Steve Dale has posted a terrific set of slides which gives more context to his earlier thoughts, blogged here with an interview, that the future of online sharing will increasingly be mobile, personalised and through apps rather than just email, web pages etc. They are very relevant to our discussion about Next steps towards a networked RSA.
I've tried embedding them, but it doesn't work on this platform. Grrr.
I posted this comment on Steve's blog:
Excellent slides as ever, Steve! I’m doing some work on the future of Communities of Practice and their possible business models, and this is great context with sharp insights.
As you say the future looks personal, mobile and appified, with value being developed through personalisation, curation and the seeking/delivery of relevant information.
People expect data, information and interaction anywhere, anytime and on any device.
This challenges the older models of CoPs based on a specific platform. I’m looking at Ning-based CoPs, as one example.
Under this model the site managers might aggregate and curate content into the site, and aim to make it as usable as possible on variety of devices, with associated newsletters, tweets and other ways to connect off-site.
However, it looks as if the architecture of the online world is changing, and it is difficult to create enough value around these hubs unless … what?
Do CoPs have to offer a wider range of benefits offline as well as one, and specialised services? Will that only be feasible if they are associated with an institutional base?
Will we see the development of more across-network curators (social reporters as I would call them) … and if so, who pays?
And/or do we increasingly have to create and manage our own networks and communities? And what range of personal knowledge management skills does that require?
So – is the tough question where next for curation and collaboration? (I know you have some good stuff on that too:-)
Steve kindly responded:
Great post David and I couldn't agree more. I think that in highlighting Stephen's slide deck you have encapsulated the issues perfectly. The increasing role of curation is an interesting one, particularly because in embodies all sorts of other facets such as editorial choice and trust. Therefore I'm going to disagree with you on whether the role of curator is compatible with the role of social reporter. I'll throw it open as a question to the other regular contributors to this space. It's an important distinction because I see Social Reporters as observers and, if Ofcom is to be believed, they haven't as yet captured the trust that a respected editor might. which begs the question: who curates? One answer might be "let the market decide" as successful curation will attract while the opposite would be true. Let's see what others think; remember, comment is free.
There could well be a distinction between "social reporters" and "digital curators", and maybe we should also add "social rapporteurs" into the mix as well. But I'm coming in late on these discussions and therefore not too clear how important it is to make these distinctions in the context of the RSA network. Personally, I think you'll have all three, and they could even be the same person, dependent on context. My own experience as a fairly amateur digital curator (see Social Web) picks up on the point made by David about creating value. A good curator will know their audience and appreciate that these days most people are information rich but time poor. They will collect, comment and edit material from many different sources, picking out the key aspects and adding insight where possible, knowing what will be of most relevance to their audience. Maybe one of the key differences is that for social networks, curators don't choose their audience, i.e. the audience decide whether or not to follow the curator. For a closed/private network, you need to have the trust and authority from the audience to perform this role - curator, social reporter or whatever label you want to give it.
Let's see where this thread goes. :-)
Thanks David and Steve. The slides look very similar to those Steve used when I saw him give an excellent talk at the NetIKX seminar on the future of Social Networks in January. I think the point humorously made on slide 19 about the credibility of sources is very important. As part of his day job I curate authoritative online reference information and we are aware we need to make this more interactive in response to the web2.0 world, however this is a fine balancing act. For the RSA this is complicated by the need for the RSA to communicate and interact with both the fellowship and the wider world as part of its mission. This however is my observation, there isn't a straightforward answer, any solution will I suspect will be complex and nuanced.