Leaving our traces - farewell

Leaving our traces - farewell

by Sue Wolff -
Number of replies: 5

Well our conversational session has officially ended, and we brought out quite a story of multitasking and managing (or learning to un-manage) our multimembership in social networks. I wish I'd found more time particularly for the business of summarizing themes gathered from all three sources, our VoiceThread, discussions, and the survey. I will try to sum up a bit here, but feel free anyone to gather, refine and extract even further and post onto the wiki.

The survey was not structured to collect the management tips and techniques, but rather some contextual information that might enlighten what we learned here in the seminar. We used some information in the threads, but the open-ended replies generated enough for another discussion we might have fun with. It got to be too much to either summarize or post on the wiki.

You might find it interesting that almost 70 people completed the survey, and Sylvia noticed an even higher number regularly popping in reading all over the discussion areas.

Those who told their stories in the VoiceThread echoed all in one place what we were saying throughout the threads:

Lots of lurking and scanning is one of the most often mentioned strategies for managing our multimembership in social networks. We require alert systems to notify us that something might be relevant if we are to even click into a networked discussion area, event, or community.

Alerting tools like RSS, Google keywords, email subscription are widely employed.

Aggregation tools include the email digests and RSS feedlists, but many of us have discovered Netvibes, Pageflakes, Protopage or a personalized search homepage like Google's where most of our community action can quickly be surveyed. Keeping two browser windows open with at least two or three tabs open to each community and switching back and forth throughout the day was another technique.

I found it interesting how often people mentioned various listing, sorting, and foldering organization strategies, and how often in the same breath they mentioned most that gets sorted away, gets left behind.

AND LEAVING BEHIND IS OK! We miss our online social connections when face to face pressures take priority, but attend to those things that dovetail well with "whatever we are working on in life" as many put it. We tend to experience our peripheral and sporadic online social immersion throughout our work days as much enervating as overwhelming, although sometimes too stimulating and distracting.

I believe it was Julia's "act schedule or let go" that captured the current strategies many are using.

There was a definite evolutionary quality to our attitudes, strategies, techniques and tool adoption. We start out excited, breathless, and swamped. Then we try to get organized. We start to realize there's way too much coming in and cut back. We switch to an integrative approach where we hone in on whatever catches our attention that relates to wahtever we are working on. The most managed state is one where we have found a few tools and cues to keep the most important things in view, while letting much more swirl around. Without worrying too much, we let go of the belief management is even realistic, and instead realize what is most important will always be with us as we need it.

Last, but certainly not least in our learning were the points Nik started a topic on - that many of us blog or write to make sense of all that we are taking in online. Others of us appreciate and subscribe to those who are doing that.

In case you missed the annotations of various threads, here are some quick links to what we captured with the Marginalia plug-in (built here into SCoPE).

Tool tips     Practices and how we learned     Strategies 

In reply to Sue Wolff

Re: Leaving our traces - farewell

by Sylvia Currie -
Wow, what and outstanding summary, Sue! It's fascinating to read not only the themes and highlights of our discussion together but also the strategies you used to organize all of the information coming at us from different directions: survey, voice thread, forum. And that's a clever use of Marginalia annotation tool -- creating public contextual summaries. We need to experiment with that some more here in SCoPE. It would be great if creating summaries could become more of a group effort and Marginalia could be just the ticket :-)

In a sense this seminar discussion has been a lesson in managing multimembership. We organized this event as part of the Facilitating Online Communities mini-conference, a "capstone" activity of sorts for the FOC08 course offered through Otago Polytechnic. Their courses are available on Wikieducator (if you haven't already joined Wikieducator...do!). Our efforts to spread the word about the seminar meant connecting with several communities. Here are a few:
We also spread the word through our personal networks using email, twitter, blogs, public calendars, etc, prompting for participation in the survey and suggesting people mark their calendars.

We decided on the multimembership tag for our seminar as a way to round up some of our contributions. This twemes page shows a few tweets and delicious bookmarks related to this event, for example. A Google blog search on multimembership yields a number of entries. The SCoPE Pageflake is another view our community activities, including the latest posts to this forum.

I was really excited to see reference to our seminar discussion in other venues, such as these blog posts.
These individuals did not contribute directly to our forum discussion or Voice Thread so we were not aware of their peripheral participation until they posted to their blogs. Now we can all benefit from their reflections that they share openly. I think these blog post examples really speak to the management strategies we have been addressing, especially one that Sue highlights: blog or write to make sense of all that we are taking in.

Whew! That was a lot of linking :-)

I would like to thank members of the "facilitation team" for the fantastic experience! Sue Wolff, Jeffrey Keefer, Bronwyn Stuckey and I plan to do some debriefing about this event. It's definitely something we should write about! We had several planning meetings in advance, defined our roles quite carefully, and discussed our strategies to ensure all aspects were covered (forum facilitation, voice thread facilitation, promotion, survey design and analysis, wiki minder, etc). Perhaps our experiences with team planning and facilitation will become a useful resource for SCoPE and others communities.

Part of that debriefing will be about next steps. Is this a seminar topic we should revisit next year? What about a special interest group? Questions to ponder. thoughtful

Meanwhile, we have another seminar discussion underway which continue to the end of the month: Learning on the Edge: Exploring Our Boundaries facilitated by Laura Proctor. This topic is multidimensional and will certainly serve as an extension to what we have been discussing here. I hope to see you all there!

Thanks everyone!

In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Leaving our traces - farewell

by Emma Duke-Williams -
Oh wow! I've been so busy recently, that messages have been building up in my "SCOPE" folder, that I've only just found this lot.
I can see that I'm going to have to spend some time reading this & catching up.

(Just as a matter of interest, does Moodle make it easy to download a whole course like this, so that I can read it on my laptop - I have a few long journeys I have to make in the near future, and my 3G card looses connection at times)

In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Re: Leaving our traces - farewell

Hi Emma
Good day

I don´t remember that tool from moodle; however you could use adobe acrobat professional (writer) or win2pdf to print the complete page with all responses y one sequence, then you could do it, with the following sequences.

There is a free version of win2pdf, that you should find in google or yahoo search; Acrobat only have 30 days share version and then you must buy the product, thats the way I use some times.

bye, Andres Aurelio

Re: Leaving our traces - farewell

by Sylvia Currie -
Emma's question about how to read SCoPE forums offline prompted me to wander off seeking a solution. This is something I need as well. Andres suggests opening full threads and converting them to PDF (thanks for that, Andres!). That works, but one problem with Moodle forums is that you can only view one thread at a time.

So here's my solution for reading SCoPE discussions offline. You will need a Google account.
  1. Set up a Google Account so you can use Google Reader
  2. Subscribe to the forum(s) you wish to follow (click on an icon that looks like this rss gif)
  3. Download Google Gears
  4. Next time you open Google Reader you will be prompted to approve a download of your Reader content to your hard drive
  5. Once Google Gears is installed you will see a small icon that looks like this Google offline imageon the top right menu bar in Google Reader. Click this to switch from online to offline mode
  6. Now you can open Google Reader in your browser and read SCoPE forums without logging into the internet

In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Leaving our traces - farewell

by Emma Duke-Williams -
That's a good idea!
I think I'd have to create a separate Google Reader a/c though ... my regular one is rather full of un-read stuff, and I'd have to be a little careful. In fact, Google Reader asked me only yesterday if I wanted to synchronise off line. When it said it had over 2,000 things to do, I declined the offer!

I could also use it as a way of testing Google Chrome, as that's meant to have really good Gears integration (as it should!)