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Re: [cp] Re: Toughest CoP situations - your call

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  • Bronwyn Stuckey
    Hi Matt, I think the single greatest and most epic fail in at least Internet-mediated CoPs is that developers get seduced by the technology. I know from very
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 15, 2012
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      Hi Matt,

      I think the single greatest and most epic fail in at least Internet-mediated CoPs is that developers get seduced by the technology. I know from very personal and painful experience and it was this failure is what propelled me into my last 12 years of work and research :-)

      So the story goes... that people recognize a community will be of benefit to the initiative. The prospective members are highly distributed, so web technology/social media is going to be important. The team works hard at needs analysis and design for that technology. It is well researched as communication media and designed to a level that looks very successful and a place you would want to be. It is launched to the prospective members and they do flock there, but little by little lack of the stickiness is apparent and it becomes a place inhabited by echoes. So what was the problem? This was a team that had researched thoroughly and the design did meet user needs. BUT they were seduced by the technology and forgot the human and social components of community. There was no allocation of time or workload for facilitation, building capacity, reaching out to members and linking them back in. In my personal research of 12 CoPs, across many different domains and industries, the conveners described the their role as being 50% 1-to-1 NOT the one to many that people assume is the facilitation role. The design was so complete that it was the designers community and not a space that the members felt they could take ownership or reshape. And the list does on... There were many human factors that fell by the wayside as people got caught up in design. Over and over I see technology as this tangible part of online community building totally and stealthily seduce people.

      The moral is - If you build it they WILL come - but they won't stick around unless you have the human infrastructure and capacity building right.

      Bron






      On 16/08/12 3:28 AM, John Smith wrote:
       

      Good question, Matt!

      Given the context of your exercise, I would suggest a challenge that goes to the confusions that your students will eventually face in the workplace. There are all kinds of tough (and interesting) challenges faced by communities that have never been touched by a KM student (or grad, or wannabe like me :-) BUT your students will more likely face:

      * organizational conflicts or confusion
      * unwarented or impossible expectations
      * general incomprehension as to why a domain might possibly be relevant or interesting (and yet it's YOUR job to launch it)
      * etc., etc.

      One interesting stillbirth that I've observed recently is when a community was populated by people offering and willing to help (that is they thought they had answers) but nobody who was willing to ask any questions. Result: no energy.

      By the way, would you share the question you finally choose? (Even better: how about sharing a few of the students responses!)

      Cheers!

      John
      * John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter: smithjd http://gplus.to/smithjd
      * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
      * Join our Ning Stackathon at http://cpsquare.org/wiki/Ning_Stackathon_project
      * "We are as autonomous with regard to technology as we are with regard to
      * language, oxygen, or gravity." - Peter-Paul Verbeek

      --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Matt Moore <innotecture@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello,
      >
      > So I'm reviewing/writing a course for KM Masters students that includes a session on CoPs. The key question is "What might go wrong in a community of practice? Give ideas for strategies for supporting successful communities"
      >
      > While I recognise the first part of the question is a useful activity, I'd actually like to make this more concrete. Can any of you propose a scenario for my students to resolve? Feel free to be as mean as possible.
      >
      > Regards,
      >
      > Matt Moore
      >


    • Patrick Lambe
      A self-formed community of technical experts within a large organisation meet informally but regularly to share tricks of the trade. This becomes so popular
      Message 2 of 15 , Aug 16, 2012
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        A self-formed community of technical experts within a large organisation meet informally but regularly to share tricks of the trade. This becomes so popular (and useful) that management start encouraging less experienced staff to attend the CoP sessions. The proceedings start getting dumbed down to cater to entry level concerns and issues, and the experts get bored, start drifting away. There's a rumour some of them are meeting in a pub down the road after work.

        P

        Patrick Lambe
        Partner
        Tel: +65 62210383





        On Aug 15, 2012, at 7:29 PM, Matt Moore wrote:

         

        Love em! (well, as an observer, not so much as a community manager) keep em coming!


        From: Miguel Cornejo <macuarium@...>
        To: "com-prac@yahoogroups.com" <com-prac@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, 15 August 2012 9:23 PM
        Subject: Re: [cp] Toughest CoP situations - your call

         


        :-) just two

        1. Wide CoP, volunteer based. For external reasons the engines (coordinator & main mods & even main content prducer) become passive in th same year, without perspective of recuperation. The CoP rumbles on some months but is very clearly losing activity and relevance. 

        2. My fave - clash between rules and custom. Sponsored CoP. A group of very active members disagrees with the common setup and agitates against the management team with the ultimate aim of splitting the CoP and taking away most of the membership to a new initiative. 

        Mission: fight entropy :-).

        Best regards,

        Miguel

        Enviado desde mi telefono

        El 15/08/2012, a las 12:51, Matt Moore <innotecture@yahoo .com> escribió:

         
        Hello,

        So I'm reviewing/writing a course for KM Masters students that includes a session on CoPs. The key question is "What might go wrong in a community of practice? Give ideas for strategies for supporting successful communities"

        While I recognise the first part of the question is a useful activity, I'd actually like to make this more concrete. Can any of you propose a scenario for my students to resolve? Feel free to be as mean as possible.

        Regards,

        Matt Moore




      • matthewkalman
        Hi Bron, Just wanted to check with you, when you say the conveners described the their role as being 50% 1-to-1 NOT the one to many that people assume is the
        Message 3 of 15 , Aug 24, 2012
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          Hi Bron,

          Just wanted to check with you, when you say "the conveners described the their role as being 50% 1-to-1 NOT the one to many that people assume is the facilitation role" - you mean that in *successful* CoPs, 50% of your time will need to be on 1-to-1, right?

          I'm in a new role as an online community manager - and I can just hear the voices saying, 'just put in place some processes', 'Avoid 1-to-1 engagement yourself' etc.

          Can I legitimately reply that if I do that, the communities will be more likely to fail? (At least in the case of more focused CoPs).

          Have you written up your conclusions from the 12 CoPs you studied anywhere? I'd love to read them all.(Apologies if it's well known that you have!).

          Matthew



          --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com, Bronwyn Stuckey <bstuckey@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Matt,
          >
          > I think the single greatest and most epic fail in at least
          > Internet-mediated CoPs is that developers get seduced by the technology.
          > I know from very personal and painful experience and it was this failure
          > is what propelled me into my last 12 years of work and research :-)
          >
          > So the story goes... that people recognize a community will be of
          > benefit to the initiative. The prospective members are highly
          > distributed, so web technology/social media is going to be important.
          > The team works hard at needs analysis and design for that technology. It
          > is well researched as communication media and designed to a level that
          > looks very successful and a place you would want to be. It is launched
          > to the prospective members and they do flock there, but little by little
          > lack of the stickiness is apparent and it becomes a place inhabited by
          > echoes. So what was the problem? This was a team that had researched
          > thoroughly and the design did meet user needs. BUT they were seduced by
          > the technology and forgot the human and social components of community.
          > There was no allocation of time or workload for facilitation, building
          > capacity, reaching out to members and linking them back in. In my
          > personal research of 12 CoPs, across many different domains and
          > industries, the conveners described the their role as being 50% 1-to-1
          > NOT the one to many that people assume is the facilitation role. The
          > design was so complete that it was the designers community and not a
          > space that the members felt they could take ownership or reshape. And
          > the list does on... There were many human factors that fell by the
          > wayside as people got caught up in design. Over and over I see
          > technology as this tangible part of online community building totally
          > and stealthily seduce people.
          >
          > The moral is - If you build it they WILL come - but they won't stick
          > around unless you have the human infrastructure and capacity building right.
          >
          > Bron
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > On 16/08/12 3:28 AM, John Smith wrote:
          > >
          > > Good question, Matt!
          > >
          > > Given the context of your exercise, I would suggest a challenge that
          > > goes to the confusions that your students will eventually face in the
          > > workplace. There are all kinds of tough (and interesting) challenges
          > > faced by communities that have never been touched by a KM student (or
          > > grad, or wannabe like me :-) BUT your students will more likely face:
          > >
          > > * organizational conflicts or confusion
          > > * unwarented or impossible expectations
          > > * general incomprehension as to why a domain might possibly be
          > > relevant or interesting (and yet it's YOUR job to launch it)
          > > * etc., etc.
          > >
          > > One interesting stillbirth that I've observed recently is when a
          > > community was populated by people offering and willing to help (that
          > > is they thought they had answers) but nobody who was willing to ask
          > > any questions. Result: no energy.
          > >
          > > By the way, would you share the question you finally choose? (Even
          > > better: how about sharing a few of the students responses!)
          > >
          > > Cheers!
          > >
          > > John
          > > * John David Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype & Twitter: smithjd
          > > http://gplus.to/smithjd
          > > * Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
          > > * Join our Ning Stackathon at
          > > http://cpsquare.org/wiki/Ning_Stackathon_project
          > > * "We are as autonomous with regard to technology as we are with
          > > regard to
          > > * language, oxygen, or gravity." - Peter-Paul Verbeek
          > >
          > > --- In com-prac@yahoogroups.com <mailto:com-prac%40yahoogroups.com>,
          > > Matt Moore <innotecture@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Hello,
          > > >
          > > > So I'm reviewing/writing a course for KM Masters students that
          > > includes a session on CoPs. The key question is "What might go wrong
          > > in a community of practice? Give ideas for strategies for supporting
          > > successful communities"
          > > >
          > > > While I recognise the first part of the question is a useful
          > > activity, I'd actually like to make this more concrete. Can any of you
          > > propose a scenario for my students to resolve? Feel free to be as mean
          > > as possible.
          > > >
          > > > Regards,
          > > >
          > > > Matt Moore
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          >
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