Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Friday, November 15, 2002day link 

 Communities of Practice
pictureCommunities of Practice is something more people are talking about. See a primary article by Etienne Wenger, who is a key proponent of the concept. It is essentially a loosely organized group of people who are sharing some kind of activity, and who are learning together. That is different from a Community of Interest, which would be people interested in a certain subject or having a shared concern or desired outcome. It is also different from a geographical community, where people are linked by the fact that they live or work in the same place. None of those necessarily involve that people are sharing the same activity. In a Community of Practice people recognize that they're doing the same kinds of things, that they need the same kinds of tools and the same knowledge about using them well, but they might very well belong to different organizations or different departments in a company. So, it is not a team or a unit or a business. It is not a set of relationships or contracts, but rather it is about the activity that people share. People belong to communities of practice at the same time as they belong to other organizational structures. The community is maintained to the degree that people contribute to the activity, adding value to it as a whole. Wenger talks about the cycles associated with such a community, from discovering a need for it, towards engaging in developing the shared practice, towards it dispersing when no longer needed. There are some examples in this article.
[ | 2002-11-15 23:59 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Open Space Online
pictureI'm very interested in how different design patterns in online environments will inspire different kinds of outcomes. You know, if things are arranged one way it fosters creativity and brainstorming, and if they're arranged in another way it might foster convergent results and agreement. I'd like to understand that better, and I'd like to create different environments for different purposes.

I was just looking at OpenSpace Online, which is a system developed by Gabriela Ender in Germany, for coordinating an online conference based on Open Space principles. Look at the demo. Very nice system it seems, but fairly expensive for the settings I would probably think of.
[ | 2002-11-15 23:59 | 13 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Signs of a parallel universe
pictureTwo Australian scientists believe they've found signs of a parallel mirror universe, by studying craters on the asteroid Eros. Apparently the only available explanation for the layout of the craters is that they've been splattered by mirror-matter. The Near-Shoemaker spaceprobe touched down on Eros briefly in 2000.
[ | 2002-11-15 23:59 | 8 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Personality Types
pictureI have for years asked people to optionally fill in a Myers-Briggs or Keirsey personality test when filling in a membership profile in NCN. But the last couple of years I've just referred people to Keirsey's site, which is rather cumbersome and self-serving and asking people to register, etc. I just noticed a very simple version at Bloginality. It is kind of simple and obvious, but I'd say it works pretty well. So I'm considering switching over to something like that. It identified me as an ENTP in a minute or two. .. Ah and here's another short one.
[ | 2002-11-15 23:59 | 12 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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