2017 was a busy year on Social in Silico – and the best one yet in terms of the number of blog posts published and the number of you reading them. Thank you for following along! Here’s a summary of some of the highlights.
***Overwhelmed by the list? I’ve put stars next to the key posts you might want to start with to get a tasting menu of the topics listed.
Considering Community – what do scientific communities look like?
This year I was delighted to get to know the inaugural cohort of AAAS Community Engagement Fellows – a brand new fellowship program for scientific community managers for which I’m the program director. This prompted a series of posts in which I contemplate four possible types of communities found within science. I describe the characteristics of these communities including staffing, funding and governance structures, as well as the role of a community manager in each community.
- Scientific societies/professional associations and halo or infrastructure organisations
- Research collaborations
- Communities of practice
Also in the Considering Community series I explored two models for communities:
- ***The four stages of the community lifecycle – the model shared in “Buzzing Communities” by Rich Millington explains why the role of a community manager changes depending on which stage of the community lifecycle their community is in.
- *** The Connect-Align-Produce model – A different model applies for social-impact communities – those where the purpose is to generate outputs for social good.
Community Manager Musings – what do community managers look like and do?
A new series that I’ve started this year is Community Manager Musings which considers the skillsets and characteristics of community managers. This is a question that I’ve been working on with the other members of the C3 project team of the 2017 AAAS Community Engagement Fellows, including devising a skills wheel for scientific community engagement managers. More to come on this in 2018 but, for now, here’s some of the supplementary exploring that I’ve been doing.
- ***A web of skills held in tension rather than a skills wheel? – How can community managers often possess seemingly contradictory traits such as introversion and extroversion, or big picture vision and attention to detail? I share a model to capture this.
- ***12 attributes of less visible network leaders – Why are community managers often invisible? What implications does this have?
- Change agents by another name?
Reading for Leading – weekly tips for team-builders
This year I started a series of weekly posts containing short tips for team-building and modern leadership. Published every Monday morning, we’re now up to post number 17 and you can find all of the posts in the series so far here. Some of the most popular posts are:
- ***Using the systems thinking iceberg to trouble-shoot problems
- Using Bolman and Deal’s four lenses to examine your organisation’s culture and barriers to change
- The 6 listening filters that prevent us from hearing the full message
- ***The 5 modes of conflict and how to identify them
Behaviour and culture
- Social intelligence – and what’s missing in online interactions on social media
- What can we learn from the double-diamond model about co-creation online?
- Framing culture as a choice – using the X over Y model
- ***Why trust is a must when working together
- Building interdisciplinary communities – what hurdles do we need to overcome?
- Planning teamwork – 10 questions for a collaboration pre-nup
- Why academics use social networks – discussion of a paper looking at the use of Academia.edu and Researchgate by scholars
- Collaborative technologies – facilitating how we do work together
- ***Email, email everywhere – and no time to stop and think. Examining our relationship with our inboxes
This year I tried (and succeeded!) with an experiment to read 52 books – approximately one per week. It prompted me to summarise some of the key texts that have influenced me in my role. I also reflected on what it’s been like to participate in an online bookclub using a Facebook group.
- Half-way there – reflecting on reading 52 books in a year
- ***5 books that have influenced how I think about community management
- 5 books that have influenced how I think about leadership and team culture
- 5 books that have influenced how I think about online interactions
- Using a Facebook group for an online book club – taking part from a community manager’s perspective
- Exploring technological innovation through interactive art – a write-up of an exhibit I enjoyed at the Hirschhorn museum in DC about what technology leaves behind
- 5 things The Last Jedi reminds us about community management – from origin stories to co-creating a shared vision, the latest Star Wars film examined through the lens of community management.