Archive for November, 2009

Is the experiment working?

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment

One of the key things with any community of practice is keeping the momentum.

Lots of online communities are great at the start up, have lots of activity, but then slow down.

I’m always asked how to reinvigorate the community.  Normally the first thing to do is a newsletter, then if you can some sort of face to face event

The Community that I co-facilitate was plodding along, activity was reasonable.  And we had planned an event for September.

The graph below shows the number of visitors to the community from the start of the year.  This also shows that a newsletter will increase the visitor number.  But when you start combining elements such as a Face to Face Event, Newsletter and Polls you can really increase the number of vistors.

You can ignore the July stats as something went wrong in the stats package we use.

So if you would like to spark a bit of particpation and visitor numbers, try a newsletter!  Also you can bring the fun element to the community with a Poll

And if you can try a face to face event



Tweet to whom?

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment


Originally uploaded by wonderferret

Its always amazes me the stories that people tell and the way it sparks another story.

Martin Stein who has just wrote a blog post called the Tweeter Tut Tut on the IDeA CoP platfrom all about the Hidden Talent conference and the way they used twitter to capture the day. And the response from the audience and this reminded me of a story I was told recently.

Jim was at an event in America and was using the messenger system to write up the event and to share it with his colleagues back in the UK who where unable to attend.

So Jim was tapping away listening to the presenter and all of sudden the presenter stopped, started looking at Jim which his face getting redder and redder.

“What are you doing” was asked of Jim. Jim looked around and looked back down at the laptop and after a few moments realised that the presenter was speaking to him. Jim looked down again. Then raised his head.

“My colleague Lawrence back on London would like to know your thoughts on (you can fill in the blank)”?

The presenter was taken aback and took a few seconds to compose himself before answering the question.

At the end of the presentation, the presenter went to Jim to apologies, he had never considered that someone would take notes and be sharing thoughts in that way before.

I think this explains the Tut Tut bit.

I’ve seen both sides the events where pen & paper are used then the other with mobiles, netbooks, videos and photos.

So if you are going to capture a conference or event in this way be aware of the members of the group and let them know what you are doing.

And following on from this I’ve just read two different examples of the different view points.

Thanks to Mike Macaulay for this one from the BBC called Social media challenges social rules.

And this has a very similar story to mine about Jim

And Gary Colet from the KIN Blog for pointing out an article from the other side. Where maybe twitter is old hat when it comes to capturing a conference and Google Wave is the new kid on the block

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When is a Community of Practice Not a Community of Practice?

November 10, 2009 Leave a comment

As you all probably know there are many definitions on what is a Community of Practice this is one that I use

“A CoP brings these people together. They can share a common area of interest and a variety of expertise and skills, or have issues or problems to air, share and solve. Good practice and ideas are also shared to enhance the knowledge and expertise of the community.”

But for some reason everyone has gone down the line of creating online Communities and I have done that as well, where we provide online spaces with a bunch of tools (blogs, forums, wikis, libraries and a homepage).

This doesn’t make them a CoP; it’s just what we called them. The online tools do not define how the group works.  The group should define how they work and this is forgotten.  This follows on from John Tropea blog on The unexpected emergence from our Communities of Practice

I was in a brainstorming session the other day for a new project where they where recruiting people to play a fellow role.  The group was asking how the fellows could communicate and collaborate with each other.

Lots of ideas where suggested on what they could use.  So as usual my size nines got involved and in big letters I wrote “ASK THEM FIRST” And during the feedback sessions everyone stopped, thought for a second and then the lightbulb went on.

Anyway back to the point.  The IDeA CoP Platform is now in its third year and has over 1000 communities.  And I’ve realised that not every group will work in the same way and that they will not always be what I would define as a Community of Practice.

Here’s some of the ways that I would say they are working

  • Ad-hoc tasks –  Groups want to do tasks in an online space rather than email
  • Signposting – creating a community to let everyone know what is happening
  • Team sites – teams that are struggling to collaborate with the tools in their organisation so use a CoP platform as an alternative.
  • Project Support – using the CoP to run and manage the project in a transparent way with all project team members
  • Events and meeting support – a document repository of meeting notes agendas and upcoming events
  • CoPsgroup of people coming together for a common purpose to learn and share with each other.

I would say there are less CoPs compared to the other types, but they are making more of a difference

How to bring the fun back!

November 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Came across these two great videos.  They suggest that by making something fun you can change peoples behaviour.

Any suggestions for how to do this in the work place?

Piano Stairs

The worlds deepest bin

Why I have to thank Vanilla Ice

November 3, 2009 Leave a comment

I have to thank a few people first, one of my colleagues for coming up with the name of the blog.  Two of my friends for making me laugh on two occasions I have seen these two perform Ice Ice Baby with the full lyrics and dance moves.

And finally Vanilla Ice, I’ll break it down

“Ice ice baby (x2)

All right stop collaborate and listen”

I work in Knowledge Management and I wish more people would do this, was Vanilla Ice the real guru of KM

“Ice is back with my brand new invention”

Everything is constantly changing with the social web and vanilla ice was just changing the way we broadcast ourselves.

“Something grabs a hold of me tightly

Flow like a harpoon daily and nightly

Will it ever stop yo I don’t know

Turn off the lights and I’ll glow

To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal

Light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle “

I’ll let you make up your own mind on this part

Dance go rush to the speaker that booms

I’m killing your brain like a poisonous mushroom

Deadly when I play a dope melody

Anything less than the best is a felony Love it or leave it you better gain weight

You better hit bull’s eye the kid don’t play

“If there was a problem yo I’ll solve it

Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it”

So what’s the hook to sharing of knowledge, normally it’s how you go about solving a problem.

So was Vanilla Ice an inspiration to all of us or just lucky with his lyrics for his one hit wonder?

Anyway just in case you want to sing along

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