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Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge

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  • Amy
    The discussion about the closing of a forum has triggered me thinking on the KM aspects. Just stopping a forum doesn t have to stop a community - the same
    Message 1 of 18 , Jan 26, 2009
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      The discussion about the closing of a forum has triggered me
      thinking on the KM aspects. Just stopping a forum doesn't have to
      stop a community - the same group of people could start up again
      elsewhere (just move the tent to another location). However the
      archives are indeed lost with the move.

      This brings up an issue I've been grappling with recently: the
      discussion group/KM conundrum. Having worked in this domain for many
      years, I'm of the opinion that the majority of what is said in
      discussion forums should be deleted periodically, and that it's up
      to the forum community to capture the important info (know-how and
      know-who) in another form for ready reference by all members.

      But that doesn't seem to be the situation with the aforementioned
      community, and it's certainly not evolved beyond discussion in the
      groups I work with (in fact, members publish complete solutions out
      to the forums with attachments).

      Email archiving policies (deletion after X number of years) may be
      creating a 'burning platform' to cause companies to look more
      closely at this issue.

      So my questions are:

      -- How do we make the leap from forums to preserving the good bits
      of knowledge they produce?
      -- Do we need better tools, practice/process or both, and if so,
      what?
      -- What has worked for people on these boards?

      Web 2.0 seemed to be getting us to a place where some of this would
      be possible, but I'm afraid that proliferating forums will result in
      bigger dumpsters. I'm ok for occasional dumpster diving but I don't
      want to make a career out of it. And I don't believe that Search
      will ever be good enough to solve this issue.

      Inputs are most welcome. (I'll document the good stuff at the end of
      the discussion.)

      Cheers, Amy P.
    • John D. Smith
      Re amy s comments about the archives... There s a chapter by Finholdt, T. A., Sproull, L., and Kiesler, S., Outsiders on the Inside: Sharing Know-How Across
      Message 2 of 18 , Jan 28, 2009
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        Re amy's comments about the archives...

        There's a chapter by Finholdt, T. A., Sproull, L., and Kiesler, S.,
        "Outsiders on the Inside: Sharing Know-How Across Space and Time," in Hinds,
        Pamela J. and Sara Kiesler (eds), Distributed Work. (Cambridge, MA: MIT
        Press, 2002), pp. 357-380.

        It's "old" but argues that the narrative style of a Q&A database were more
        frequently consulted because they had situated cues that users (especially
        remote ones) found helpful in interpreting technical knowledge that had been
        shared. The Q&A form was MORE useful and MORE USED than the summarized and
        cleaned up stuff provided by the same company in the same general technical
        area (this is all from memory and I tend to simplfy stuff, so you might go
        read it).

        The other source arguing for the long-term utility of list archives (like
        trdev) is Peter G. Kilner PhD Dissertation 2006 "The effects of socially
        relevant representations in content on members’ identities of participation
        and willingness to contribute in distributed communities of practice".
        Again, based on his presentation in CPsquare, people will situate tips and
        suggestions IN PRACTICE, suggest who they are, what level they're working
        on, etc. (and they often can be coaxed to do a better job of it).

        Bottom line: it's a BAD idea to throw away archives.

        ON THE OTHER HAND: CPsquare discussions have been kept for years and years
        and so when new poeple join I shake my head and worry that they'll
        absolutely CHOKE at the volume and complexity. Just don't know.

        John
        *
        * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
        * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
        * “Your responsibility does not end with complaining. Suggest something
        better!” — Esther Dyson
        -----Original Message-----
        From: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        Of Amy
        Sent: Monday, January 26, 2009 7:13 AM
        To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage
        Discussion-Produced Knowledge

        The discussion about the closing of a forum has triggered me
        thinking on the KM aspects. Just stopping a forum doesn't have to
        stop a community - the same group of people could start up again
        elsewhere (just move the tent to another location). However the
        archives are indeed lost with the move.

        This brings up an issue I've been grappling with recently: the
        discussion group/KM conundrum. Having worked in this domain for many
        years, I'm of the opinion that the majority of what is said in
        discussion forums should be deleted periodically, and that it's up
        to the forum community to capture the important info (know-how and
        know-who) in another form for ready reference by all members.

        But that doesn't seem to be the situation with the aforementioned
        community, and it's certainly not evolved beyond discussion in the
        groups I work with (in fact, members publish complete solutions out
        to the forums with attachments).

        Email archiving policies (deletion after X number of years) may be
        creating a 'burning platform' to cause companies to look more
        closely at this issue.

        So my questions are:

        -- How do we make the leap from forums to preserving the good bits
        of knowledge they produce?
        -- Do we need better tools, practice/process or both, and if so,
        what?
        -- What has worked for people on these boards?

        Web 2.0 seemed to be getting us to a place where some of this would
        be possible, but I'm afraid that proliferating forums will result in
        bigger dumpsters. I'm ok for occasional dumpster diving but I don't
        want to make a career out of it. And I don't believe that Search
        will ever be good enough to solve this issue.

        Inputs are most welcome. (I'll document the good stuff at the end of
        the discussion.)

        Cheers, Amy P.



        ------------------------------------

        *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
      • Nancy White
        Great discussion Maybe it is useful to separate the value of archives and the community s sense of attachment to/owner ship of the archives -- even if they are
        Message 3 of 18 , Jan 28, 2009
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          Great discussion

          Maybe it is useful to separate the value of archives and the
          community's sense of attachment to/owner ship of the archives -- even
          if they are never used.

          I suspect that only a small percentage of the members (over time)
          would actually use the archives. But because they hold the words of
          members, there may be both individual and collective sense of
          ownership that have little to do with "utility."

          How would they feel if there had simply been a technical catastrophe
          and the archives disappeared? Would the quality and quantity of the
          response be similar or different? Is it that someone (the current
          list owners) took the decision and they had no say in it?

          I don't think we can underestimate the role of emotions as well as
          intellect in communities. ;-)

          That said, think of all the electronic garbage floating around and
          that one of the biggest barriers to knowledge sharing is the
          complaint that "i don't have enough time and there is too much out
          there and not all of it has value to me."

          Damned if you do, damned if you dont!


          At 10:37 AM 1/28/2009, you wrote:
          >Bottom line: it's a BAD idea to throw away archives.
          >
          >ON THE OTHER HAND: CPsquare discussions have been kept for years and years
          >and so when new poeple join I shake my head and worry that they'll
          >absolutely CHOKE at the volume and complexity. Just don't know.


          Nancy White | Full Circle Associates | Connecting communities online
          nancyw@... | +1 206 517 4754 | GMT - 8 |skype - choconancy |
          Twitter NancyWhite
          http://www.fullcirc.com/
        • Nancy White
          ... A community I belong to keeps trying to capture community knowledge distilled from conversations into our wiki. We struggle to find the time/energy to
          Message 4 of 18 , Jan 28, 2009
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            At 01:25 AM 1/28/2009, you wrote:
            >-- How do we make the leap from forums to preserving the good bits
            >of knowledge they produce?

            A community I belong to keeps trying to capture "community knowledge"
            distilled from conversations into our wiki. We struggle to find the
            time/energy to keep it up. It seems we go in cycles where we really
            are doing a great job, and the wiki then attracts new members, and
            other times when the energy to do this lags. (Http://www.km4dev.org/wiki)
            UNDP has a very codified practice of harvesting from very structured
            community discussion lists - a practice they have trained low income
            women to do, by the way, to both save costs and to build
            microbusinesses around the practice, and this has proved to be very
            useful for them.
            <http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/en/index.php>http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/en/index.php


            In the work I do in international development, the passing of
            stories/info learned on discussion lists into F2F settings seems very
            common - so common no one really notices or nutures it. It just
            happens. Some organizations are blogging to share out (see the ICT-KM
            program of the CGIAR
            <http://ictkm.wordpress.com/>http://ictkm.wordpress.com/ ) This sort
            of blending or, as John Smith likes to call it - straddling across
            technologies -- seems common.

            >-- Do we need better tools, practice/process or both, and if so,
            >what?
            >-- What has worked for people on these boards?


            Nancy White | Full Circle Associates | Connecting communities online
            nancyw@... | +1 206 517 4754 | GMT - 8 |skype - choconancy |
            Twitter NancyWhite
            http://www.fullcirc.com/


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Steve Glovinsky
            Hi Nancy, Steve Glovinsky here, with some elaboration/clarification on your reference to the United Nation s Solution Exchange (I set it up). First, Solution
            Message 5 of 18 , Jan 28, 2009
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              Hi Nancy,

              Steve Glovinsky here, with some elaboration/clarification on your reference
              to the United Nation's Solution Exchange (I set it up). First, Solution
              Exchange was very deliberately designed to capture experiential knowledge of
              members of Communities of Practice - we organize members in e-mail
              mailgroups around development topics - work & employment, governance, food &
              nutrition, maternal & child health etc., in support of the Millennium
              Developmen Goals. Our business model combines a CoP with a research
              service, anchored within a UN-sponsored space to give it the impartiality
              that ensures we have the widest range of member perspectives. Members come
              from government, NGOs, research institutes and academia, donors and private
              sector. Each Community - the ones in India are now up around 2-3,000
              members - has one full-time Community facilitator supported by a Research
              Associate. It works quite well as a new role for UN Agencies in the
              countries they work in. The idea of organizing CoPs and putting them to
              work helping each other out has been well received by development
              professionals, and so far we have expanded from India to Bhutan, Thailand
              and Indonesia (Aceh). The main product or our research service is the
              "Consolidated Reply" - a template that synthesizes discussion threads in the
              form of an executive brief and captures the experiences and references
              offered by participants. Our aim is to get all Solution Exchanges using the
              same template so that they can be indexed in a common repository (we are
              currently building) and shared across countries.

              Now, I know our facilitation teams are mostly women and not particularly
              well-paid, but I would not exactly call them "low income women"...

              Steve





              -----Original Message-----
              From: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
              Of Nancy White
              Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2009 2:38 AM
              To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage
              Discussion-Produced Knowledge



              At 01:25 AM 1/28/2009, you wrote:
              >-- How do we make the leap from forums to preserving the good bits
              >of knowledge they produce?

              A community I belong to keeps trying to capture "community knowledge"
              distilled from conversations into our wiki. We struggle to find the
              time/energy to keep it up. It seems we go in cycles where we really
              are doing a great job, and the wiki then attracts new members, and
              other times when the energy to do this lags. (Http://www.km4dev.
              <Http://www.km4dev.org/wiki> org/wiki)
              UNDP has a very codified practice of harvesting from very structured
              community discussion lists - a practice they have trained low income
              women to do, by the way, to both save costs and to build
              microbusinesses around the practice, and this has proved to be very
              useful for them.
              <http://www.solution <http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/en/index.php>
              exchange-un.net.in/en/index.php>http://www.solution
              <http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/en/index.php>
              exchange-un.net.in/en/index.php

              In the work I do in international development, the passing of
              stories/info learned on discussion lists into F2F settings seems very
              common - so common no one really notices or nutures it. It just
              happens. Some organizations are blogging to share out (see the ICT-KM
              program of the CGIAR
              <http://ictkm. <http://ictkm.wordpress.com/> wordpress.com/>http://ictkm.
              <http://ictkm.wordpress.com/> wordpress.com/ ) This sort
              of blending or, as John Smith likes to call it - straddling across
              technologies -- seems common.

              >-- Do we need better tools, practice/process or both, and if so,
              >what?
              >-- What has worked for people on these boards?

              Nancy White | Full Circle Associates | Connecting communities online
              nancyw@fullcirc. <mailto:nancyw%40fullcirc.com> com | +1 206 517 4754 | GMT
              - 8 |skype - choconancy |
              Twitter NancyWhite
              http://www.fullcirc <http://www.fullcirc.com/> .com/

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Cornejo Castro, Miguel
              Hi Amy, getting people to document at the end of a discussion has always been an uphill struggle. It means collecting, filtering, polishing and publishing the
              Message 6 of 18 , Jan 28, 2009
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                Hi Amy,

                getting people to document at the end of a discussion has always been an uphill struggle. It means collecting, filtering, polishing and publishing the results... and that can be very tedious and time consuming. Not to mention technically complicated.

                Since I operate some forums and tend to "harvest" them for guides, articles, and other objects, I've been on the lookout for any solution to minimize the hassle. Not finding any, this last month I've finally implemented a custom-built piece of software that enables the (authorised) user to select the interesting messages within a thread, dump them to the editing environment with a single click, tweak to their heart's desire, and then publish with another click; the system automatically creates the cross-link from the article to the thread and viceversa (for additional comments). No authorisation or login issues, no copy-pasting, no different files. Trials went very well and now we're in real use. Which means some people are using it, so it's working.

                Of course that's not the whole solution nor will solve the issue of archives. But it's a start.

                Best regards,

                Miguel

                PS - If you happen to use Invision forums and Joomla CMS, and happen to like the idea, let me know :-).


                ________________________________________
                De: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [com-prac@yahoogroups.com] En nombre de Amy [amypricetx@...]
                Enviado el: lunes, 26 de enero de 2009 16:13
                Para: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                Asunto: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge

                The discussion about the closing of a forum has triggered me
                thinking on the KM aspects. Just stopping a forum doesn't have to
                stop a community - the same group of people could start up again
                elsewhere (just move the tent to another location). However the
                archives are indeed lost with the move.

                This brings up an issue I've been grappling with recently: the
                discussion group/KM conundrum. Having worked in this domain for many
                years, I'm of the opinion that the majority of what is said in
                discussion forums should be deleted periodically, and that it's up
                to the forum community to capture the important info (know-how and
                know-who) in another form for ready reference by all members.

                But that doesn't seem to be the situation with the aforementioned
                community, and it's certainly not evolved beyond discussion in the
                groups I work with (in fact, members publish complete solutions out
                to the forums with attachments).

                Email archiving policies (deletion after X number of years) may be
                creating a 'burning platform' to cause companies to look more
                closely at this issue.

                So my questions are:

                -- How do we make the leap from forums to preserving the good bits
                of knowledge they produce?
                -- Do we need better tools, practice/process or both, and if so,
                what?
                -- What has worked for people on these boards?

                Web 2.0 seemed to be getting us to a place where some of this would
                be possible, but I'm afraid that proliferating forums will result in
                bigger dumpsters. I'm ok for occasional dumpster diving but I don't
                want to make a career out of it. And I don't believe that Search
                will ever be good enough to solve this issue.

                Inputs are most welcome. (I'll document the good stuff at the end of
                the discussion.)

                Cheers, Amy P.
              • Eric Hoffer
                Miguel - That sounds like a step toward the Virtual Dynamic Community - or at least the  blogger/commenter tool you and I had swapped emails about some time
                Message 7 of 18 , Jan 28, 2009
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                  Miguel - That sounds like a step toward the Virtual Dynamic Community - or at least the  blogger/commenter tool you and I had swapped emails about some time back.  Sounds great.  So does it let you post to multiple destinations at once, so you can respond to all the places from which the discussion elements came - and/or to all the places it could be relevant?
                  Amy - This is not without work, but I've found that when a community maintains a wiki in conjunction with their forum (the operative word being "maintains"), it is ideal for cataloging ideas, discoveries, conclusions, resources - and can be much easier to find things than searching the forum logs/archives (when accessible).  The trick, of course, is getting participation in maintaining the wiki as a resource, and requires a long-term
                  perspective!
                  Eric

                  --- On Wed, 1/28/09, Cornejo Castro, Miguel <miguel.cornejo@...> wrote:
                  From: Cornejo Castro, Miguel <miguel.cornejo@...>
                  Subject: RE: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge
                  To: "com-prac@yahoogroups.com" <com-prac@yahoogroups.com>
                  Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 8:33 PM











                  Hi Amy,



                  getting people to document at the end of a discussion has always been an uphill struggle. It means collecting, filtering, polishing and publishing the results... and that can be very tedious and time consuming. Not to mention technically complicated.



                  Since I operate some forums and tend to "harvest" them for guides, articles, and other objects, I've been on the lookout for any solution to minimize the hassle. Not finding any, this last month I've finally implemented a custom-built piece of software that enables the (authorised) user to select the interesting messages within a thread, dump them to the editing environment with a single click, tweak to their heart's desire, and then publish with another click; the system automatically creates the cross-link from the article to the thread and viceversa (for additional comments). No authorisation or login issues, no copy-pasting, no different files. Trials went very well and now we're in real use. Which means some people are using it, so it's working.



                  Of course that's not the whole solution nor will solve the issue of archives. But it's a start.



                  Best regards,



                  Miguel



                  PS - If you happen to use Invision forums and Joomla CMS, and happen to like the idea, let me know :-).



                  ____________ _________ _________ _________ _

                  De: com-prac@yahoogroup s.com [com-prac@yahoogroup s.com] En nombre de Amy [amypricetx@sbcgloba l.net]

                  Enviado el: lunes, 26 de enero de 2009 16:13

                  Para: com-prac@yahoogroup s.com

                  Asunto: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge



                  The discussion about the closing of a forum has triggered me

                  thinking on the KM aspects. Just stopping a forum doesn't have to

                  stop a community - the same group of people could start up again

                  elsewhere (just move the tent to another location). However the

                  archives are indeed lost with the move.



                  This brings up an issue I've been grappling with recently: the

                  discussion group/KM conundrum. Having worked in this domain for many

                  years, I'm of the opinion that the majority of what is said in

                  discussion forums should be deleted periodically, and that it's up

                  to the forum community to capture the important info (know-how and

                  know-who) in another form for ready reference by all members.



                  But that doesn't seem to be the situation with the aforementioned

                  community, and it's certainly not evolved beyond discussion in the

                  groups I work with (in fact, members publish complete solutions out

                  to the forums with attachments) .



                  Email archiving policies (deletion after X number of years) may be

                  creating a 'burning platform' to cause companies to look more

                  closely at this issue.



                  So my questions are:



                  -- How do we make the leap from forums to preserving the good bits

                  of knowledge they produce?

                  -- Do we need better tools, practice/process or both, and if so,

                  what?

                  -- What has worked for people on these boards?



                  Web 2.0 seemed to be getting us to a place where some of this would

                  be possible, but I'm afraid that proliferating forums will result in

                  bigger dumpsters. I'm ok for occasional dumpster diving but I don't

                  want to make a career out of it. And I don't believe that Search

                  will ever be good enough to solve this issue.



                  Inputs are most welcome. (I'll document the good stuff at the end of

                  the discussion.)



                  Cheers, Amy P.





























                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Cornejo Castro, Miguel
                  Hi Eric, I m afraid it s more limited, even if it follows the same idea of unifying the management of the conversation. The only advance in this direction that
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jan 29, 2009
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                    Hi Eric,

                    I'm afraid it's more limited, even if it follows the same idea of unifying the management of the conversation. The only advance in this direction that this software makes is using the thread (from which we extract the messages to be turned into the article) as the article's comments section.

                    It's just a harvesting tool, really. Makes it easier to gather and shape a formal conclusions document.

                    As for the VDC model, I've been looking into some possibilities that are closer than one'd think. The implementation is still very complex in such a fragmented environment :-) but there's a lot of advance in the right direction.

                    Best regards,

                    Miguel

                    ________________________________________
                    De: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [com-prac@yahoogroups.com] En nombre de Eric Hoffer [erichoffer@...]
                    Enviado el: jueves, 29 de enero de 2009 3:17
                    Para: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                    Asunto: RE: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge

                    Miguel - That sounds like a step toward the Virtual Dynamic Community - or at least the blogger/commenter tool you and I had swapped emails about some time back. Sounds great. So does it let you post to multiple destinations at once, so you can respond to all the places from which the discussion elements came - and/or to all the places it could be relevant?
                    Amy - This is not without work, but I've found that when a community maintains a wiki in conjunction with their forum (the operative word being "maintains"), it is ideal for cataloging ideas, discoveries, conclusions, resources - and can be much easier to find things than searching the forum logs/archives (when accessible). The trick, of course, is getting participation in maintaining the wiki as a resource, and requires a long-term
                    perspective!
                    Eric

                    --- On Wed, 1/28/09, Cornejo Castro, Miguel <miguel.cornejo@...<mailto:miguel.cornejo%40tecnocom.es>> wrote:
                    From: Cornejo Castro, Miguel <miguel.cornejo@...<mailto:miguel.cornejo%40tecnocom.es>>
                    Subject: RE: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge
                    To: "com-prac@yahoogroups.com<mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>" <com-prac@yahoogroups.com<mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>>
                    Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 8:33 PM

                    Hi Amy,

                    getting people to document at the end of a discussion has always been an uphill struggle. It means collecting, filtering, polishing and publishing the results... and that can be very tedious and time consuming. Not to mention technically complicated.

                    Since I operate some forums and tend to "harvest" them for guides, articles, and other objects, I've been on the lookout for any solution to minimize the hassle. Not finding any, this last month I've finally implemented a custom-built piece of software that enables the (authorised) user to select the interesting messages within a thread, dump them to the editing environment with a single click, tweak to their heart's desire, and then publish with another click; the system automatically creates the cross-link from the article to the thread and viceversa (for additional comments). No authorisation or login issues, no copy-pasting, no different files. Trials went very well and now we're in real use. Which means some people are using it, so it's working.

                    Of course that's not the whole solution nor will solve the issue of archives. But it's a start.

                    Best regards,

                    Miguel

                    PS - If you happen to use Invision forums and Joomla CMS, and happen to like the idea, let me know :-).

                    ____________ _________ _________ _________ _

                    De: com-prac@yahoogroup s.com [com-prac@yahoogroup s.com] En nombre de Amy [amypricetx@sbcgloba l.net]

                    Enviado el: lunes, 26 de enero de 2009 16:13

                    Para: com-prac@yahoogroup s.com

                    Asunto: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge

                    The discussion about the closing of a forum has triggered me

                    thinking on the KM aspects. Just stopping a forum doesn't have to

                    stop a community - the same group of people could start up again

                    elsewhere (just move the tent to another location). However the

                    archives are indeed lost with the move.

                    This brings up an issue I've been grappling with recently: the

                    discussion group/KM conundrum. Having worked in this domain for many

                    years, I'm of the opinion that the majority of what is said in

                    discussion forums should be deleted periodically, and that it's up

                    to the forum community to capture the important info (know-how and

                    know-who) in another form for ready reference by all members.

                    But that doesn't seem to be the situation with the aforementioned

                    community, and it's certainly not evolved beyond discussion in the

                    groups I work with (in fact, members publish complete solutions out

                    to the forums with attachments) .

                    Email archiving policies (deletion after X number of years) may be

                    creating a 'burning platform' to cause companies to look more

                    closely at this issue.

                    So my questions are:

                    -- How do we make the leap from forums to preserving the good bits

                    of knowledge they produce?

                    -- Do we need better tools, practice/process or both, and if so,

                    what?

                    -- What has worked for people on these boards?

                    Web 2.0 seemed to be getting us to a place where some of this would

                    be possible, but I'm afraid that proliferating forums will result in

                    bigger dumpsters. I'm ok for occasional dumpster diving but I don't

                    want to make a career out of it. And I don't believe that Search

                    will ever be good enough to solve this issue.

                    Inputs are most welcome. (I'll document the good stuff at the end of

                    the discussion.)

                    Cheers, Amy P.











                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Loader, Matt
                    To capture the ‘know-who’ could I propose integrating a social network analysis tool (or the visualization element anyway) with the forum / wiki? This
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jan 29, 2009
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                      To capture the ‘know-who’ could I propose integrating a social network analysis tool (or the visualization element anyway) with the forum / wiki? This would be ‘signed in to’ by all forum participants as they join….



                      M





                      Matt Loader

                      ローダー・マッシュー

                      Technology Communications (NTCE)

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                      Nissan Technical Centre Europe

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                      Mobile: 07816988950

                      email: matt.loader@... <mailto:matt.loader@...>

                      home email: matt.loader@... <mailto:matt.loader@...>

                      ________________________________

                      From: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Cornejo Castro, Miguel
                      Sent: 29 January 2009 13:15
                      To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge



                      Hi Eric,

                      I'm afraid it's more limited, even if it follows the same idea of unifying the management of the conversation. The only advance in this direction that this software makes is using the thread (from which we extract the messages to be turned into the article) as the article's comments section.

                      It's just a harvesting tool, really. Makes it easier to gather and shape a formal conclusions document.

                      As for the VDC model, I've been looking into some possibilities that are closer than one'd think. The implementation is still very complex in such a fragmented environment :-) but there's a lot of advance in the right direction.

                      Best regards,

                      Miguel

                      ________________________________________
                      De: com-prac@yahoogroups.com <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com> [com-prac@yahoogroups.com <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com> ] En nombre de Eric Hoffer [erichoffer@... <mailto:erichoffer%40yahoo.com> ]
                      Enviado el: jueves, 29 de enero de 2009 3:17
                      Para: com-prac@yahoogroups.com <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>
                      Asunto: RE: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge

                      Miguel - That sounds like a step toward the Virtual Dynamic Community - or at least the blogger/commenter tool you and I had swapped emails about some time back. Sounds great. So does it let you post to multiple destinations at once, so you can respond to all the places from which the discussion elements came - and/or to all the places it could be relevant?
                      Amy - This is not without work, but I've found that when a community maintains a wiki in conjunction with their forum (the operative word being "maintains"), it is ideal for cataloging ideas, discoveries, conclusions, resources - and can be much easier to find things than searching the forum logs/archives (when accessible). The trick, of course, is getting participation in maintaining the wiki as a resource, and requires a long-term
                      perspective!
                      Eric

                      --- On Wed, 1/28/09, Cornejo Castro, Miguel <miguel.cornejo@... <mailto:miguel.cornejo%40tecnocom.es> <mailto:miguel.cornejo%40tecnocom.es>> wrote:
                      From: Cornejo Castro, Miguel <miguel.cornejo@... <mailto:miguel.cornejo%40tecnocom.es> <mailto:miguel.cornejo%40tecnocom.es>>
                      Subject: RE: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge
                      To: "com-prac@yahoogroups.com <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>" <com-prac@yahoogroups.com <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>>
                      Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 8:33 PM

                      Hi Amy,

                      getting people to document at the end of a discussion has always been an uphill struggle. It means collecting, filtering, polishing and publishing the results... and that can be very tedious and time consuming. Not to mention technically complicated.

                      Since I operate some forums and tend to "harvest" them for guides, articles, and other objects, I've been on the lookout for any solution to minimize the hassle. Not finding any, this last month I've finally implemented a custom-built piece of software that enables the (authorised) user to select the interesting messages within a thread, dump them to the editing environment with a single click, tweak to their heart's desire, and then publish with another click; the system automatically creates the cross-link from the article to the thread and viceversa (for additional comments). No authorisation or login issues, no copy-pasting, no different files. Trials went very well and now we're in real use. Which means some people are using it, so it's working.

                      Of course that's not the whole solution nor will solve the issue of archives. But it's a start.

                      Best regards,

                      Miguel

                      PS - If you happen to use Invision forums and Joomla CMS, and happen to like the idea, let me know :-).

                      ____________ _________ _________ _________ _

                      De: com-prac@yahoogroup s.com [com-prac@yahoogroup s.com] En nombre de Amy [amypricetx@sbcgloba l.net]

                      Enviado el: lunes, 26 de enero de 2009 16:13

                      Para: com-prac@yahoogroup s.com

                      Asunto: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge

                      The discussion about the closing of a forum has triggered me

                      thinking on the KM aspects. Just stopping a forum doesn't have to

                      stop a community - the same group of people could start up again

                      elsewhere (just move the tent to another location). However the

                      archives are indeed lost with the move.

                      This brings up an issue I've been grappling with recently: the

                      discussion group/KM conundrum. Having worked in this domain for many

                      years, I'm of the opinion that the majority of what is said in

                      discussion forums should be deleted periodically, and that it's up

                      to the forum community to capture the important info (know-how and

                      know-who) in another form for ready reference by all members.

                      But that doesn't seem to be the situation with the aforementioned

                      community, and it's certainly not evolved beyond discussion in the

                      groups I work with (in fact, members publish complete solutions out

                      to the forums with attachments) .

                      Email archiving policies (deletion after X number of years) may be

                      creating a 'burning platform' to cause companies to look more

                      closely at this issue.

                      So my questions are:

                      -- How do we make the leap from forums to preserving the good bits

                      of knowledge they produce?

                      -- Do we need better tools, practice/process or both, and if so,

                      what?

                      -- What has worked for people on these boards?

                      Web 2.0 seemed to be getting us to a place where some of this would

                      be possible, but I'm afraid that proliferating forums will result in

                      bigger dumpsters. I'm ok for occasional dumpster diving but I don't

                      want to make a career out of it. And I don't believe that Search

                      will ever be good enough to solve this issue.

                      Inputs are most welcome. (I'll document the good stuff at the end of

                      the discussion.)

                      Cheers, Amy P.

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • John D. Smith
                      All of the discussion about summarization so far assumes that a community almost exclusively lives on one platform. As Nancy aluded to, I think the reality is
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jan 29, 2009
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                        All of the discussion about summarization so far assumes that a community
                        almost exclusively lives on one platform. As Nancy aluded to, I think the
                        reality is quite a bit more messy. Note the private emails between Eric
                        Holder and Miguel Cornejo that were mentioend in this thread. We ourselves
                        interact in LOTS of different locations.

                        A key event is when a discussion moves from one platform to another -- you
                        know it's real when the same damn problems (and some interesting alternate
                        solutions) come up in a face-to-face discussion.

                        John
                        *
                        * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                        * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                        * “Your responsibility does not end with complaining. Suggest something
                        better!” - Esther Dyson
                      • John D. Smith
                        ... wrote: ... threads in the ... using the ... Sounds interesting, Steve... I wonder if you could point us to an example
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jan 29, 2009
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                          --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Glovinsky"
                          <steve.glovinsky@...> wrote:

                          <snip>

                          > The main product or our research service is the
                          > "Consolidated Reply" - a template that synthesizes discussion
                          threads in the
                          > form of an executive brief and captures the experiences and references
                          > offered by participants. Our aim is to get all Solution Exchanges
                          using the
                          > same template so that they can be indexed in a common repository (we are
                          > currently building) and shared across countries.

                          <snip>

                          Sounds interesting, Steve...

                          I wonder if you could point us to an example of either the guidelines
                          or their use? A URL or a file you could share in the com-prac "files
                          area" would be great: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/files

                          I think you and Nancy have implicitly brought up the importance of
                          paid staff for the functioning of a community. Anything you might
                          have to say about that would be very interesting, too.

                          John
                          *
                          * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                          * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                          * "Your responsibility does not end with complaining. Suggest
                          something better!" — Esther Dyson
                        • Amy
                          John, I really like the Q&A idea (and I ll group FAQ s with this too). One of the topics that comes up again and again is how to get people to read the manual
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jan 30, 2009
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                            John,

                            I really like the Q&A idea (and I'll group FAQ's with this too). One
                            of the topics that comes up again and again is how to get people to
                            read the manual (the "RTFM" file for you MIT grads out there). But
                            people don't read manuals to solve a problem (unless desperate); they
                            ask a question. If you look at the online resources available from
                            companies like Microsoft, it's easy to see that this structure is
                            viable and useful for people. I think that MS (and others) do invest
                            time in cleaning up the responses and ensuring their accuracy.

                            As for all of those archives - it's just frightening how much we
                            accumulate. At least with paper, one is motivated to sort through and
                            reduce the volume when it threatens to collapse on your work area or
                            when you have to walk around the stack. Not so with e-files however.
                            Moving platforms and doing backups are about the only time I
                            personally pay attention to this. This is particularly bad for
                            communities, where there are many contributors but no "owners" for the
                            info.

                            There is a discipline needed at the time of creation and/or use. Just
                            like it's necessary to put the dirty dishes in the sink and wash them,
                            so must we be motivated to refine the knowledge at the time of
                            creation/use and add it to a knowledge store in a reusable, accessible
                            format.

                            More comments are always welcome!

                            Cheers, Amy P.


                            --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "John D. Smith" <john.smith@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Re amy's comments about the archives...
                            >
                            > There's a chapter by Finholdt, T. A., Sproull, L., and Kiesler, S.,
                            > "Outsiders on the Inside: Sharing Know-How Across Space and Time,"
                            in Hinds,
                            > Pamela J. and Sara Kiesler (eds), Distributed Work. (Cambridge, MA: MIT
                            > Press, 2002), pp. 357-380.
                            >
                            > It's "old" but argues that the narrative style of a Q&A database
                            were more
                            > frequently consulted because they had situated cues that users
                            (especially
                            > remote ones) found helpful in interpreting technical knowledge that
                            had been
                            > shared. The Q&A form was MORE useful and MORE USED than the
                            summarized and
                            > cleaned up stuff provided by the same company in the same general
                            technical
                            > area (this is all from memory and I tend to simplfy stuff, so you
                            might go
                            > read it).
                            >
                            > The other source arguing for the long-term utility of list archives
                            (like
                            > trdev) is Peter G. Kilner PhD Dissertation 2006 "The effects of socially
                            > relevant representations in content on members' identities of
                            participation
                            > and willingness to contribute in distributed communities of practice".
                            > Again, based on his presentation in CPsquare, people will situate
                            tips and
                            > suggestions IN PRACTICE, suggest who they are, what level they're
                            working
                            > on, etc. (and they often can be coaxed to do a better job of it).
                            >
                            > Bottom line: it's a BAD idea to throw away archives.
                            >
                            > ON THE OTHER HAND: CPsquare discussions have been kept for years and
                            years
                            > and so when new poeple join I shake my head and worry that they'll
                            > absolutely CHOKE at the volume and complexity. Just don't know.
                            >
                            > John
                            > *
                            > * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                            > * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                            > * "Your responsibility does not end with complaining. Suggest something
                            > better!" — Esther Dyson
                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com] On
                            Behalf
                            > Of Amy
                            > Sent: Monday, January 26, 2009 7:13 AM
                            > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage
                            > Discussion-Produced Knowledge
                            >
                            > The discussion about the closing of a forum has triggered me
                            > thinking on the KM aspects. Just stopping a forum doesn't have to
                            > stop a community - the same group of people could start up again
                            > elsewhere (just move the tent to another location). However the
                            > archives are indeed lost with the move.
                            >
                            > This brings up an issue I've been grappling with recently: the
                            > discussion group/KM conundrum. Having worked in this domain for many
                            > years, I'm of the opinion that the majority of what is said in
                            > discussion forums should be deleted periodically, and that it's up
                            > to the forum community to capture the important info (know-how and
                            > know-who) in another form for ready reference by all members.
                            >
                            > But that doesn't seem to be the situation with the aforementioned
                            > community, and it's certainly not evolved beyond discussion in the
                            > groups I work with (in fact, members publish complete solutions out
                            > to the forums with attachments).
                            >
                            > Email archiving policies (deletion after X number of years) may be
                            > creating a 'burning platform' to cause companies to look more
                            > closely at this issue.
                            >
                            > So my questions are:
                            >
                            > -- How do we make the leap from forums to preserving the good bits
                            > of knowledge they produce?
                            > -- Do we need better tools, practice/process or both, and if so,
                            > what?
                            > -- What has worked for people on these boards?
                            >
                            > Web 2.0 seemed to be getting us to a place where some of this would
                            > be possible, but I'm afraid that proliferating forums will result in
                            > bigger dumpsters. I'm ok for occasional dumpster diving but I don't
                            > want to make a career out of it. And I don't believe that Search
                            > will ever be good enough to solve this issue.
                            >
                            > Inputs are most welcome. (I'll document the good stuff at the end of
                            > the discussion.)
                            >
                            > Cheers, Amy P.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------
                            >
                            > *-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                          • Steve Glovinsky
                            Done - I ve posted four examples from the four countries we are working in so far. I set them up as pdf files on our site at
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jan 30, 2009
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                              Done - I've posted four examples from the four countries we are working in
                              so far. I set them up as pdf files on our site at
                              www.solex-un.net/operations/comms_material/solution_exchange-un_consolidated
                              _reply_examples.zip.
                              Think franchise, and you will get the idea.

                              And yes, John, well qualified, well trained, full-time moderators are a key
                              to success. When I present to new groups I am always surprised that so many
                              organizations trying to introduce Communities of Practice miss this point.
                              With our focus on providing a research service this point may be more
                              obvious, and I can see where the more typical discussion groups, not
                              designed to "put their communities to work", would not need to be so labor
                              intensive. But still, serious professional efforts usually need to be
                              professionally managed....

                              Steve

                              (Could I put in a plug? The "franchise" is in need of funds for start-ups.
                              If anyone has or knows of a possible source could they please get in touch?
                              Thanks. S)



                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                              Of John D. Smith
                              Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 5:53 AM
                              To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage
                              Discussion-Produced Knowledge



                              --- In com-prac@yahoogroup <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com> s.com, "Steve
                              Glovinsky"
                              <steve.glovinsky@...> wrote:

                              <snip>

                              > The main product or our research service is the
                              > "Consolidated Reply" - a template that synthesizes discussion
                              threads in the
                              > form of an executive brief and captures the experiences and references
                              > offered by participants. Our aim is to get all Solution Exchanges
                              using the
                              > same template so that they can be indexed in a common repository (we are
                              > currently building) and shared across countries.

                              <snip>

                              Sounds interesting, Steve...

                              I wonder if you could point us to an example of either the guidelines
                              or their use? A URL or a file you could share in the com-prac "files
                              area" would be great: http://groups.
                              <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/files>
                              yahoo.com/group/com-prac/files

                              I think you and Nancy have implicitly brought up the importance of
                              paid staff for the functioning of a community. Anything you might
                              have to say about that would be very interesting, too.

                              John
                              *
                              * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                              * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learning
                              <http://www.learningAlliances.net> Alliances.net
                              * "Your responsibility does not end with complaining. Suggest
                              something better!" - Esther Dyson







                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • John D. Smith
                              Great contribution, Steve! (Here s a tiny URL that s un-folded: http://tinyurl.com/cv4np5 ) Highlights (from the India example) to my eye: * the original (very
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jan 31, 2009
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                                Great contribution, Steve!

                                (Here's a tiny URL that's un-folded: http://tinyurl.com/cv4np5 )

                                Highlights (from the India example) to my eye:

                                * the original (very compelling) question
                                * thanks to ALL the contributors
                                * Overall summary
                                * Detailed recommendations (from experience of responses)
                                * Further resources
                                * Professional contacts
                                * Creative Commons License at the bottom!
                                * The india example is NINETEEN PAGES!

                                Very rich example.

                                I took a shot at tagging it, which might be a case of the "poor man's
                                summary": http://delicious.com/smithjd/summaries

                                Any other comments about these examples, folks?

                                John
                                *
                                * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                                * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                                * "Your responsibility does not end with complaining. Suggest something
                                better!" - Esther Dyson
                              • joitske
                                Hi Steve, Thanks for these examples, having an example gives you more of an insight that when someone just mentions it! I would like to jump on your expression
                                Message 15 of 18 , Feb 1, 2009
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                                  Hi Steve,

                                  Thanks for these examples, having an example gives you more of an
                                  insight that when someone just mentions it!

                                  I would like to jump on your expression of surprise that
                                  organisations miss the point for the need of facilitation. I have an
                                  experience where we facilitated a community of practice for 2 years
                                  on behalf of two organisations. (you can find the case study here by
                                  the way: http://www.scribd.com/doc/3404250/From-a-meeting-to-a-
                                  community-of-practice) After the facilitators stepped down, the
                                  organisations felt that the community should be able to continue 'on
                                  its own'. I sometimes get the impression that the name community of
                                  practice or network has a false connotation of complete self-
                                  organisation. And self-organisation is fine, but then the value
                                  remains exactly within the small self-organised group. If you want to
                                  make that knowledge and the social capital more widely accessible,
                                  you need the kind of leveraging as you do with the facilitation. So
                                  in the end, the organisations loose out, as the whole thing becomes
                                  more invisible.

                                  I'm very curious to hear other people's experiences how they deal
                                  with this. If they recognize this too. It's like people don't see the
                                  downsides of complete self-organisation?

                                  Cheers, Joitske


                                  --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Glovinsky"
                                  <steve.glovinsky@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Done - I've posted four examples from the four countries we are
                                  working in
                                  > so far. I set them up as pdf files on our site at
                                  > www.solex-un.net/operations/comms_material/solution_exchange-
                                  un_consolidated
                                  > _reply_examples.zip.
                                  > Think franchise, and you will get the idea.
                                  >
                                  > And yes, John, well qualified, well trained, full-time moderators
                                  are a key
                                  > to success. When I present to new groups I am always surprised
                                  that so many
                                  > organizations trying to introduce Communities of Practice miss this
                                  point.
                                  > With our focus on providing a research service this point may be
                                  more
                                  > obvious, and I can see where the more typical discussion groups, not
                                  > designed to "put their communities to work", would not need to be
                                  so labor
                                  > intensive. But still, serious professional efforts usually need to
                                  be
                                  > professionally managed....
                                  >
                                  > Steve
                                  >
                                  > (Could I put in a plug? The "franchise" is in need of funds for
                                  start-ups.
                                  > If anyone has or knows of a possible source could they please get
                                  in touch?
                                  > Thanks. S)
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                  > From: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com] On
                                  Behalf
                                  > Of John D. Smith
                                  > Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 5:53 AM
                                  > To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Subject: Re: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage
                                  > Discussion-Produced Knowledge
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In com-prac@yahoogroup <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>
                                  s.com, "Steve
                                  > Glovinsky"
                                  > <steve.glovinsky@> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > <snip>
                                  >
                                  > > The main product or our research service is the
                                  > > "Consolidated Reply" - a template that synthesizes discussion
                                  > threads in the
                                  > > form of an executive brief and captures the experiences and
                                  references
                                  > > offered by participants. Our aim is to get all Solution Exchanges
                                  > using the
                                  > > same template so that they can be indexed in a common repository
                                  (we are
                                  > > currently building) and shared across countries.
                                  >
                                  > <snip>
                                  >
                                  > Sounds interesting, Steve...
                                  >
                                  > I wonder if you could point us to an example of either the
                                  guidelines
                                  > or their use? A URL or a file you could share in the com-prac "files
                                  > area" would be great: http://groups.
                                  > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/com-prac/files>
                                  > yahoo.com/group/com-prac/files
                                  >
                                  > I think you and Nancy have implicitly brought up the importance of
                                  > paid staff for the functioning of a community. Anything you might
                                  > have to say about that would be very interesting, too.
                                  >
                                  > John
                                  > *
                                  > * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                                  > * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learning
                                  > <http://www.learningAlliances.net> Alliances.net
                                  > * "Your responsibility does not end with complaining. Suggest
                                  > something better!" - Esther Dyson
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >
                                • John D. Smith
                                  This whole discussion could be summarized here: http://cpsquare.org/wiki/index.php?title=Text_Discussions_with_Wikis (We re trying to consolidate a lot of
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Feb 1, 2009
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                                    This whole discussion could be summarized here:

                                    http://cpsquare.org/wiki/index.php?title=Text_Discussions_with_Wikis

                                    (We're trying to consolidate a lot of resources about CoPs from
                                    various locations into one public wiki. ALL com-prac members are
                                    invited to sign-up. Because of the amount of SPAM on an earlier
                                    effort, I'm controlling access in advance: passers-by can't edit, but,
                                    like com-prac, once you've said something useful, you're welcome to
                                    speak up. So, do request an account:

                                    http://cpsquare.org/wiki/index.php?title=Special:RequestAccount

                                    And other useful discussions here on com-prac could be gathered
                                    together there.

                                    John
                                    *
                                    * John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
                                    * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
                                    * "Your responsibility does not end with complaining. Suggest
                                    something better!" — Esther Dyson
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