More notes from PDC 2010: Composing Collaborative Communities

Mark Elliot, Collabforge www.collabforge.com


Wordle: Composing Collaborative Communities

Collabforge work mainly for the government sector and they’ve made a lot of progress re gov2.0 and in stakeholder engagement. In fact I think they’ve made more progress in that respect than any bureaucracy that I’ve ever experienced or could imagine. In only a brief presentation he illustrated his principles with just a few amazing examples of their work that almost blew my mind.

Collabforge has three design principles:

1. Lifecycle management

  • All communities have a lifecycle: establishment (creating initial conditions), maintenance (keeping people involved) and transition (they could be shut-down or ongoing).
  • E.g. Future Melbourne (a 10 yr planning process). It grew community around the development of a plan using a wiki-based platform and is possibly the world’s first collaborative city plan (all users/contributors have add, edit, delete rights!); it is open 24/7; it facilitates city planners working with public; and there has been no spam or off-topic offensive contribution (it worked much like Wikipedia) because it takes more energy to disrupt process.
  • Post-implementation review is online.
  • He said that life-cycle management was critical for a design process.

2. Community as investment

  • This relates directly to digital literacy.
  • There aim is to reduce the number of those who are disconnected and to reuse & recycling community members.
  • Apparently they moved from a blog to a wiki.
  • See wePlan Alpine

3. Community Management

  • This means working with community to get good outcomes.
  • They used Facebook for Vital Valued Victorians (c21k fans) for the CFA as it stuck with those concerned & seemed most effective.
  • It allowed for a personal level of engagement.
  • Also, for EPA Victoria they developed a web2.0 framework to assist in internal engagement of EPA staff in a 5 yr planning process.

Mark’s was probably one of the most impressive short talks that I heard on Industry Day.

In response to a question : He had made some use of mapping technologies in the Parks plans too. This meant people could drop/sharing photos on points in parks using maps.

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