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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URLs of wisdom (22nd March)

URLs of wisdom is a weekly round-up of interesting links about topics at the intersection of people, science and technology.

Social network analysis

Behaviour

  • Let’s really be friends – a defence of online intimacy
  • Trollbusters – strategies to preserve constructive online discourse
  • Americans’ privacy strategies post-Snowden – “Those who are more likely to have changed at least one of their behaviors include the people who have heard a lot about government surveillance (38% say they have changed a great deal/somewhat in at least one of these activities), those who are at least somewhat concerned about the programs (41% have changed at least one activity), and those who are concerned about government monitoring of their use of social media, search engines, cell phones, apps, and email.”
  • The ethics of algorithms – Beatrice Martini rounds up some notes and resources from a recent discussion hosted by the Center for Internet and Human Rights.
  • The search engine should not be the arbiter of truth
  • Where do millennials get their news? “Simply put, social media is no longer simply social,” the report says. “It long ago stopped being just a way to stay in touch with friends. It has become a way of being connected to the world generally — to send messages, follow channels of interest, get news, share news, talk about it, be entertained, stay in touch, and to check in and see what’s new in the world.”
  • How many TV sets do you have? And does it matter?

Academia online 

  • End of feed – Cameron Neylon on the closure of Friendfeed: “relying on the largesse of third parties is not a reliable foundation to build on. If we want to take care of our assets as a community, we need to take responsibility for them as well.”
  • Paper Now – Create, edit and display an academic paper entirely in GitHub

Social media/networks/data sharing

  • 4 questions researchers need to ask before using the web to share their research –“what goes on the web, stays on the web and that what you think is a private comment is easily sharable by your contacts”
  • Search is so 2014 – with nods to new tools such as Sparrho and Kudos.
  • Changes at WIRED – more changes to the science blogosphere

Outreach

  • Social media and science – the problems and the challenges – “many anti-scientific or pseudoscientific ideas a promoted by social media. What’s more, these new social media are very effective at promoting messages, especially in areas of social health, so we ignore the media at our peril. Social media are a fact of modern life and if we can’t beat them, perhaps we should use them ourselves. These are the messages I got from a recent study of the way public health misinformation is promoted via social media.”
  • Selfish reasons for researchers to publicize their study findings “Researchers already have a lot of responsibilities: grant-writing, lab work, writing papers, preparing presentations, working with grad students and post-docs, being grad students or post-docs, having a life outside of work, etc. So – why add publicizing research findings to that “to-do” list? There are a lot of reasons.”

Communities 

Working with technology

  • A great overview of product management by Ian Mulvany, Head of Technology at eLife. “The story that gets built up internally about a product can often be very different from the story that the end user has created about that product. Reconciling these world views is only ever a good thing.”
  • Found from Ian’s piece above – Improving bug triage by scoring user pain -“At with many agile techniques, User Pain isn’t all the complicated.
    1. Rank each bug on several criteria
    2. Combine those criteria into a single score called User Pain
    3. Sort all bugs by User Pain into a public list
    4. Start fixing the most painful bugs at the top of the list.

    There is a distinct philosophy at work here. First, empower bug submitters to easily create well formed, well classified bugs. Next, give the team the tools and information necessary to make smart decisions about what to work on first. Finally, encourage practices that make it easy to put quality first. Instead of relying on expert managers, you rely on a well informed, empowered team.”

Social media developments

Digital marketing

Resources

Just for fun