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[kFW] Needed: Collaborative systems for driving consensus...
Hi there All,
Been thinking... [crowd shouts in unison - "duck everyone!"]... about how
to communicate better. Using these lists a number of problems have arisen
that perhaps need to be solved in order to enable Kendra Initiative to move
forward. Here are some issues I've had and *possible* fragments of
solutions. Beware, this is brain dump style email...
Everything has to be said in the open - I'm having a real hard time talking
to people (one to one) about Kendra. I see that what's being said could be
going out to 100's and not just a handful. Also, in having closed
conversations I feel I am going behind people's backs and it's not of
benefit to the project. Many times I have asked people to re-send their
email to Kendra lists where I will reply (open), rather than reply to them
personally (closed). This is all fine for discussion lists that get
archived but what about one to one or small group communication - they need
to be archived too. Perhaps send all email to a Kendra alias such as:
daniel.harris@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or something like that. People can then
see what's being said to me and also what I reply. Every kParticipant
(people exposed on the website) would have such an alias. Only
kParticipant's could send to aliases and participate in the discussion.
Though anybody could listen anonymously just as they can view the web
archives anonymously. There can be no anonymous input as that removes
responsibility from one's words. Expose!
Many times people have tried to send to a list only to be bounced. All
kParticipants should be able to send to topic without having to explicitly
subscr!be to a list. But they should only start receiving from a list once
they have either sent to it or explicitly subscr!bed to it. We should be
able to set up in our profile what our "send" and "receive" email
address(es) are. They could be multiple and different for each. We need as
much functionality in email only as for web only users.
Could discussions be more dynamic so instead of people joining a list they
join or create a topic dynamically? Not sure where that thought goes but
something about linking these topics in a mind map kind of way. Maybe
that's more future stuff.
Problem with mailing lists - People get turned off really quickly getting
too many emails and not relevant to their topic. Wouldn't it be good if
people could set a threshold for the number of emails that they get. Or
only receive email that have had a certain number of recommendations.
Hopefully, not everyone will set the threshold at >1 recommendation! ;-)
Perhaps all this collaborative system is a trial too. When viewed as a
trial one can see why it needs a lot more structure than it currently has.
It needs to evolve with input. Filtering in and accentuating "what works".
In fact, as Willy Wonka said "accentuate the positive and eliminate the
negative"... [croud burst into roaring applause and good old Bing starts to
sing (backed by crowd). You can join in too:
...] Sorry, lost it there for a second... ;-/
Everyone needs to play a part in the editing process. Collective editors.
Some sort of rating/recommendation system. Perhaps 2 states: "I have read
the email" and "I have read the email and I recommend it". Could be a
couple of URLs or mailto's at the bottom of each email depending on what
each participant prefers. Peer pressure? Keep people involved in the
process of creation and show that what they say has a direct/demonstrable
result on the outcome. That's very important - "I made this!" Motivation!
Remove hierarchy - Just like on the Internet (pretty much). We *could* just
put moderators in place. But what rules would they use to moderate? We know
the goal that Kendra is trying to reach. But we don't know the rules,
methods, tasks or tools that need to be followed/used to achieve the goal.
We have to make the rules up and modify as we go along. There, I said it,
we are all moderators. What works will float to the surface.
Another point... any system like this that we are working must enhance the
current system. Big changes in the way we operate can confuse people and
that means loosing people. One example of this was when we moved from the 2
old lists to the current 4 lists. Each of the old lists had a lot of
activity and things seemed to be going well. But when we moved over people
had to subscr!be again through their profile web area. Not only did quite a
few people not re-subscr!be but also the list traffic died. A real shame.
One to avoid. Having all the list subscr!ption information in a database
means that one wont be a problem again as we can generate list members for
any new system we go to and maintain continuity.
In order to build it we have to become it. What I mean is: in order to
construct Kendra we need to understand what it is and in order to do that
we have to put our selves within it, so that we can be it. Hopefully,
pulling myself out of a recursive loop here, all these trials are part of
the process of finding out what works and hence what methods/tools to use
for construction. It's an iterative process. The answer to the chicken and
egg problem is iteration! It's all getting very Zen, isn't it? ;-)
Thanks to John Oliver, Gordon Ross and Joe Pietroni (he says he only reads
Kendra emails with "joe" in them! Ha! Ha! ;-) for recent discussions on
Needless to say: comments anyone?...