Cycles of Communication and Collaboration
Recently, several of us were going over the litany of new terms for communication and collaboration "tools" that were less than 10 years old: blogs, mashups, crowdsourcing, webinars, podcasts, etc. just to name a few. It became obvious as we discussed it further than many of us in the conversation were relatively clueless when it came to defining what each is, what it does, how it works, and what were the benefits. As in most instances where there are too many dots and no clear picture in mind to connect them; a framework would be helpful.
The quadrants and circular arrow in the diagram below illustrate a progressive path of organized social interactions. It starts with the blog: the primary virtual means by which an individual, almost any individual who has access to the Internet, announces to the worldâ€??here is who I am, what I think, and what I care about. It is a powerful statement of independent thought, self-awareness, and clarity of purpose that any blogger makes simply by posting a message.
When individuals put themselves out there, they are likely to be "discovered" by others who share common principles, interests, and affinities. One of the most likely places to be "found" is in a social network. In these far-ranging open communities individuals extend their connectivity, learn more about themselves and each other, strengthen their affiliations, and become more intentional about doing certain activities together rather than individually.
At this stage, groups engaging in some sort of purposeful collective effort benefit by having collaboration spaces for more efficient and effective teamwork. Here they can work openly among themselves to give projects definition, open their assumptions for testing and scrutiny to those beyond their team boundaries, and adapt the projects to what is learned for more successful and acceptable results.
Of course, such results warrant wider exposure in global networks. News releases are presented to a broader audience for further sponsorship, investment, or utilization--and feedback. Learning and adaptation are triggered on a broader scale. Quickly we know if what we are doing is having the intended result; do others believe in it as we do; what other steps can we take to increase the viability, and sustainability of our offering.
This is where the cycle returns full circle to the blog where further commentary and endorsement (or not) about the news release is made in the context of what is important to the blogger--and the cycle starts anew. Of course, beginning the next round means starting at a different place and time, having more experience, and making additional discoveries between rounds. These are multiple cycles that radiate out in a spiral model approach.
So how do the tools we have available fit into this communication and collaboration cycle? A few are highlighted in the picture below.
There are many nuances and subtleties to each stage of the cycle; and there are certainly MANY more examples of software and system tools that can be included. However, this should give you a feel for how the overall process functions.
Here's an example for your consideration:
In 2001, Roger Beck, a teacher at Worthington Kilbourne High School in Worthington, Ohio, initiated a program called Building Academic Skills and Experiences (B.A.S.E.). B.A.S.E. integrates twelfth grade English, Government / Economics, and Technology Education. In 2004, this program was linked with Habitat for Humanity in a housing construction project called Home B.A.S.E. In his most recent blog postings, Mr. Beck outlines progress on the current 2006 - 2007 Home B.A.S.E. projectâ€??a LEED-certified homeâ€??that is now drawing to a close.
One of those groups whose members are very supportive of Roger and his team is a local Worthington social network named, Sustainable Worthington. http://groups.google.com/group/sustainable-worthington This is an announcement to their members:
WKHS Home B.A.S.E. LEED house pilot project, 258 N. 21st Street, Columbus, OH, Saturday, September 22, 2007, 2:00 p.m.: Roger Beck, the teacher who developed this excellent program, will give us a tour of this amazing house, which offers green solutions to an amazing array of issues facing every homeowner. For a preview, go to where you will see great photos and an archive of the weekly project updates. Come to be educated and inspired!
When Mr. Beck and others initiated their most recent project last year, they sought volunteers in a number of collaborative spaces. This one, the Columbus Chapter of the Construction Specifics Institute, heralded the following headline:
COLUMBUS CSI CHAPTER INVITES YOU TO TAKE PART IN GIVING A HAND UP:
Do a good deed, network with fellow CSI members and be part of building a pilot LEED home!
The attraction of volunteers to this project was based on past successes such as the one that ended in 2006 which was described in this news release following a public meeting for Green Energy Ohio in May 2006. This includes a link to a blog dedicated to the project.
The tour is today; I am participating. That will result in another blog postingâ€??stay tuned...
posted by Steve Bosserman on Saturday September 22 2007
URL of this article:
An important milestone was breached for a dear friend of mine on 30 June 2006. This was her last day in the office as Associate Dean and it marked the end of an accomplishment-filled 30-year career in academe. Yes, she retiredâ€??and with all the honor and distinction she so rightfully deserved. But she didnâ€™t get any from me, at least not in some openly communicated form. In fact, this is... [read more]
July 09, 2006 - Steve Bosserman
Vectors of Disruption and Sea Changes
A colleague of mine is working on a white paper about various trends affecting agriculture over the next 10 years. These futuristic endeavors are fraught with peril because who really knows what the future will holdâ€??no one. But clients and colleagues are constantly looking for ways to talk about the future with sufficient clarity and confidence that their audiences go away having more insight than otherwise. What can one say... [read more]
April 24, 2006 - Steve Bosserman
Push Me, Pull You--Dueling Business Models
Through the three hundred-year reign of the Industrial Age, businesses â€śpushedâ€?? their products and services onto consumers. Limited choice accompanied by considerable marketing hype was enough to make the consumer buy. It was a sellersâ€™ market. Now, thanks largely to the Information Age, consumers are evolving into customers who can select what they want from a variety of providers. It is becoming a buyersâ€™ market. But further changes are afoot.... [read more]
April 16, 2006 - Steve Bosserman