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Wednesday, 14 November 2007

RSA Networks Prototype day 2

Well, it's actually day 3, but I'm lagging behind a day. This is just a quick post about the higher level 'flow' and expected uses of the system that we are developing at the moment. I hope to blog again later today and put a bit more meat on the bones.

We are eager for feedback, especially as we are now finding the holes in our thinking as we build... your help with that task is much appreciated!

We have another flow diagram for you - this one explaining the three key activities we're expecting fellows to engage in via the RSA Networks prototype:


Proposal: describing a nascent project, this is where up and coming, enthusiastic RSA fellows will be posting their projects, hoping to win support, criticism, and the benefit of the experience, connections and resources of other fellows.

Discussion: this is the core function of the site. Fellows can get involved by creating online discussions (threaded blog posts and comments) or offline discussions (meetups) relating to a project. The result of all this activity is reflected on the site, and the most active projects rise to the surface.

Support: making connections and expressing appreciation. Fellows can act as match-makers, promoting events to each other, making introductions between other fellows, recommending projects, and inviting each other to blog discussions. If they want to, they can also 'pledge support' - which is either public (visible on the project page) or private (a message to the project initiator).

This is basically a more abstract expression of what Norah, Simon and Trevor were doing yesterday, but in abstracting it, we're now wondering what processes we're missing out on.

How do people already support 'social innovation'? What other existing processes could we augment? Can anyone see any glaring holes here? Any unnecessary steps?

More soon... hopefully with some screenshots from the bleeding edge!

4 comments:

davidwilcox said...

Saul - that's fascinating and makes sense in the project flow... however, it does assume that there are Fellows out there rarin' to go with project ideas, and convinced that RSA is the best place to incubate them.
There's an old adage - relationships before ideas, reflection before action.
Does RSA know of projects and networks ready to go? What will be the front-end mechanisms to help develop and broker relationships? What offer will RSA make to project proposers that makes it worth investing the effort? What face-to-face activities will help develop the trust and enthusiasm for trying the system?
Is that within your brief?
If not, could someone from RSA help clarify?

Andy Gibson said...

Thanks David. It's definitely part of our remit to identify what will build trust and encourage collaboration between the fellowship, but perhaps because of the 22nd deadline we may appear to be solely focussed on code right now!

Our essential plan is to create a prototype which makes something new possible, and then to see how this new possibility is received by the fellows. We'll see what feedback we get this Friday, and on 22nd, and then we can explore what offline factors would help too (as we've already discussed). Perhaps we can also discuss the current levels of trust and enthusiasm within the fellowship on Monday too?

As for front-end mechanisms to develop and broker relationships, that's the other key part of our development. The face-to-face meetings should give us a great opportunity to see how these relationships happen offline, and then we'll have a better idea of how technology could help. We already have a few ideas though.

Not sure if that clarifies things completely, but it's good to talk about all this. We'll need to address all these issues if we're going to make this project work.

davidwilcox said...

Thanks Andy - sounds promising. It's really helpful to have a development approach which should tease out the whole process,even if you have to start with the tech for reasons you explain. Looking forward to meeting on Friday

PeterC said...

Saul

Really great to be able to look in as you go - thank you.

In relation to "gaps" just two tentative thoughts:

First is there a risk of twin unconnected tracks - real and virtual discussion - developing around the same issue? In which case might there be a way to connect them: for instance if "real" meetings were linked conference call style (Skype for instance) so those out of the local area could drop in and participate; and/or recording for later catch up (although the bloggers are doing a great job anyway!).

Second might real-time on-line encounters (again perhaps themes at regular times) be a way to fuel discussion and build trust, again for those further flung? Use of low-carbon means to optimise connections.

Both of these would need publishing of event timings and easy links.

PeterC