Notes from Net Tuesday, August 5: Homebrewed Rumination

Well, about 20 folks — both new and “old” — attended and participated in our experimental format, a kind of “speed brainstorming”.  Thomas Taylor graciously took notes, which I made some minor clarification edits to, and here they are.  Thanks to everybody who participated.  It was a unique mix of people and a very interesting and provocative discussion.

— Seth

Notes from Philly Net Tuesday 8 – 4 – 09

Taken by Thomas Taylor; edited slightly by Seth Horwitz

Mentions of specific services or resources are in boldface.


1.       Objectives for Philly NetSquared and Net Tuesdays

a.      From those here for the first time:

                                                               i.      Absorbing ideas

                                                             ii.      Sharing things we’ve experimented with and how we can use those to further our objectives

                                                            iii.      Share actual uses, personal use cases

                                                           iv.      What are the problems people want to solve?

                                                             v.      Get out and meet like-minded people; social opportunities

                                                           vi.      Learn new terms

                                                          vii.      Move away from static web pages/owned web pages into (?)

b.      From those who’ve been here before

                                                               i.      Collaborative projects

                                                             ii.      Find out who’s doing what, where so that those working on similar projects can share knowledge/collaborate

                                                            iii.      Build a community of practice: define domain of people using the ‘net for social change

                                                           iv.      Have enjoyed the makeover sessions: focusing on one NP and helping them with their strategy

                                                             v.      Sharing open source solutions

                                                           vi.      HAPPY HOUR PRICES!

2.       Theme 1: Helping people connect with one another

a.      Types of tools

                                                               i.      Profile pages

1.       with images

                                                             ii.      Where possible, link people to existing profiles on other services

                                                          iii.      Open ID, gravatar

                                                           iv.      Like LinkedIn: can specify what reasons or purposes you’re interested in being contacted for

                                                             v.      Tying social elements to static information (articles, sites, projects)

                                                           vi.      Unified RSVP/calendar system

                                                          vii.      Interests/skills/knowledge bank

1.       Who has these resources

2.       What is their availability

3.       Who needs such resources

                                                        viii.      Andrew Warner – had tool where you could see who was going to attend a meeting (meetup/facebook has this functionality)

                                                           ix.      Reporting back from the sessions, with photos, comments, video


b.      For

                                                               i.      Post videos of sessions (if speakers consent)

                                                             ii.      Drupal can handle password protection

                                                            iii.      Job Boards / resource exchange board

                                                           iv.      Webinars

                                                             v.      Calendar – could allow members to post

                                                           vi.      “Success” – blog successes by members – failures as well. “Breakthrough page” “Fail informatively”

                                                          vii.      Website feedback, esp. beta sites

                                                        viii.      Seek help when you hit a problem

                                                           ix.      Share reviews of resources (websites, books…) , including brief summary and willingness to be contacted about them

                                                             x.      Compare the different portals

c.       For other sites

                                                               i.      Tag clouds as a way of getting a sense of what’s being talked about, incl. through Twitter

                                                             ii.      Buzzing for Change – testimonials

                                                            iii.      Make statements of their theory of social change

                                                           iv.      Helping new people find out the rituals and practices (help them ”level up”),  EG, tweetdeck on twitter helped her learn twitter conventions; make the event/group more inviting and welcoming – “real” start time, what we do – blog posts from newcomers. Could be sent to new RSVPs

                                                             v.      Google Translate (now uses statistical translations)

3.       Theme 2: Aggregating Information

a.      Types of tools

                                                               i.      Robot which searches sites to pull social media-relevant information into the site (Google Search -> RSS, Google Alerts)

                                                             ii.      Twitter search/hashtagging

                                                          iii.      Google custom search

                                                           iv.      Yahoo Pipes to aggregate multiple RSS feeds into one

                                                             v. – rooms of common interests

                                                           vi.      How to handle the amount of information aggregated? Let people filter for you, eg, friendfeed. Filtering bias?

b.      For

                                                               i.      Distinguishing information to help techies and non-techies make the best use of relevant information.

                                                             ii.      Rating system.

                                                            iii.      Statement of use/audience

                                                           iv.      Visualization of information, eg tag clouds, show growth within a given cloud,

                                                             v.      Eg phila library site: shows related words, with more popular words by click showing bigger. – dynamic linking of ideas and trends

                                                           vi.      What are our most important services to our community  – will drive content and structure

                                                          vii.      Present models that people can repurpose/adapt

                                                        viii.      Calendar feed – aggregating different calendars, including (include philly tech meetup, members events, Cultural Alliance’s ProCalendar – all kinds of professional dev events for NPs)

c.       For other sites

1.       Selling the idea of RSS feeds – how to present to people as info management

2.       Feedly – FF extension for Google Reader

3.       Twitter as RSS push tool; RSS aggregator

4.       Localization of information, down to the community or neighborhood (sounds like foursquare and/or brightkite)

5.       Accessibility standards

4.       Theme 3: Fostering Collaboration

a.      Types of tools

                                                               i.      Wikis

                                                             ii.      Mindmapping

                                                            iii.      DimDim videoconferencing

                                                           iv.      Project-related tools

                                                             v.      Replacing in-person conferences, esp. long-distance ones, with virtual conferences

                                                           vi.      Google Wave

                                                          vii.      Facebook, LinkedIn messageboards

                                                        viii.      Gliffy – wireframing and diagramming tool

                                                           ix.      Unfuddle – bug tracking/bug management,

                                                             x.      Google Docs and other online office Zoho, Live Office

                                                           xi.      Disqus comment management

b.      For

                                                               i.      Wiki – collaborative documentation. Like the simplicity of wiki or blog being the underlying structure for the Website. Some people find the visuals of wikis off-putting. Requires gardeners and organization maintainers.

                                                             ii.      Much of what’s been mentioned above in terms of connecting people

                                                            iii.      Online and offline collaboration connections. Emphasizing offline as a medium for collaboration.

c.       For other sites

                                                               i.      Collaboration on massive scale is the future

5.       Theme 4: Encouraging Self Expression and reaching out to the world

a.      Types of tools (skipped for time)

b.      For

                                                               i.      Blog – multiauthor and/or individual)

                                                             ii.      Profile pages

                                                            iii.      Whiteboard

                                                           iv.      Tags for aggregation to

                                                             v.      Robust archive of meetings: notes, slides, video

                                                           vi.      Use students to help with recording and editing

                                                          vii.      Members being able to make personal statements – of personal change, social change, what the group

                                                        viii.      Question & answer board – does this replicate Google Group. Can we link or integrate the Google Group.  Organic Groups for Drupal?

                                                           ix.      Feedback for ideas, like ideablob for floating ideas and getting input

                                                             x.      How can we centralize and focus the website. Could Twitter become the central focus, around which the web site is focused?

                                                           xi.      Reviews of different applications that people are using. Lexicon/glossary, which lists who’s using what, including reviews.  “Top 10 things to know about X Tool…”

                                                          xii.      Would a twitter centric page get dated?

                                                        xiii.      Like that there’s a home page – creates a central focus and feels safe

                                                        xiv.      Must be clear and selective – to try and make site useful.

c.       For other sites (skipped for time)



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