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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Communities and Networks Connection

This is a great week for content communities. And there's a very interesting effect and a realization (aha moment) I've had about all of this that I describe near the bottom.

Yesterday, I was able to announce that I've been working with Judy Brown to launch the Mobile Learning Content Community.

Today I get to announcement that I've been working with Nancy White to launch the:

Communities and Networks Connection

For those of you who don't know Nancy ... She has been my go to person for all things Community for years. She helped me launch Work Literacy. And I'm very happy to have worked with her to get this site going. And have learned a few things along the way.

Nancy has posted a wonderful announcement of the launch. Some thoughts from her post:
This isn’t a community, and not as loose and open as a network. It is in that juicy place in between communities and networks that helps to collect and organize useful content from blogs and other web sites, from people who care about, and are passionate to understand these phenomenon we call “communities” and “networks.” The goal of this page is to create a place where it’s easy to find current and highly relevant content. And perhaps to stimulate a new connection between you and these brilliant people.
One of the wonderful things about the site is that Nancy is collecting content from sources outside of those that are Featured bloggers. I don't have time to go look at all the things that Nancy is finding. It's good to have a flow of them through the site. It's also good to know that I can easily get back and find interesting things.
If you go to my blog’s content page, Full Circle, the page shows on the left the keywords that I write about a fair amount. Keywords like Online Interaction, Technology Stewardship, Catalysts are all pretty good indicators. These same keywords are listed in the new widget in my sidebar provided by the site.

There’s also a page that shows the Best Content from Full Circle based on social signals.

The best part of this is this is not just about my content. In fact, I’m just a drop in the bucket. I’m not alone. There is quite a network that is participating in the launch - from people who are close friends and trusted colleagues, to interesting people I try and follow.

To me the inverse of this is true. It surfaces the best content from Nancy White and her network around these topics.

It’s fun to look at some of the differences in keywords for some of my fellow participants. For example:

Another interesting announcement post comes from John Tropea - Library Clips - Communities and Networks Connection Blog Aggregator.
.... newbies to the blogosphere sometimes haven’t go time to immerse themselves and build a subscription of blogs they trust, this takes time, but it’s well worth it for personal experience. This also happens to me, I haven’t got time to find and build a list of sources for topics I’m slightly interested in, as I’m too busy on the topics I am interested in.

Anyway, for newbies and others, there has been a movement where this stage of finding and reading blogs on a topic has been made a whole lot easier. The blogosphere has matured and blogs on a topic have proved their worthiness (blogosphere self regulates reputation) and coalesced into one convenient space.
This is very true. It's hard to understand a single blog. I've been exploring exactly that in my recent post: Index Page. It's even harder when you try to understand a network of bloggers. I don't necessarily claim that content communities solve that problem, but they at least help to some degree.
Basically, it’s a convenient one stop shop daily read on what a bunch of bloggers are saying about Communities and Networks.
That's a pretty good summary - with the addition that it does help to surface content on specific topics within the space that have high social signals indicating that it's good stuff.

John then provides one of the better explanations of how it all works that I've seen:
How does it work?

Visit the website and in the middle is a stream of the latest posts from all sources. If you like reading content from the comfort of your own home then you can grab the feed.

On the right sidebar is a list of sources, clicking a source will display content from just that source.

Clicking on Library clips will show my latest posts (click for more), and if you scroll down it will show my “best” posts (click for more) based on social signals (kind of like PostRank I guess)

On the left sidebar we have a way to filter posts from all blogs by concept, tools, type, and year (a bigger picture is available on a page)

For those who want to just see posts about a tool like Twitter, or a concept like Collaboration, can filter to just these pages, or grab the feed.

And then you can filter some more, this page here is filtering to see all posts on Twitter, then filter again to see posts on Twitter and Communities of Practice, and you can keep filtering.

Now I’m not sure how these keywords/categorising work, but it’s a handy way to filter the content.

A really cool thing is that I can see all these keywords based around one source, so here’s a keyword page for just my blog.

Great stuff John!

Evolution and Effect of Content Communities

This has been an interesting evolution for me. Originally, Browse My Stuff (which is the current name of the underlying technology) was created to help me organize my own blog's content. It was so effective that I found myself wanting to organize all the content that I read - so I created eLearning Learning. In the process, it created something of real value to the blogging community as well as to people who encounter it from outside.

Then I realized that there were people like me in other domains: Judy Brown - Mobile Learning, Jay Cross - Informal Learning, Nancy White - Communities and Networks - they could do a similar thing to help their network and help someone like me who is outside the network, but interested in it. I have these three resources that I can get a regular stream of and can easily navigate to find good stuff when I need it. Thanks, Jay, Nancy and Judy.

Who's next?

1 comment:

Nancy White said...

Tony, thanks a) for coming up with the idea, b) inviting me to play and c) doing the good 'splainin!