Organizing a Successful Online Community Requires Constant Tending. Want to See an Example?

One of the keys to running any kind of online community — intranet site, LinkedIn Group, blog or wiki — is to connect with your community individually as well as through the collaboration tools.

I regularly ping KA Connect members to ask how things are going, find out what they are working on, and see how the group is working out for them.  Often I’ll get asked a really good question, and instead of answering it, I’ll suggest that they ask the community instead. Sometimes I’ll come across a blog post and encourage the author to share it and start a discussion. Whatever the tactic, I have found that organizing a successful online community requires constant tending.

Here’s a real-life example from earlier this week: 

 

From: Ruben Suare
Date: Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 1:51 PM
Subject: Article
To: Christopher Parsons

Chris,

I think that you will find this article interesting. I was interviewed by the architect’s newspaper and quoted in the article. It is interesting because I believe that there is too much focus on turning architects into fabricators, but I don’t think that we will ever be fabricators (for many reasons) nor manufacturers — I do believe that as architects we must understand better how to collaborate and what this means in relationship to knowledge building processes

http://www.archpaper.com/e-board_rev.asp?News_ID=5045

Ruben

 

From: Christopher Parsons
Date: Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 6:31 PM
Subject: Re: Article
To: Ruben Suare

Ruben,

I really liked it, and would really love it if you started a discussion on the KA Connect group around your statement that:

“Everyone is turning into a fabricator when they should be concentrating on what it means to be a collaborator.”

You up for it?

Chris

 

From: Ruben Suare
Date: Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 10:19 PM
Subject: Re: Article
To: Christopher Parsons

Chris,

What do you think about posting this with a link to the article?

“Where do you think fabrication is going, and what do you think lies ahead?”

I often talk about PUSH and PULL knowledge practice where I think that it is easier to push knowledge out than to pull it, and pulling is where I think that architectural offices with fabrication facilities lie. We architects work with manufacturers and fabricators pulling knowledge and in most cases we get what is convenient for them. I think that manufacturers and fabricators, with our help, should facilitate knowledge transfer by focusing on pushing out the knowledge that is found in their facilities.

Many young architects are turning into fabricators and I often think about how this will impact the architectural industry. I see young offices fabricating for their clients, but as Caliper Studio comments in this article “The idea of small-scale manufacturing of their own designs is appealing, but the distraction from the design work is a concern.”

Everyone is turning into a fabricator when, I believe, the focus should be on what it means to be a collaborator, and to me, collaboration is the key to successfully combine aesthetics, with quality and efficiency at reasonable costs. As stated by John Shields “it’s really all about communication and seamless information management.”

Ruben

 

 From: Christopher Parsons
Date: Mon, Dec 14, 2010 at 7:55 AM
Subject: Re: Article
To: Ruben Suare

Ruben,

I love it. I think the topic is spot-in for this group.

On a related note, I’d like to use the transcript of this back and forth as the subject of a blog post. One of the keys to running any kind of online community — intranet site, LinkedIn Group, blog or wiki — is to connect with your community individually as well as through the collaboration tools.

For example, we had dinner in Minneapolis, talked over the phone, and now I am encouraging for you to create a discussion. Those actions are essential “behind the scenes” elements for motivating a community and keeping the conversation flowing.

I perform the behind the scenes work with KA Connect on a regular basis and I’d like to share that tip with the community.

Does that work for you?

Chris

 

 From: Ruben Suare
Date: Mon, Dec 14, 2010 at 8:09 AM
Subject: Re: Article
To: Christopher Parsons

Chris,

Yes.

Best,
Ruben

 

Thanks to Ruben Suare of 3form for agreeing to share this conversation. Ruben will be sharing his insights on knowledge transfer, collaboration, and fabrication with the tribe  at KA Connect 2011 on April 27th and 28th in San Francisco.

Posted: December 16th, 2010 | Filed under: Most Popular | Comments Off on Organizing a Successful Online Community Requires Constant Tending. Want to See an Example?

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