The We Are Media Project just hit the 6-week mark! There has been a lot of activity, contributions, collaboration and learning taking place on the project wiki. I just posted to the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog with some reflections at the 6 week mark.
I think this has been a great experiment in eating our own dog food: the people who advocate for the use of social media, having to come together and work via social media. Part of my post includes the three areas that I think are most crucial in achieving success of a project like this.
Some of the the hardest parts of the project so far for the organizer (Beth), from my perspective, include:
- Managing participation of topic-related experts as the list of participants grows over time (and perhaps after the most applicable topic for him or her passes): As more attention is given to the project across the blogosphere and elsewhere, more people who want to contribute sign on to the wiki. It’s great to get more people involved, but it can be difficult for an organizer to be managing so many different areas of interest and expertise once the project modules are underway.
- Maintaining a natural flow or progression of topics within the wiki: Working wikily can sometimes mean that too many side conversations and tangents turn into stranded pages or that pages get started for a topic that seems important but folks lose track of it. Maintaining an orderly flow of information has really kept this project wiki to a manageable and navigable resource.
- Making it easy for very busy people to contribute beneficial information and knowledge efficiently: If you create it, they won’t necessarily come. Or, if they do, they may not hang out long and contribute. People, even if they are the ‘experts’ in the topic, are busy. A very effective approach is to send an email or Twitter message (or any other tool you are using to ping the participants) that asks a specific question and links to the exact area where you want the information entered. Basically, think of ways to make it hard for your participants to NOT contribute!
What do you think? Check out the full post on the SSIR blog and share your thoughts on projects you have participated in that required remote collaboration in a wiki, or other examples of eating your own dog food!