Friday, September 08, 2006

Why the CLC will die (unless we do something about it)

A little alarmist perhaps, title-wise, but this post puts my point of view that I think that we need to consider some of Sean's posts on the rather carefully.

I've had a little bit of email interchange with Sean about CLC, in part following on from Sean's observation that CLC is less than vibrantly interconnected; as he puts it: "The network isn't as vibrant as we would have hoped."

I don't want to put anyone off CLC, but I think that Sean's comment is, in the nicest way, a call to arms, and that we need to act to stop the group atrophying and dying. I deliberately set out to try to shock some of us into action with this post's title.

As I see it, this network is worth nurturing and maintaining. But in order to do this we need to do some things (well, at least these things):
  1. Encourage community interactions. Difficult to do in a purely online environment. I was part of an earlier F2F and online network and I found that the regular F2F meetings helped grow group cohesiveness. So I wonder about online events, and am sorry that I missed the recent "Tapping into resources for e-learning", which although not part of this community is closely related to it. Can we organise some online events? Or publicise related events (like Jo's tour of second life) in some central place, perhaps via email too?

  2. Make comments on each other's blogs. I have been trying to do this, but have mostly failed (mea culpa). I shall immediately go and comment on the community blog.

  3. Open the community blog to all community members. This is an example of a community blog for the learning community I mentioned above. There is no need for centralised control of the blog beyond registering new group members to the blog. Maybe we can set up a sub-group that does registrations etc.

  4. Provide a mailing list for transient information with a short lifespan. This is in my view essential to gathering the community. Everyone reads their email (I hope).

  5. Encourage everyone to use a feed reader, to the point of getting volunteers to act as online sources of help for those new to feed readers. Or at least ease people's ability to see what is going on in the group.

  6. I am well aware of the 1% rule that Sean quotes, it has in the past worried me when I have been part of a community. In fact yesterday I was filling out an evaluation form describing my experiences of the LKL Social Software Group, and mentioned that this was one aspect of group participation that plagued me. We need to try to get over this. How? Suggestions please?

  7. And, I also think that we need some kind of help board. For example, how do I get blogger to do automatically do tracebacks and pingbacks? A second blog for help requests?

  8. Make howto posts whenever possible. Jo has made some, I've made one, and I suspect that thee are several wiki-based ones (Sean?). We need some way of centralising posts and pages on tools and techniques (the wiki?). Seeing as I am currently or shortly to be involved in the setup of three other communities, I am desperately keen that the web gets a high quality set of instructions about the mechanics of setting up collaboration mechanisms.
OK, well that's it. I wish I was an anthropologist skilled in community-formation knowledge. Anyone know one?

regards, mark.


Blogger Sean said...

Thanks for keeping the conversation going, Mark. I've responded at length on the CLC blog.

Mon Sep 11, 03:12:00 AM GMT+1  

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