EDNA’s 2008 Networks Community Forum

Hi all,

There is a bit of a discussion on the life of network forums over in EDNA.  I am not sure if the EDNA community picked this up but in an article I wrote about Communities of Practice (CofP) I used EDNA  as a good example of a CofP for Education and still believe it to be the case.   

In the article I also discussed how I was a singular failure in trying to develop a CofP for geography teachers in NSW – though  there is a very good Yahoo group for Geography teachers.  

So I find  it most interesting to see the discussion about the lifecycle of this particular forum.  Just some Cof P  observations from a lurker in this forum – though I am not a lurker in  what I believe is a very successful CofP   which gives some interesting insights into the success of a CofP. 

1.  Passion gets you only so far. A forum can only go so far on the drive of a passionate forum facilitator.

2.  Lurkers can have passion. Lurking  is a personal preference. A Cof P should take this into  account before making decisions for the community.

3.  When a forum is tied to a business or organisation there is pressure for it to succeed for perhaps the wrong reasons. 

4.  Schumacher is still right – Small is  (still) Beautiful. So…

5. …too many forums may confuse but they can work if we promote pull rather than push technology. So… 

6. … it is all about integration.  Have a forum seamlessly linked to a wiki, blogs of the members of the CofP, Twitter, Friend Feed….  It is all about one stop shopping. But…

7.  …sometimes it is time to move on.

8.  Critical Mass makes a big difference. So..

9  …it is important to add value.  More of the same breeds more of the same and new blood just lurks more or moves on. 

10.   CofP have to be based in reality even in an online world and…

11. …what you need is to refind the trigger which led to the initial success of the CofP.

12.  At some stage you need to meet people  in the CofP – that is why the EDNA tours were so great last year and the next best thing is …

13.  … the community needs a real identity – T- Shirts , coffee mugs, bumper stickers. For example…

cheers  Martin


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