As of today (for no particular reason) I’m now officially a fan of social networking. When the Applied Improv group moved it’s web presence to ning I started to understand the potential of social networking. Since then I’ve set up four social networking sites of my own using CollectiveX – initially to play around and see how they work, and more recently as a part of my facilitation practice.
For the uninitiated, I think the benefits are:
1. Having all the discussions and other relevant info for a particular group available in the one location. This makes it easy to keep track of discussions around a particular topic or with a particular group without having to dredge through a whole bunch of emails.
2. Opportunity to have links to web sites, videos etc and to upload documents, and have discussion threads that are easy to opt in and out of.
3. Potential for warming up a group to an event, post activity evaluation, and continuing discussions. Enables transitions.
4. An opportunity to build community amongst a diverse group of people who nonetheless share a common interest, for example users of Open Space Technology.
5. I get email alerts of any activity so I don’t have to remember to check all the time to see if anything new is there. And I can manage my settings to get those alerts in a way that suits me.
6. When I log on to CollectiveX it lists all of my sites in a summary bar – makes it really easy to keep track of all my groups.
7. It’s free.
I’m not yet a fan of wiki sites – and the jury is still out on Twitter, but stay tuned.