27 June Skype Call

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a) capacity building FAQ and KM4D journal, In Sept community notes by Lucie b) Ben tried to start a discussion on a particular FAQ with just one contribution. c) FAQ as community building experiment d) Future of FAQ, phase2? e) Report to Manuel F Others? Using wiki at meeting? Include with other ideas in c)

Compiled Action Items

  • ACTION 1. Stats for wiki -> Lucie will bribe someone to dump the stats for analysis
  • ACTION 2. Ben send another mail today to list to see if we can get any more input on the capacity building question. Unresolved if this is still good fodder for the Journal community note.
  • ACTION 3: Nancy write to the people who were keen on using the wiki.
  • ACTION 4: Mini poll on km4dev site - Lucie - done
  • ACTION 5: Add your thoughts, reflections to http://www.km4dev.org/wiki/index.php/FAQtory_Process_Observations
  • Nancy post description of UNDP consolidated response process to wiki
  • ACTION 6:After Ben's question ask about community member's experiences with FAQ. Someone other than URs.
  • ACTION 7:Nancy do wrap up post about wiki cook book experience
  • ACTION 8:Nancy blog about this and see what others might say outside of the community. Talk about the experience. See fi others have tried to do something similar. Challenges.
  • ACTION 9) Bring up at KM4Dev show and tell session. Ben bring up with Carl.
  • ACTION 10) Nancy post these notes on wiki and then everyone post their reflections (Action item 5)
  • ACTION 11) ACTION: Move old FAQs to Wiki - Lucie is lead.
  • ACTION 12: AFTER action review. Nancy has set it up. Everyone respond by July 7

A) Discussion on Capacity Building FAQ and source material for KM4Dev Jounral Community Note

Why no reactions to the topic discussion. We know it is an issue of interest. Sixth sense that when people need to know something rather than an open ended question. Made sense until nancy asked about the health question. Maybe it is the FAQ process itself. An anti community mechanism (laughter). Something about need and the way in which we present the questions - abstract.maybe we need to tie questions to more concrete issues. What are your top three X's and lets add them to the FAQ. Ask people if they are reading the FAQs. Would they encourage us to keep working on the project or forget it.Capacity building page is #6 on popularity pages.


The data is not sufficient to draw conclusions.

Need to wrap up so we can write up the notes for the journal. We can make changes, but wondering Discussion with community about renewal and bringing it as the official FAQ. FAQ about capacity building was supposed to be about the topic and the process of FAQ renewal. Original idea of community notes was when someone asks a question, how people respond. Marc Steinlin had asked a question about office organization for knowledge sharing - he summarized and how he used it. That was the original idea of the notes. Last issue Urs did the cross organizational one and introduced the FAQ renewal project. In this one more as not being on the project, not just on the FAQ item itself, but in integrating with conversation. But that didn't happen.

Try one more question - different tack. Do a more concrete question, try to tie to something current and relevant. Ask if anyone is currently working with this issue? Draw them in? Ben pose three questions in open ended way. Narrow down on one question and ask for practical examples.

  • What are the top three capacity building techniques/processes you are using?
  • What capacity building initiatives are you working on?
  • what about this as a question: Thanks to Sebastiao for his input on the "building capacities for knowledge sharing and learning" question I posed a few weeks back. Can I focus the discussion and ask for other practical examples of ongoing KM capacity building efforts? And what are some of the challenges you are facing?

What can help people recognize themselves in the question? Sebastiao's email response is a good example.

ACTION 2: Try one more time, ask for practical examples and current work. Maybe frame with some example. Ben do RIGHT FRICKEN NOW! :)


We often ask multiple questions when we've sent out the FAQs. That may lead to more fragmented response. The abstract and slightly high level nature of the questions. We're not actually making it relevant to people's on going work. So people have to spend time looking at things not in the email - that gets a lower response - rather than the full problem and question in the email. The FAQ process held back by multiple things going on. All of which are more complex than the usual list interactions.

Can we simplifying it down. The topic is X, find out more here and what are you doing in this area at the moment?

Simplifying question: provide quick, familiar examples. If they have to review text or FAQ it requires more time. Need an hour or 2.

Is anybody doing X?

Then what?

Perceived Value of FAQ Project I don't understand how people are perceiving the FAQ and it's value. The health thing - was it about finding shared practitioners? Why the big response? Ask F2F. Not getting enough interaction. Going back to same mechanism and it becomes and empty process. FAQ is hard work. Most people don't have the time to do that. FAQ is valuable to Urs. Number of websites he likes because of consolidated responses to questions. I want them, but don't always have the time to write them.

How does the style affect people's perception of the FAQ and process in contributing. Formal/informal. Simple questions can be done fast, informally. Higher level ask for more careful framing and work. Online spread sheet - nancy got it up fast, Urs spend 30 minutes structured it to be more useful. The structure helps some people absorb better.

Something to learn about how we gathered the FAQ topics. We did the survey and asked for "big, unanswered questions" and asked people to vote. Then we picked some of our favorite questions as well. Is this counter to the kinds of questions like the experience Urs just described. I've got a question/problem and people respond and it compiles into a FAQ. Ours were bigger and more abstract. Are the bigger questions just harder to discuss. Easier to put off.

Has anyone gotten personal feedback? Urs, Ben, Lucie none. Nancy heard from John and one other. Urs sent link to wiki of spreadsheet question. That was very useful and practical. Was possible to create page, send link. Practical way of working.

ACTION 3: Nancy write to the people who were keen on using the wiki.

  • Was there an attraction to the FAQ or was it the wiki?
  • why did you register * how do you think this could be useful in your work? * Have you used the FAQ? Read? Edited?
  • how often have you visited? Edited a contribution? Passed a link on to someone else.

one one reverse look up

The FAQ patterns - do they reflect the overall patterns of the community?

Future of the FAQ. Did we bite off more than we can chew? By trying to reflect accumulated wisdom in a static way. Do they require active faciltiation, F2F, maybe run a paralell session at the upcoming KM4Dev.

Site is indexed very well by google'

Reflections: For nancy, it has been a community building experience with our small sub group. So it has built my sense of belonging to the community. Ben: different functions that communities and networks perform. The FAQ process has been pushing one function more than any other. Filtering/Amplifying/onvene/fac/commbuild/provider-investor. We wanted the FAQ to do a lot of this, what we've done effectively is filter information into a more accessible format. We've performed one function better than the others. That is what an FAQ is. Our esxperiment is not just with the community but with FAQs as a whole. have not seen FAQs as a community tool in other settings. How ambitoius were we. Quite apt to write a note on for the report.

Urs* have sent an email to our list and added thoughts to point #2. Interested to know if other members of the ocmmunity have experiences with developing an FAQ in another setting. It's a bit surprising we had not asked this before.

Nancy post the UNDP consolidated response process from India - not quite the same as FAQ, but is a related methodology. That distinction makes us wonder about how we determined what is FAQ by pulling out old questions on the platform.

We did not have Frequently Asked questions, but frequently Unasked questions, or frequently unanswered questions.

Three levels of FAQ Utility to community

  1. For the FAQ makers -- Value of learning together, making meaning while making FAQ. Builds relationship, community at a subgroup level and builds practice
  2. Community information resource - builds on practice and domain.
  3. Over time, the compiled FAQs represent in some ways the community's domain. It is another way to see itself

third over time reflection of a community's domain. What is important to them.

We are just at the first level.

Interesting: community, domain and practice all show up in the levels.

Urs has an informatin centric experience. Fed up collecting on laptopl. Why not collect on the web. Need sufficient confidence it will not disappear. If trust KM4Dev wiki collect all my stuff there. HUGE HUGE thing!

  • Individual motivation
  • Finding useful sweet spot between individual and group
  • Relationship to tagging/del.icio.us experiment
  • new way of thinking, new way of working, human 2.0
  • Public way of working
  • The value accrues beyond the individual, but it is driven by the individual.

Ask the community about the FAQ experiences in other communities. 6) After Ben's question ask about community member's experiences with FAQ. Someone other than URs. 7) Nancy do wrap up post about wiki cook book experience 8) Nancy blog about this and see what others might say outside of the community. Talk about the experience. See if others have tried to do something similar. Challenges.

Future of FAQ: Future of the Wiki -->

  • Right now what we have on the wiki is distilled stuff. If we want them to use the wiki, we may need to do something different, ask different question.
  • Tools could back for good wiki experience
  • Tool -- distinction between FAQ and resource page. tools mingling with FAQ. does it matter? Do we need to distinguish between community wisdom and information resources?
  • I don't think the difference matters, but it does beg the question of organization
  • Too early to answer the question of organization. Continue developing, adding new FAQ. Like discussions in FAQ that encourages people to do a couple of edits and use it more frequently.
  • In second step, need to, when a couple of other members in Brighton, encourage them to use the wiki/faq.
  • Sit down and "lets do one together."
  • No session on the FAQ, but there is a break out time to present things. Maybe we ask Carl if we can do that.
  • There is wireless access so we may be able to do something live.

ACTION 9) Bring up at KM4Dev show and tell session. Ben bring up with Carl.

How are we finding the wiki as our FAQ platform? L: quite well. What N has been doing taking discussions, questions and people's responses and immediately putting them in shows flexibility once you know how to do it. Can do withinminutes. That flexibility is important if we want this to continue. If phase 2 is people taking it on this way, that's a good tool. U: I was very skeptical at the beginning, now fully converted. You convinced me. Now I think it is a great tool, the only tool. Really great developing, collecting together. Simple. There is some kind of a threshold. It needs some time. Once you are in it is really simple. Why I would suggest to develop further the FAQ for teh community on the wiki and not on the km4dev website. B: lot of potential. Even in our small group it took quite a bit of effort, took someone that believed in it to convert them, for those who didn't know so much about it. It was because of that interaction, tracking it. that's why we were convinced. We need to go through a similar process with the community. Sending emails is not going to do it.

Run a session not on the FAQ but on wiki at Brighton. Try to get a committement to work on a wiki together. A louder splash than just the four of us. Note taking at Brighton. Wiki hands on. Training. We actually have a little project we discuss F2F and peopel committ to working on something that can be of use to the community. Beyond our small group who has found it usefull. A new community project.or see what comes up as action from the meeting and see if it can be supported by a wiki and see if people are interested in it.The key is someone in the group knowing the tool and the willingness of the rest to experiment to see if adoption is possible.

Facilitation/experience/willingness/critical mass --> wiki becomes useful

So finding ways to build more critical mass of users. Developer session at Brighton. Urs write from the converted position. Nancy will write from the evangelical position.

10) Nancy post these notes on wiand Urs and all post their reflections which is actually action 9 as well! we can't reliably compare hits between the Xaraya FAQ and wiki FAQ Lets just do it, not ask. Community isn't always a democratic experience. not sure people care? As long as it works and the info is there. many people don't care about the technology, focused on content. Asking the community might be opening a can of... silence! ;)

11) ACTION: Move old FAQs to Wiki - Lucie is lead.

Maybe find a couple of people from Brighton to help.

Format in wiki is new, so that may be the point of negotiation/meaning making. Not that complicated Intern help. Will require some index work change index to reflect taxonomy from website Right now it is a working structure, not a useful using structure All faqs are always inprocess Official change from project mode to an ongoing community process. Should be reflected on wiki This is phase 2 Move old FAQs to wiki Create index to reflect website taxonomy metapmorphosis Beyond the cocoon


  • See Lucie's email message, no formal report
  • AAR
  • Our compiled reflections on the wiki
  • Lessons learned
  • List of what we've done (recap process)
  • Introductory note
  • List of FAQ
  • then AAR (asynch in wiki)
  • Finish the M&E and CoP FAQs

ACTION 12: AFTER action review.

  • How and when. What if we did it asynch in the wiki? Nancy set it up. What did we set out to do? What actually happened? Why differences? What worked well? What didn't work as well? What are our recommedations/do differently?
  • EVERYONE put in their thoughts by July 7.
  • ntroductory note: who??? Ben
  • Nancy pull together reflections
  • The AAR will stand on it's own
  • http://www.km4dev.org/wiki/index.php/FAQIntro#The_FAQ_Working_Group

No calls till after July. See what happens on the wiki