It's apparently the month of collaboration, for some reason. I've talked to four people this month about presenting information about the types of collaboration tools that are available, particularly for networks of organizations who want to work together.
And in fact, we're currently working on diagram to easily convey strengths and weakness of different tools in this space. So I'm giving it a lot of thought!
One of the things that's struck me in this space is that there's not that many methods which both help to archive ideas and conversations in a useful way for posterity and also help people to connect to each other and form relationships. Those wouldn't appear to be opposites, but in practice, it's hard to come up with examples.
Which got me thinking about the possibilities of blog networks for this purpose. Let's say you have ten organizations that are trying to coordinate, and each has an incentive to show that they're doing useful things. What if each organization were to keep a blog to talk about what done, what they've found out, challenges, etc? Each of the other organizations could then read the blogs to keep abreast of what others are doing (maybe, in fact, it's one blog with a lot of authors - that could be a better model). Each organization could comment on other people's posts - the tools would even support small discussions or decision making in the comments.
I'm kind of compelled by this model. It would take some start-up and management, no question. But I'm feeling it's a nice mix of structured and not, archive-able but not impersonal.
I've never heard of anyone doing this, though - anyone know of any examples of this? Or are there big downsides that I'm not seeing?