URLs of wisdom – W.T.Facebook edition – April 2018

This is a special instalment of the URLs of wisdom in which I round up some new and some not-so-new links about privacy, fake news and the business of community as relates to Facebook. If you have additional reading material on these topics to recommend, please add it as a comment.

 

When you add a feature that is really a bug…
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/2825261107/

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Community Manager musings: Four reasons coordinators of communities of practice can fail

Community manager musings is a series of occasional posts looking at the roles and skills of community managers – usually within science. 

“Gah! It’s all Greek to me!” One form of failure in building a community of practice comes from lack of domain expertise.
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/4199675334/

Nurturing and growing a successful community of practice is a delicate balance of activities where the intention is to create a vibrant group of members interested in honing their craft in a particular domain that they share.

Communities can fail for any of a number of reasons – but in communities of practice Wenger et al., mention four key causes that are due specifically to how the community manager’s role is carried out.

  1. Time
  2. Balance between public and private spaces
  3. Pro-active networking
  4. Technical / domain knowledge

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6 months of Reading for Leading! Top posts so far…

Every Monday morning for around 6 months I’ve been sharing a tip, reflection or short exercise about leadership and team-building. These Reading for Leading posts have covered a range of topics including systems thinking, self-care and networking tips as well as communication skills, time management and how to give good feedback.

Want to be a less robotic, more connected leader?Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/katy_tresedder/4902216441/

If you’ve not been following the series or may have missed some of the 26 posts so far, here are some of the most popular posts:

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Community Manager musings: How do you define a community manager?

Community manager musings is a series of occasional posts looking at the roles and skills of community managers – usually within science. 

What do you call a professional cat herder? Adapted from original image here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rbowen/1148435913/

I’ve been having a series of conversations recently about how we define community and what different types of communities look like. As people are realising that many of the programs and activities that they coordinate have community at their core, they’ve then begun to ask: am I a community manager? What defines a community manager?

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Reading for Leading #26: The people who give us perspective

The people who give us perspective

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

On a recent day off I enjoyed exploring the Freer Gallery in DC, where there’s a wonderful collection of Buddha statues. One particular exhibit made was a helpful reminder of the value of friends with perspective. 

In Buddhism, a boddhisattva is a compassionate person who works to ease the suffering of all beings and foregoes entering Nirvana until all others have become enlightened too. Quite a task, right?  

Where do you find your perspective?
Image credit: author’s own

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Community orientations and technology – what features does your online community need?

Recently, I’ve been exploring “Digital Habitats” by Wenger, White and Smith, which talks about the role of technology stewards in selecting, implementing and encouraging adoption of online tools and community platforms. Tech stewards sound like a very specific type of community manager.

Use this wheel to mark out the importance of the 9 different orientations to your community.
Image credit: http://technologyforcommunities.com/2010/07/putting-our-diagrams-to-work/

The book has lots of practical advice about the use of technology by communities of practice. While the overall menu of different tools and features that are available to a community may be large, typically members will not need them all because their community will be focused on only a few activities. The authors call these different types of group needs “orientations” and list out nine of them.

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Reading for Leading #25: Reactive versus responsive

Reactive versus responsive

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

In our busy, hyper-connected lives a steady stream of notifications, alerts and lengthening to do lists can easily pull us into a reactive state, where each new input takes our focus away from our initial intentions for the day. We may enter into a struggle to deal with the distraction as quickly as possible and then pick up the dropped threads of our previous activity. This can becoming exhausting and unproductive as it disrupts our workflow and may lead to unskillful, quick-fire reactions rather than more considered, appropriate ones.

Chess is a great example of balancing reactive and responsive actions.
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamraoof/16767990831/

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