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

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  • 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 1 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 2 of 18 , Jan 28, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 18 , Jan 28, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 18 , Jan 29, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 of 18 , Jan 29, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              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)

              ____________________



              Nissan Technical Centre Europe

              Cranfield Technology Park

              Bedfordshire MK43 0DB

              United Kingdom

              Tel: 01234 755083

              Fax: 01234 755799

              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 6 of 18 , Jan 29, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                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 7 of 18 , Jan 29, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  --- 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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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