Thursday, May 08, 2008

Collaborative stewardship - to make it happen

Community stewardship - making the connectedness happen

social net working can indeed have many faces and places, names and tasks. I'm elaborating here on a posting I've just written on our Connected Futures Workshop in a thread with reflections on technology stewardship. A particpant, Steve Gance, shares his blogpost with thoughts and examples on what to consider when you start writing a document together, in different phases. Would you want a Word doc sent back and forth, until you're ready to publish somewhere online, or would you begin from start using an online writing tool?

Working through from your first thoughts and brainstorming, into the draft and moving towards a final document, if there is to be any. The beauty and beastly double sided Janus head of online digital content is that it can stay dynamic and always ready for changes, updates, or being removed or replaced by a newer version. Such as Wikipedia and other wikified texts. Hard copies on paper need a full new edition to include changes and updates.

I've got a fresh example of such a collaborative process. This week, I was involved in the field trip to Webheads in Action, and as our task was to share pre reading in our wikispaces, it was an easy one. Both Vance Stevens, Bee Dieu and I are familiar with using this tool and with each other, as trustworthy friends. After I had started with some headlines, a few notes and facts and a slideshare presentation by Vance found in the Writingmatrix project, Bee added her own slides exemplifying some synchronous Webhead events. I came back, edited and restructured, and Bee took over again for a final last touch. Or so we thought, as we knew this had to be not too overwhealming. But Vance simply needed to add some details last minute.

We had one practical problem around the private wikispace for this workshop, facing that there had been sent out invitation for more Webheads to join the call. Easy to solve in this case; Bee and Vance already had another shared wikispace where we could mirror the whole thing! The two versions will no longer be identical, as Vance wish to continue editing the open version, while we want to have the workshop version static for now,so that participants who are going to work on the Field trip report can edit the Wikispaces page created for this purpose. We used twitter to confirm an improvised meeting time on Skype. And during our session there was also some twittering because of Jeffrey who could not get into Skype chat (from work?)

Last but not least - our collaboration oriented membership in different places was already on place, and we know how to use things, or how to support each other. For example, I had a nasty glitch with the wikispace, where I lost a new version; it was probably due to a new system upgrade, and some disconnections. But over at Bee's place things looked all right, and talking in Skype chat with her was really helpful in a stressed last hour before deadline!

My impression about this: efficient and useful, fast and smooth teamwork, resulting in a workable solution, practical and hands-on. We knew our shared domain - Webheads in the CoP perspective - and we had our collective knowledge pool, and community strategies developed over time, in the social context.

As Etienne W. stated in a conversation when we met in Setubal last May for our Dialog meeting - what really matters, is the community stewardship!

PS Some additional links to be added asap (note to self)

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