web 2.0 for development


TRUST and TIME: the crucial factors of online communities

The 3rd workshop on online communities just finished and Nancy and I are here collecting the experience and trying to find out what was good and what wrong (if any!). Personally, I’m very positive after this training as I see many people really interested in what we are proposing. And we are not talking about a transitory phenomenon but we are showing the next step of the Net: Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, just wrote an article on the Economist, highlighting the value of online communities.

What’s always clearer to me is that, talking about online communities, we propose something more than just “discussing”. We offer people, whoever they are, the idea of CHANGING the way they approach the others, they get in touch with other people and colleagues, they work and share their knowledge. In few words, we propose a CULTURAL change whose main point is: TRUST the others and keep in touch with them. UHHHHHHHHH: what a change! It is so hard to change. It is so much harder to do it fast and in our offices.

The other main point which came out from the workshop is: TAKE YOUR TIME. It is going to take lots of time to get into this new mood, get the habit to it, learn how-to do it, learn new tools, etc. So, the paradox is that, even if the Internet is so fast, we really need to take time to get used to it.

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3rd Workshop on online communities

The new workshop on online communities is starting. After the last edition, we modified the structure to take care of participants’ suggestions. So the new features of the course are:
– three weeks only and less contents to read;
– more focused on the IMARK lessons;
– fewer discussions and a different set-up of the space in our Moodle environment.

Let’s see what comes out this time. I will refer about it at the end of the course at the middle of December.

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IMARK reviewed by ADBI: EXCELLENT rating!

As announced some months ago, the new IMARK e-learning module about “Building online communities and networks” has been released. It is free and open to everyone who wants to learn more about how to create an online community.

Now it has been rated by the Asian Development Bank Institute and comments are VERY positive! The module got an overall EXCELLENT rating, getting five over five in all the six categories considered.

I’m quite sure that you’d like to take a look at it, now!

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NEW COURSE is starting!!

A new course on ONLINE FACILITATION is starting!
The crew, and what a great crew, is ready again!

Welcome onboard to everyone who wants to share his/her experiences, questions, doubts and ideas with all of us. Remember that:

“…this workshop is not about simply delivering information to you. It is the conversations we will have with each other online about facilitating knowledge networks and how it applies to our work, which are the most important part of the workshop”

Go ahead and do it, using all the tools the web offer us. You wanna test some new? Oki, get on idea from this list and see what you get. Then we can talk about them!

p.s.: obviuosly, I’ve already registered everywhere 😉

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Launch of “Building online communities” training course

Yes yes yes, after a big effort we released the new IMARK ( e-learning module in support of online communities called Building Electronic Communities and Networks.

The module is available for free and covers the approaches, methods, and tools used to build electronic communities, as well as the various steps and procedures for developing and facilitating electronic communities.

We are very proud of it because this can be a very interested tool for everybody who want evolve the way of working and adopt new technologies to sustain the job. Especially in the South of the world.

Please, let me know what you think about it. Suggestions and comments are really welcome!

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Learning Log – Week #2: Start ONLINE

“I have found that pre-F2F work online makes F2F meetings more productive. For groups that have to go online and have a chance to be F2F, I usually suggest they start ONLINE first.

This helps people test their sense of others online, gain some identity and trust, then when they go F2F not only does the meeting get going faster, but people can verify their impressions. This builds trust in each other and in online communication. I find groups that start online also go back online easier after the F2F. Groups that start F2F leave with good intentions, but often are slow to go back online.

Finally, there is a time when starting F2F is advisable – that’s when you have a group with NO technology experience. Then you can work with folks hands on to learn the tools. Then go online. Otherwise, start online first!”

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Learning Log – Week #2: Motivations

“People often don’t learn a skill just to learn it. Try to make sure people have applications in mind before doing the training. It helps!

When expressing this, you might also want to include WHY this is important. Help them see POSSIBILITIES. Some people have a clear picture of why. Others may need some illustrations or examples. A short story can be powerful for this.”

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Learning Log – Week #2: Organizational change

“We may be trying to facilitate collaboration and networking, but we may not be operating in an organizational culture with this competency. When we fail, we often blame it on the technology. If we look closer, it can often be related to our organizational culture. So looking at initiatives that reinforce the value of and skills to network in ANY environment is important for online success.

The introduction of a “network way of thinking” (many to many, peer to peer and often around and between our traditional top down systems) which is enabled by internet technology actually is about organizational change. It asks us to change the way we work, the way we think, the way we lead and manage. But it is often surfaced as an issue of technology and cost savings.

In reality, it is about deeper changes and if we don’t pay attention to those deeper changes, the online stuff may not work.”