we can find you. The winning entry must be within a claimed member blog. All eligible entries must be posted by Sunday, June 19. The winning entry will be selected by Technorati staff and announced on Wednesday, June 22.

Prize Details

The selected author will receive a flight to the Bay Area, two nights at the Westin Santa Clara hotel complete with in-room Internet access, and registration for the BlogHer conference.

Technorati will pay for your flight from a major air hub in the continental United States (Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle).

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(P.S. I'm using the tag for tracking, but am NOT entering! FYI)

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Monday, June 13, 2005

Dark Blogs Case Study 01 - A European Pharmaceutical Group

Suw Charman has shared Dark Blogs Case Study 01 - A European Pharmaceutical Group. I've just had a scan because I love cases and stories to place ideas and processes into the context of practice. Suw introduces the piece:
I'm pleased to announce the arrival of the first Dark Blogs case study, examining the use of Traction's TeamPage enterprise weblog software for a competitive intelligence project within a large European pharmaceutical group. The case study examines the reasons why blogs where chosen, project planning, implementation, integration with other business systems, editorial process, launch and promotion, training and adoption.
Part of the case shows it's sponsorship: the software company which was used in the case. That's fair, but a bit distracting. My presumption is they funded the work.

I appreciated the company's feedback which avoids hyperbole and says "time will tell" if the experiment pays off. (Hype is an instant turn off!) I was particulary interested in how they integrated their blog software and processes into their existing tools and processes; something that you don't hear about often and which I think is important for sustainability. I was intrigued at the different levels of access to different blogs. Pretty complex.

I was suprised at the level of control over blog content, but I also don't have a grasp of issues in the pharma industry. Still, what would have happened if there was less control?

Here is a bit from the summary from within the PDF
Despite a lack of prior art or external expertise regarding blog-based projects in enterprise to draw upon, the CI team have created a project which successfully addresses a clear business need, and which in many ways begins to define internal blogging best practice:
  • The blog's aims were clear and precise and had been defined after comprehensive examination of the problems
  • The project had the full support of the CEO and the Executive Committee
  • There was a well constructed project plan, which included consideration of high level issues such as structure, taxonomy and search requirements as well as day to day user requirements
  • A clear, semi-open editorial process was defined
  • The open commenting system allows for dialogue with users
  • Integration with existing systems and technologies created a more seamless user experience
  • Read permission control means that potentially sensitive information can only be accessed only by those who need it
  • A slow roll out to a focused user group ensured word of mouth evangelisation and gradual build up to hard launch
  • Training has been kept simple and minimal, reducing barrier to entry for new users
  • Integration with email allows users to access content that's important to them via a familiar application.
In terms of problems, the oft-expected problem with user adoption did not materialise. However, there have been minor issues around cultural change which fall into two categories: Firstly some users have not clearly understood the ramifications of posting a comment, thinking that their comments would be visible only to the blog post author, rather than the whole user community. Secondly there has been some scepticism regarding the value of allowing users to push back on company decisions that have already been made and are being acted upon.

These issues are being dealt with on a case by case basis, and as people come to understand more clearly how the tool works and become more comfortable with the cultural changes that blogging engenders, these problems should be ameliorated.
Want to share the case? "This case study is released as a 28 page PDF (2.3 MB) under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence for you to download and distribute." That's sweet!

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Getting more positive about the term lurker

I'm not sure I have ever linked to this and a friend asked about it today, so it seemed worth the risk of duplication. This .pdf , entitled LET'S GET MORE POSITIVE ABOUT THE TERM 'LURKER' Lurking from a Legitimate Peripheral Participation perspective... is a CPSquare Communities of Practice Foundations Class Project from June-July 2003. It is the work of Jacquie McDonald, Wendy Atkin, Frank Daugherity, Heather Fox, Alice MacGillivray, Doris Reeves-Lipscomb, and Poonlarp Uthailertaroon.

The team thought through the role of a lurker, someone who reads but does not post in an online interaction situation, and the relationship to the CoP concept of "legitimate peripheral participation." Then the went on to think about strategies to bring lurkers from the periphery to the core. Nice work and worth re-pointing.

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Josh Leo: Rain

Josh Leo pairs some fine video of rain with Dar Williams' amazing song, "The Beauty of the Rain." So, ok, I'm not getting work done. But this was sure a nice break. It also reminded me to go back to Dar's work, which I haven't listened to in years.

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Discussion of a disputed Wikipedia Page

A nice peek into the editing process for a disputed Wikipedia page. There are some interesting practices that have apparently evolved. I'll have to research more on the history of the process.

What I see in Talk:Podcasting - is:

  • The original page has a header flag that notifies readers the page is actively in dispute. This may attract more dispute, but it adds a nice layer of transparency on the process. (There are always pros/cons to just about any practice!)

  • The "talk" page broken up so people can comment on particular pieces of the original wikpedia page. Someone created a table of contents. Pretty wonderful.
  • There is instructions on the top of the talk page to help new folks know what to do to be effective in adding a comment.

Any other practices that you can notice? What here might be useful for any other groups using wikis to work together?

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    Saturday, June 11, 2005

    Wiki Swarm - Worth watching and learning from

    Ah, I should be doing Saturday household chores and instead I'm blogging. What can I say?

    Ross Mayfield, blogging an M2M, pointed to Loic Le Meur's last minute presentation construction process for Reboot7 -- which follows on directly to some of the issues in the Biz Week article I just blogged.

    Many-to-Many: Wiki Swarm
    Loic Le Meur started with a simple post pointing to a wiki and asking for help flushing out facts on The European Blogosphere.

    Over the next 24 hours an incredible resource was generated with 400 contributions. Loic abandoned Powerpoint and presented in wiki to Reboot7 (wish I could have been there, and kind of was). Contributions keep coming and the process evolves."
    Now, beyond the value of collaboration, it might be interesting to look at the process issues.

    Here are a few that come up for me right off the bat.

    1. Loic has a network that reads his blog and interacts with him (comments on his blogs, links to him, replies via any other channel). The network is part of the foundation.

    2. He used the reboot7 technorati tag... did that help him garner the assistance of those paying attention, both onsite and around the world, to his plea? It would be interesting to try and figure that out.

    3. As of this time, there were 101 revisions to the main page. There were so many contributions that it appears that Loic started spawing off other pages, demonstrating some fine wiki-gardening/facilitation skills. At some point, chaos can scare off your collaborators. 13+ subpages

    4. People who contributed were asked to note their names. 21 listed their names. I wonder how many more contributed but did not list themselves. This makes me wonder about why people do or do not choose to show themselves in this sort of effort. Another thing worth looking into.

    5. Finally, look at the value of the aggregated, filtered content. I just learned a lot about the European blogosphere!

    What other practice/process observations do you have on Loic's cooperative Wiki Swarm?

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    The Power Of Us - Collaboration and Cooperation

    More on this later, but want to toss out this link from next week's Business Week magazine. There is some cool stuff in this article, but also some troubling issues which get sparse attention. Check it out. "The Power Of Us
    Mass collaboration on the Internet is shaking up business"

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    Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? I peeked today at the list of folks who have signed up for the Friday no-host dinner which will informally kick off Blogher. I am SO EXCITED that I will be able to meet many of the women I read, communicate with and in many ways connect with, though most of them don't know it! It is now just 6 weeks away. Time to get working on the panel I'm moderating, getting the scholarships I funded into the pipeline (my goal is to get some of my international blogsisters here) and do those logistical things like make a plane reservation.

    Here is the list as of this morning:

    1. Amy Gahran
    2. Ankita Sadaf Kelly
    3. Arse Poetica
    4. Beth Kanter
    5. Celeste Lindell
    6. Charlene Li
    7. Charlotte Genevier
    8. Christine Halvorson
    9. Cynthia Trevino
    10. danah boyd
    11. Eath Chhon
    12. Elisa Camahort
    13. Ellen Spertus
    14.Emily Reich
    15. Erica Gieschen
    16. Erin Bradley
    17. George Kelly
    18. Grace Davis
    19. Heather Champ
    20. Heather Schlegel
    21. Janeen Armstrong
    22. jeneane Sessum
    23. Jenifer Hanen
    24. Jennifer Lauck
    24. Jerusha Smith
    26. Jory Des Jardins:
    27. Judy Faber
    28. Julie Leung: harrowme at
    29 Katherine Burke
    30. Katrin Verclas
    31. Kim Phelan
    32. Kitt Hodsden
    33. Koan Bremner
    34. Laina Dawes
    35. Lauren Isaacson
    36. Lisa Stone
    37. Lisa Williams
    38. Liz Ditz
    39. Liz Henry
    40. Liza Sabater
    41. Maria Benet
    42. Maria Niles
    43. Marian Douglas
    44. Marnie Webb
    45. Marti Chavarria
    46. Mary Hodder
    47. Meghan Terhune
    48. Meghan Townsend
    49. Michaelle Hayward
    50. Nancy White
    51. Niall Kennedy
    52. Nichelle Stephens
    53. Purvi Shah
    54. Rahat Mahmood
    55. Ronni Bennett
    56. Roxanne Cooper
    57. Ryanne Hodson
    58. Selena Ward
    59. Skye Kilaen
    60. Susan Getgood
    61. Susan Mernit
    62. Susannah Gardner
    63. Tiffany Brown
    64. Toby Bloomberg


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    Friday, June 10, 2005

    PostSecret - More visual communication

    PostSecret... a great site to enjoy on a Friday when text, text, text is coming out my ears. But as I read these cards, some make me want to cry. Some to dance. Some I suspect and others I trust.

    Powerful. Visual. Online.

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    Uh Oh, I tried to Google my office...

    It is amazing how deeply embedded an activity can become. I Google things all the time now, to find out, to find, to refind. Today I needed to replug in my Wacom electronic tablet (which I love, but it has been sorely ignored) to do some illustrations for an upcoming presentation (moving from words to images!). I could not find it! So I sat down at my desk and started to Google it. Yes, find it in a search engine.

    Oh. My. Gawd. I tried to Google for something in my physical space. I rocked back on my heels. How could that happen. Am I so "online" that I can no longer delineate how a tool can apply to my life? Or am I imagining the future.

    It would have been helpful when I tore my office apart for a book yesterday. It was there. I just didn't see it on the first few passes.

    It might have more context if you saw my office... uh... on a messy day!


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    Working in an Intercultural World

    Kathryn L. King's PDF Globalizing the Role of the Technical Professional offers some useful slides on intercultural issues. Although it was intended for technical professionals, much of what King includes is useful to anyone working in an intercultural situation. Today, that is most of us!

    What I found most useful were the visuals which grouped various intercultural measures and indexes and showed where various country cultures in relationship to pairs of measures. Each pair reminds me that there are many ways to view any situation. By shifting my filters, I can access a new view.

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    Thursday, June 09, 2005

    What does the Internet look like? Kids' Version

    When I put out a plea for images of networks, I never imagined such a garden of delights from some children Beth worked with in 1994. What does the Internet look like? - a photoset on Flickr is fabulous. View them as a slide show for the full delightful treatment.

    Beth, is it ok to include them in a curriculum? How do I credit the kids?

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    Distributed Team Blog

    The Bumble Bee is Ken Thompson's blog on "the 'how-to' of virtual collaboration and successful bioteaming." Scrolling down the last few days there are some juicy tidbits for those interested in distributed teams (I tend to avoid the term "virtual" myself...) Take a look!

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    Lessons Learned from Conference Blogging

    I'm really interested in how we connect F2F and distributed participants and interested folks with and to F2F events. I've blogged things like the Appreciative Inquiry Conference, Northern Voice, SXSW and other events and have been amazed and how appreciative people have been.

    More and more folks are starting to think about a structured approach to conference blogging. I think there is a place for both ad hoc and structured. Conference & Corporate Blogging as a Marketing Tool tells the story of a more structured event. Tara Hunt shares not just what went well, but also the pitfalls, which I appreciate in a debrief report like this. She included many issues from technology, process and sponsorship. Thanks, Tara.

    Here are a few snippets:
    The Results: What Worked
    ...A post-conference survey revealed that a majority of the conference participants knew about the blog, almost 40% of them actually read the blog, and many others were quick to give tips and comments regarding what they wanted to see in the blog for the following year. Some of the comments received included wanting to see more tips for out-of-towners, advance exhibitor "contest" alerts (who is having iPod giveaways specifically) and where to find them and overall comments on the visibility of the weblog (needed to find out what it was, where they could go to access it and what information it included). The exhibitors at the trade show also loved the blog and used our writers to promote their contest giveaways and announce winners.

    The Results: What Didn’t Work
    ...Lack of visibility was one of the biggest issues. The combination of our members not being familiar with the medium and the late start on promoting the blog as a conference tool resulted in lower awareness than we hoped. Because of late approvals and planning, we had only two weeks before the conference kicked off to promote the blog. ...

    We also encountered various sponsorship issues with the blog.... Having a sponsor also skewed the look and the feel of the blog site, so eliminating sponsorship for this particular item would allow us to better align the overall conference with the blog brand.

    What We’ll Do Differently Next Time
    ...I would start posting changes and announcements on the blog sooner than the actual conference days, so that delegates would get used to visiting this source for news early on. ...the Annual Conference blog will remain open access because it acts as an excellent marketing tool for those not in attendance. ...I enjoyed the end-result of the various writing styles and would like to add an even more diverse group of writers for the blog next year—pulling volunteers from student members and CHRP (Certified Human Resource Professional) candidates.

    ...Overall, because this project has gone from "pilot" to part of the overall marketing, we will promote the blog much earlier on in all of the conference materials—something that our late start for this conference didn’t allow us to do.

    Once the presence of the blog is widely known among our members and non-member conference delegates, we will have the opportunity to promote the RSS feeds for conference updates and teasers. ...

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    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    From Flappy Bird to Adorable Rodent

    The Truth Laid Bear: The Blogosphere Ecosystem tells me I've changed form between yesterday and today. (rank 3430)

    If it weren't the end of a very long (and productive) day, I'd have to make a cartoon for this. Maybe tomorrow after I finish two big writing tasks. I'll be pining for the visual.

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    Have a ShareWare image of a Network?

    I'm working on a project for a non profit client and I'm looking for a royalty free image of a network - the people kind. I tried to make my own, but, uh, well, I'll show it to you. I need something cleaner, clearer and crisper to convey the power of nodes and connections. The context is talking about the power of networks in international development. We can't do it alone.

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    Collaborative Learning 2005 - Free Pass Offer!

    I'm pleased to be part of Collaborative Learning 2005, a 2 day, all online event looking at "effective and emergent practices in e-learning." A friend said to me, "I didn't know you were involved in e-learing?" Well, I am. The kind of learning that happens everywhere, all the time, and usually not in a "classroom" or formal setting.

    My conversation (I won't call it a presentation -- I need you all to make the magic) will be about "Seven New Competencies for Working and Learning Online." I'll admit the number seven came from a very tired day when I thought it might be fun to structure the conversation around the, um, myth of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Fair warning! But seriously, the content for this piece came out of the musings and comments here on the blog about what sorts of things we need to know to work and learn effectively in a global, online and fast-changing world.

    The good folks at iCohere have given me 5 guest passes as a speaker thank-you. I decided the people who deserved a first crack at them are you, dear readers, who put up with me on some regular basis. So if you are interested in a pass, the first five folks who ask in a comment (leave me your email addy please) will get one each! That's a $199 ticket for the first five.

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    Wow, Take a Listen! Jake Shimabukuro

    Moving fully beyond text today...time for the ears. Take a listen to Jake Shimabukuro's uke version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the Midnight Ukulele Disco. He took my breath away. How shall I ever work now? I want to go play music. Jake, not only did you gift me with your music, but now I'm going in search of a CD to buy. See, giving is good!

    [second tip of the day to David! Check out his photos too!]

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    Steve Baldwin asks: What Qualifies One as a Webby Judge?

    Are Webby judges qualified? . As a webby judge who has NO CLUE how I got to be one other than a mysterious email, I think it's a good question. Steve Johnson did a little research.
    These people, drawn from the creme-de-la-creme of digital society, are those who will judge the merit of the Web sites nominated for Webby many of these 500 cyber-luminaries maintain active Web presences? How many have let their sites fall behind into disuse and abandonment? How can a pot call a kettle black?

    I'm not saying that you have to run a good Web site to be able to judge the sites of others (after all, most rock critics can barely play guitar or sing a note). But one would expect a modicum of basic Web competence among 'those individuals who have catalyzed great achievements on the Internet, demonstrated extraordinary talent in a traditional medium, or who possess in-depth knowledge of new media and comprehensive familiarity with a broad range of sites within a category.'

    That means, at least to me, that one of the key qualifications of being a Webby Judge is or should be that one has built an active Web presence...

    Note: I define 'active Web presence' very liberally... All I ask is for each Judge to have some kind of active Web page to indicate who they are, what they do, and how to reach them via email. This can be a personal home page, a bio page on a working site, or a Weblog: anything that demonstrates that a given Webby Judge has been interested enough in the Web to have staked out some kind of claim, however modest, in the last ten years.

    When he crunched the numbers, Steve found the following:
    Webby Judges Possibly Fit to Judge Because they have Active Web Presences: 345 (71 percent)

    Webby Judges Whose Judgment Should be Questioned Because Their Pages Are Out of Date:
    52 (11 percent)

    Webby Judges Unfit To Judge Anyone With a Web Page Because They Have No Credible Web Presences of Their Own: 90 (17 percent)

    Dang, I'm glad I have a blog.

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    Another Site for Visual Thinkers

    Dave Devries's Monster Engine site is not only a great way to get to know Dave's work, but buried within it are ideas to help even the meekest person find the possibility of their own artistry within. Dave takes kids' drawings of monsters and then amplifies them with his painting and digital art. Check out his workshop descriptions and why he shows students his high school and college work (give me hope!).

    I appreciate that Dave is both showing his artistic talent, and keeping the door open to the idea that we all have an artist within us (even if it is a MONSTER!) If I'm interpreting Dave correctly, I think he is contributing not only his talent, but a great ethic.

    [via David]

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    More Artists I'm Enjoying

    Maggie Suisman's art. Check it out.

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    Communities of Practice and Complexity : Conversation and Culture

    Peter Bond has shared a new article, Communities of Practice and Complexity : Conversation and Culture. From the introduction:
    Communities of practice (CoP) have been hailed as the perfect vehicle for knowledge transfer and competence development, and the associated theory presented as a bridge between the theories of organisational learning and organisational performance (Snyder: 1997). Unlike some 'here today-gone tomorrow' solutions to corporate under-performance, such as business process reengineering or core- competency, CoP theory appears to have had a much longer period of maturation, finally coming to prominence as a result of its co-evolution with the theory and practices of knowledge management, especially the development of computer enabled and mediated networking. It has gained considerable currency in the field of corporate development because of the emphasis that is now placed on knowledge as a competitive asset. With its wider diffusion has come a proliferation of community types, such as, communities of interest, virtual communities, and distributed communities of practice, all of which, it could be argued, have diluted and even distorted the original concept. This may be due in part to the fuzziness of the original definition and the difficulty some may have of distinguishing a CoP from a team, a learning organisation, or some form of informal social group.

    Drawing on a very different theoretical base, a novel approach to understanding community of practice formation is developed here, one that (hopefully) realises the ambition of providing a link between the learning organisation, organisational competence, and organisational performance theory. The key concept is something that Finnish psychologist, Timo J�rvilehto, refers to as the result-of-action, which can also be treated as a social asset. The model is currently being applied by Learning Futures (Consulting) Ltd, in the context of economic development, to the identification and development of emergent communities of practice across groups of companies that constitute industrial clusters, particularly the high-tech or knowledge intensive kind."

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    Tuesday, June 07, 2005

    Welcome to the Blogosphere, Emily and Deb

    Emily Davidow (launched today) and Deb Schultz (launched May 11) have joined the blogging world. More voices! More women! WELCOME!

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    I'm a Flap Happy Bird

    I take things that rank and measure things, including blogs, with a large grain of sea salt. My Technorati stats don't move for months regardless of how many links I find elsewhere, then they jump. Bloshares amuses and baffles me. But finally, I have found something I can relate to, I'm a Flappy Bird on Truth Laid Bear. Ranking #3781 out of "whatever," feels about right. Quantitatively meaningless, and, well, flappy just fits, thankyouverrymuch!

    The point is, it is interesting to see if others care what you are doing. But it can also be a really fruitless pursuit. An interesting balancing act.

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    ROI or Success of an Online Community?

    This article by Joe Cothrel from 2000 is an oldie but a goodie. I didn't realize it was online at Knowledgeboard.
    Measuring the Success of an Online Community.
    "Contrary to popular belief, community ROI is not about 'monetizing' community members or performing other unnatural-sounding acts. . . . [I]t is about putting a process in place for recognizing the value that online community members create."
    I often struggle when people talk ROI (return on investment). When we start talking about how we measure success, and other forms of value, we enter a discussion where we can include more than a monetary measure for a form of human interaction that just happens to be online.

    Look at the recent Gartner report which notes,
    "IT needs to reinvent itself from being focused on cost driven initiatives and instead help key employees create higher impact growth objectives that promote business agility through non-routine activities, according to Gartner, Inc.

    "Raising productivity by cutting the cost of production time is running out of steam," said Tom Austin, group vice president and Gartner Fellow. "To increase competitive advantage, organizations need to look for opportunities to increase market impact, including value and agility, by investing in a high-performance workplace."
    Sounds like culture change to me, aided by technology and processes.

    There is more of interest in the Gartner report, including this snippet:
    Five technologies have a significant role in innovation programs. They include content and knowledge base management, expertise location, search and classification, collaboration support, and business and competitive intelligence.

    "Collectively, these technologies provide information access; relationship mapping across multiple sources of information; patterns and trends information; and tools to allow people to find each other, connect and collaborate," Mr. Austin said. "The collective benefits of these technologies can be measured as high productivity, increased idea generation, and improved relevance and quality innovation program deliverables."

    A high-performance workplace will enhance the structured and unstructured activities that are key to creating competitive advantage, driving long-term, top-line growth and enhancing productivity.

    "High-performance workplace strategies raise the impact of skilled people," Mr. Austin said. "Skilled workers earn more and companies want more from them. Ultimately, the returns from augmenting non-routine activities will exceed the returns we've seen from automating business applications."

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    Wiki Fan? 2005 International Symposium on Wikis

    International Symposium on Wikis is coming! Oct 17-18, 2005, San Diego, California, U.S.A., co-located with ACM OOPSLA 2005, in cooperation with ACM SIGWEB
    The 2005 International Symposium on Wikis brings together wiki researchers, implementers, and users for the first time. The goal of the symposium is to find a voice for the community. The symposium has a rigorously reviewed research paper track as well as plenty of space for practitioner reports, demonstrations, and discussions. We are honored to announce that Ward Cunningham, the inventor and host of the original WikiWikiWeb, will present the opening keynote talk at WikiSym 2005. Anyone who is involved in using, researching, or developing wikis is invited to WikiSym 2005!
    And yes, there will be SpeekGeeking* (another phenomena that is worth exploration and experience!) Alas, I won't be there, but for good reason - it's the wedding weekend of a dear friend.

    * Speed Geeking:
    "A tongue-in-cheek rip off of the speed dating concept, SpeedGeeking offers a fully immersive, invigorating and hilarious approach to meeting people ... and learning about the cool activist web sites, software tools and crazy ideas that they have been working on. At a SpeedGeek?, one group of participants sets up their laptops to give 5 minute presentations while the rest of the group migrates in a circle around the room to hear these high-speed raps. The result is an obscene amount of fun, all tied up with a good dose of learning about how technology is being used for social change."
    [via Seb]

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    Corporate culture and your blog

    Regina Miller provides an interesting metaphor blogging and an organization's corporate culture.
    Basically if you look at your corporate culture’s norms and taboos as a 4-sided box (with you in the middle of it) imagine one side made of glass; one side made of steel; one side as a locked door for which a key is required; and one side made of the stretchy membrane.

    Be aware that there are some norms and taboos made of glass and if you break them you may get badly cut or hurt but you will survive. However, some norms and taboos are made of steel and no matter what you do and how hard you try you will not be able to break them. On the other hand, you may get through the locked door with the right key - it may be a matter of "asking permission" or managing to a set of guidelines or policies, etc. And then there are the norms and taboos that we can test the limits of…we may perceive they are there and limiting us but in reality we probably can push the boundaries a bit further than they were the day before and the day before that…So whether you are blogging or doing anything that puts the corporate culture to the test, make sure you understand which side of the box you need to get through and how you will do it…
    This image is useful for other online interaction formats and modalities as well. When I coach folks about moving processes online, I always try and talk about the impact on their organizational culture, but I'm not sure I have been doing a very good job.

    A visual can be a very powerful thing. Here is what comes to mind with Regina's idea:

    Regina's idea has helped me move my thinking forward. I'm always looking for the stretchy membrane opportunities, but keeping awareness of the glass, steel and lock. Or maybe even imagining the box reforming into something more fluid and emergent.

    [via Michael Specht]

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    rules vs. principles

    This, from Sig, stands alone:
    "Principles are riverbeds, rules are pipelines."
    (Read the comments)

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    First Monday and Journal of Community Informatics

    Reading time!

    Two interesting (and FREE!) journals are our this week, the monthly First Monday June 2005 issue packages up some presentation from the Sixth Annual Conference on Libraries and Museums.

    The Journal of Community Informatics, Vol. 1, No. 3 (2005)includes the following:
    * Editorial: Putting Our Work in Context - Michael B. Gurstein
    * Community Networking as Radical Practice - Garth Graham
    * Is Community Informatics Good for Communities? Questions Confronting an Emerging Field - Randy R Stoecker
    * Community Democratization of Telecommunications Community Cooperatives in Argentina: The Case Of TELPIN - Susana Finquelievich and Graciela Cecilia Kisilevsky
    * Crisis, Farming & Community - Chris Hagar
    * Cybercafes and their potential as Community Development Tools in India - Anikar Michael Haseloff
    * ICTs and Community and Suggestions for Further Research in Scotland - Anna Malina and Ian W. Ball
    * Structuration, ICTs, and Community Work - Larry Stillman and Randy Stoecker
    * Position Paper: Turning the Corner with First Nations Telehealth - Geordi Kakepetum
    * Report From the Field: The RICTA Meeting Video - Susan O'Donnell, Brian Walmark and Cal Kenny
    * KiHS: Bridging the Traditional and Virtual Classroom in Canada’s First Nation Schools - Brian Walmark

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    Feast for the Eyes: Charliebrown8989 on Flickr

    Talk about spring. If you need a visual break, take a look at Charlie's Best - a photoset on Flickr.

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    Monday, June 06, 2005

    Jill & Ryan's Paris Adventure: Teens Blog

    I'm loving this. Two teens blogging their Paris vacation. Jill & Ryan's Paris Adventure.

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    Diversity Arts, Visual Communication and IMAGES!!

    I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I stumbled upon Diversity Arts, the site capturing some of the artwork of Elana Felice Stanger. Check out her beautiful images.

    I need to email her -- as I think about how to visually enrich my online facilitation workshops, particularly the section on facilitating intercultural interaction online, I see lots of ideas and possibilities. I have made my own little cartoons, but that is just a drop in the bucket of possibilities. I'd like to find a way to both license and commission work to incorporate into my workshops. Are you an artist? What sort of costs should I expect?

    By the way, the next workshop will probably start the first week in September. Let me know if you are interested.

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    Stowe on a Roll

    I was catching up with Corante:Get Real tonight. There was a ton of interesting posts since May 31st (all worth a gander - like this one devise a distributed architecture for social media). There was a new flavor I was sensing. What was it?

    Then I found this this one.
    "I have been struggling with a high quality problem recently, namely the growth of Corante: the steady growth in the size of the community of readers that our blogs are connecting with, the increase in advertising and other sponsorships, and the expansion of our consulting services. At the same time, we have been working on a variety of new ideas for things that Corante could be doing, and struggling with ways to get the word out about what we are up to.

    I had a brief moment of clarity last week, after a series of discussions with Hylton Jolliffe (my partner, and founder of Corante), when I suggested that we should just drop the more traditional alternatives that we had been struggling with, and simply surrender to the void. 'Let's just blog it,' is more or less what I suggested. I'm sure that approach would be obvious to others, but perhaps because we were so close to the issue it seemed more oblique. Nonetheless, here we are. Therefore, this is the first in an ongoing series of posts about Corante: our business, our aspirations, and our plans. An open business plan, of sorts."
    After reading that, I realized from that point on, I was hearing more of what I think of as "Stowe's voice." He has always shared links, trends and thinking, but somehow it seems to have more of his voice in it. Is this my imagination?


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    Dina - Social Tools - Ripples to Waves of the Future

    Continuing the thread on non profits and blogs, here is a great article from Dina Mehta on the Tsunami blog project Social Tools - Ripples to Waves of the Future. Read the whole article. It's great. But here is one piece I wanted to highlight:
    Motivational Drivers - Technology with Heart

    One of the key drivers of this effort was the speed of viral communication, and the availability of accessible, simple tools that could facilitate this. In the face of such an event, these applications made a huge difference - expediting a need in people, the same people who were, perhaps, suffering from the vapidity of 'modern life',and became simply 'triggered' by such a genuinely significant occurrence, into a massively-emotional response. The Tsunami disaster had a truly global reaction, and we saw the effects - with the exponential spread of the 'message'in ways that we have never seen before.

    While traditional media was doing its job, the World Wide Web was engaged in reaching people in ways that traditional media was not - by speaking in real voices, in real time - creating this huge wave of empathy, solidarity and action. Apart from the speed of dissemination of information, the blog also had a 'face' - people had access and could call or email. As a result, lowering barriers to getting information.

    Technology with Heart.

    This perhaps explains why we got so many people from all over the world writing in to us asking if they could volunteer in any way. It's why we got over 150 volunteers who were working actively on building this resource in a couple of days. It explains the push-factor, the desire and drive to help, in the knowledge that here was an opportunity to actually make a difference, in a personal way. We had so many people who had never blogged before, and still took the plunge and made their invaluable contributions."

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    And now for some relaxation

    Chris Koen uses video blogging to give us a relaxing time out. Chris Koehn's Video Blog: Peaceful, relaxation.
    Nice calm, relaxing waters from the Thompson Rivers University Botanical Gardens.

    Link for the actual video. What is interesting is that from the context in a listserv, this was a peace offering after a dustup on the Videoblogging Yahoo group.

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    Myths About Online Volunteering

    Jayne Cravens has posted a good piece on the Myths About Online Volunteering / Myths About Virtual Volunteering. There has been an equally interesting thread on the Online Facilitation list after Jayne asked for some feedback. First a bit on the article. Here is the intro to Jayne's piece:

    Online volunteering means unpaid service that is given via the Internet. It's a method of volunteering I have been using, studying, documenting or promoting since 1995, first independently, then with the Virtual Volunteering Project, and then with the UN's Online Volunteering service. It's also known as virtual volunteering, online mentoring, ementoring, evolunteering, cyber volunteering, cyber service, telementoring, and on and on.

    Now, 10 years on, I'm stunned at how many myths are still out there about the concept. Here is a list of 11 of the most common myths, and my attempt to counter them.
    The myths include things like: Online volunteering is great for people who don't have time to volunteer, People who volunteer online don't volunteer face-to-face, and The Internet Is Dangerous and, therefore, online volunteering opens an organization and its clients up to many risks. Jayne makes some great points.

    On the list, Christopher Lange asked about why these myths got started; what was the kernal in each of them. Jayne suggested it was fear. The conversation is evolving from there to explore why some of these myths have lived on so strongly, and related issues, like who is (or should be) paying attention to these issues.

    For me, at a meta level, it has been great to see the blog post get air on the list and then here I am, blogging it. We, as a community interested in online interaction, are weaving across media, using each other as sounding boards and advancing our practice.

    Pretty cool.

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    Friday, June 03, 2005

    AOK: Preparing for Conversations with Alex Bennet

    The next AOK Star Series is Conversations with Alex Bennet. Her topic for the series (an email based conversation for members) is Passion: The Power Behind Knowledge Management." I'm attracted the the quality of passion so I am looking forward to the series. Check out the introduction.

    Jerry Ash, the founder and facilitator of the Star Series which is part of his AOK (Association of Knowledge Work) has just recently started charging. As a freebie member over the past years, I was happy to pony up $50 USD to become a paid member. The Star Series are worth it. If you are interested in how we work, think, create knowledge or just like interesting and often edgy dialogs, it is a good investment. And Jerry did NOT ask me to blog this! (Full disclosure!)

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    John Maeda

    A couple of weeks ago I heard John Maeda speak at the AIGA Currents 9 conference here in Seattle. Funny, once you get something on your radar screen, it keeps popping up. I have been reading snippets from and about him all over the place now, and had fun poking around his site, MAEDASTUDIO. (Warning... if you love the visual, be prepared to see many hours slip away while wandering around this site.) I had a moment of recognition reading his piece on community. (pdf)

    I'm very interested in John's Simplicty work. But I REALLY can't wait till he realizes his global network/marketplace of artists. In the past 2 weeks I have had 3 or 4 moments where I wished I could turn to a network of artists and pay them to do something for me. John, how can I help you realize this dream?

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    Walk the World - NGO Event Blog

    Beth has me paying attention to how NGOs/NPOs use blogs. I came across this one today for the Walk the World event happening globally on Sunday 12 June 2005.
    Fight Hunger: Walk the World is a global annual event to raise the awareness and the funds needed to help end child hunger. Join us on Sunday 12 June 2005 as we 'walk the world' in 24 hours and across 24 time zones.

    Last year, 40,000 people walked on 20 June in over 70 countries, and raised enough money to fund school meals for over 30,000 school children in developing countries. With your help, we will double our numbers this year and move one step closer to permanently eradicating child hunger.
    It was fun to read the early entries and I look forward to seeing how this unfolds.

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    Thursday, June 02, 2005

    Exploring with an open mind and heart to find one's voice

    I am SO captivated by what I'm listening to while I blog read/blog tonight I just have to share it. Ted Nash and ODeon, La Espada de la Noche. Seductive, exotic -- I feel taken away from my desk and computer here in Seattle, to some imaginary place. From Billboard:
    Excellence in jazz is all about the freedom to musically explore with an open mind and heart to ultimately find one's voice. On "La Espada de la Noche," his second Palmetto album and fourth overall, reeds player Ted Nash achieves that plateau of performance. The quintet swings and improvises through a melange of rarely combined styles, including Argentine nuevo tango, Crescent City brass band, zydeco, Eastern European klezmer and Western European classical.
    This is music that opens my heart and mind.


    links to this post | What Can Evolutionary Science Teach Us About Designing Online Commons?

    David Bollier of shares an interesting report on a Berkman Center meeting on What Can Evolutionary Science Teach Us About Designing Online Commons?
    Yesterday I attended a fantastic workshop sponsored by the Berkman Center and Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research on the lessons that evolutionary science and commons scholarship might teach us about the social architecture of online commons. As workshop co-organizer John Clippinger put it:
    “One of the key challenges for contemporary institutions and organizations is how to scale trust from the personal to the impersonal…. With the rise of global forms of social and economic exchange, digital technologies may provide new ways for scaling trust and governance.”
    Digital technologies can leverage our innate propensity to self-organize ourselves into cooperative online communities. Indeed, dozens of different Internet-based genres demonstrate this – open source software, collaborative websites and archives, community listservs, peer-to-peer file sharing, social networking software, the Wikipedia community, and so on. So the question we should consider is: How ought we to design and build online communities to leverage our evolutionary propensities for cooperation?

    Drawing upon empirical studies of biology and natural resource commons (mostly in developing countries), the workshop focused on such issues as how trust, reciprocity, social signaling, reputation and governance actually work in online environments. Participants were mostly lawyers, biologists, techies, social scientists and policy experts. An audio webcast and a few Powerpoint presentations will be posted on the Berkman Center website soon.
    Towards the end of his great report, David shared this tidbit from Doc Searls:
    One comment by Searls really reverberated with me. He said that the word “authority” means that we grant certain people the right to “author” who we are. Now that hierarchical authority is being supplanted by decentralized, networked authority, in effect, “We are all the authors of each other.” A fitting tagline for the commons!"
    Now I have to check out the OnTheCommons work! So many blogs, so little time.

    [Via Kolabora]

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    Just a Lav Site: Armenian Language Blog

    Blogerel, via Global Voices pointed me to an Armenian language blog that is great even for those of us who don't read Armenian. Take a look at this picture from Just a Lav Site: Euro Sevak.

    I have been thinking about my friends in Armenia a lot this week. For the first time in a number of years I will not have a trip there. I'm sad.


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    Wednesday, June 01, 2005

    Alan thinks Jots Rocks

    Alan Levin offers a great quick review of a new social bookmarking tool. Jots Rocks.
    After toying a bit with Jots yesterday getting the bookmarklet tool to work, I am getting to like it more and more as a bookmark manager. I might be switching from ‘furling’ to ‘jotting’…"
    Thank gopod there are bloggers out there to keep me up to date. I could never handle this world alone.


    links to this post - Create Your Own Comic

    I'm a firm believer in the power of visuals in online communication so I was thrilled to find Beth's pointer to I liked the comic Beth created. I've run out of most of my creative juice at this point in the day, but I could not resist.


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    Extreme Democracy - the book - is out!

    Jon Lebkowsky and Mitch Ratcliffe have published their thinking in their new book, Extreme Democracy. It is chock full of Jon and Mitch's work, but also chapters from Clay Shirkey, Joi Ito, Steven Johnson, Howard Rheingold, Valdis Krebs, Ross Mayfield, Phil Windley, Adam Greefield, Ethan Zuckerman, Adina Levin, Aldon Hynes, David Weinberger, Britt Balser and Jay Rosen. Talk about a nice dinner party guest list!

    Not only can you buy the book, but you can read it on the site and comment on the text. Each chapter is available in PDF, then there is a blog page to comment on that chapter. Pretty cool. Talk about walking the walk... Congrats, guys! And here is a tantalizing snippet:
    "Extreme democracy" is a political philosophy of the information era that puts people in charge of the entire political process. It suggests a deliberative process that places total confidence in the people, opening the policy-making process to many centers of power through deeply networked coalitions that can be organized around local, national and international issues. The choice of the word "extreme" reflects the lessons of the extreme programming movement in technology that has allowed small teams to make rapid progress on complex projects through concentrated projects that yield results far greater than previous labor-intensive programming practices. Extreme democracy emphasizes the importance of tools designed to break down barriers to collaboration and access to power, acknowledging that political realities can be altered by building on rapidly advancing generations of technology and that human organizations are transformed by new political expectations and practices made possible by technology."

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    CIAT Knowledge Sharing Week

    I'm realizing I should harvest and summarize all the great links being shared on the KM4D list. Here is another one. Simone Staiger helped organize a Knowledge Sharing Week for CIAT, an agricultural research organization that is part of the CGIAR. What attracted me to the report from the event was the openness of sharing the feedback (positive and challenging). You could read the page they put together and have some concrete ideas for doing something similar in your organization. I wonder what a online version of this would be and what impact it would have for orgs that can't do some days together F2F.

    Here is the brief of the week:
    "From November 29 to December 4, CIAT held its first 'Knowledge Sharing Week.' Designed to improve communication, relationships, and collaboration within CIAT, KS week had 4 specific objectives:

    * To enhance the integration of headquarters and regional staff and activities.
    * To develop a shared understanding of the three Development Challenges and contribute to their effective operationalization.
    * To promote effective work-planning on the part of project teams and collaborators."
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    Intersectoral Partnerships - Seven Lessons in Civil Society-Business-Government Partnership

    I was following links today from the KM4Dev list. Joitske Hulsebosch suggested this one, Intersectoral Partnerships - Seven Lessons in Civil Society-Business-Government Partnership. ISC (intersectoral collaborations) are the reality today in development work, which is theoretically heaven but in practice, possibly hell! Of the seven lessons, I was most attracted by Lesson 5 --ISCs mix diversity paradoxically.
    An ISC is based in the understanding that some of the most significant exchanges can occur between people who have great differences since one sector's strength is often another's weakness. The assets and resources of civil society arising from its focus upon social systems are a rich mixture for those of businesses' which arise from economic systems, and governments' from political systems.

    ISCs are paradoxical because these differences are also the source of the major challenges in building an ISC. The different assets and strengths are accompanied by different goals and values. This paradox operationally means that ISCs must be structurally loose and non-hierarchical to manage the differences, but operationally disciplined to achieve project goals; they must maintain the broad development vision, but obtain results that benefit the participating organizations. The ISC must be flexible enough to allow participation in a variety of ways and with different degrees of commitment.
    This seems to follow on from Monday's post about trying to support community inventiveness. It is also paradoxical. Or perhaps it requires, as the article notes, flexibility. And... inventiveness!

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    Canadian Online Consultation Technologies Centre of Expertise

    The Online Consultation Technologies Centre of Expertise site is striving to bring together resources around the practice of e-consultation. Here is their description: "Created to build on existing knowledge and experience, our Centre strives to inform and support Canadian departments and agencies who wish to undertake online consultation activities."

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