Web2forDev 2007 (IV): Shared Virtual Spaces for Remote Stakeholder Collaboration

Luz Marina Alvaré, Nancy Walczak
Web 2.0 and IFPRI: Looking out and Looking in

Reach Internet users potentially interested in IFPRI‘s work and engage them in a dialog.

  • Goal: extend web presence beyond institutional website
  • Goal: establish dialogue on food policy issues: Blog World Hunger
  • Goal: help dispersed teams work more effectively: CGVlibrary
  • Goal: Quickly and collaboratively crate a list of best resources, e.g. by using del.icio.us

But also looking inside

  • Goal: increase participation, open communication, and create community: Let’s blog IFPRI, a blog on IFPRI’s intranet
  • Goal: to simplify the entry of content into IFPRI’s Intranet: using wikis as a content management system, avoiding bottlenecks, fostering initiative on the content creator/responsible
  • Goal: IFPRI staff participate in external research-related dialogues, to increase participation

Legitimating tools: “wikis are anarchic”, “blogs are just buzz”

As a transition: enable e-mail compatibilities, so people can choose while getting used to the new tools

Content matters, not its look. The user normally evaluates the quality of the content and understands that nice looks can wait for later. No need to have a sensation of “finished work” or a “finished app”, as long as content is OK.

Damir Simunic
Collaboration on the Edge of Network

Keys to success on collaboration

  • Ownership, in the sense of personalization/customization of look and feel, literals, etc.
  • Bringing “outsiders” inside, so people “inside” can freely interact with people “outside” (the department, the organization, etc.)
  • Simplicity, less is more: do not put features people don’t use or don’t understand at first sight.

Simunic states that e-mail is the only way to engage two-way communication and to have a digital identity. I couldn’t disagree more: latest social networking sites such a MySpace and FaceBook can perfectly work without any e-mail address at all. And, definitely, what positions yourself on the web — on search engines’ results — is not e-mail, that runs privately, but a website — yours, an account on any social networking site, or even a user on Wikipedia.

Web 2.0 for Development related posts (2007)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2007) “Web2forDev 2007 (IV): Shared Virtual Spaces for Remote Stakeholder Collaboration” In ICTlogy, #48, September 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=630

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