Open Space online

Ever since BlogWalk2 I thought of the possibility to adapt the Open Space technology for being used online. Of course, it wasn’t the same – a lot of its special flavour would have been lost, but still…

When Ton wrote about BlogWalk5 and the Traveler virtual environment, I told myself that maybe this is what we need for continuing the BlogWalk discussions online.

Then Magdalena Boettger was brave enough to publish her old notes from BW2 – after months and months- and I sent her mine, not daring to publish them anymore. Her answer to my e-mail mentioned again my own concern:

In Amsterdam we noted again that Open Space is fun and creative and lively

but the problem is how to keep the results and ideas and to work on with

them. We have to care for that some next time. But how?

This evening I was experimenting with Technorati Tags and I decided to check what was tagged with “flow”. Via Chris Corrigan’s Parking lot, I landed on a web site offering Open Space Online services. It sounds really interesting, but…

No external online moderator is needed. COMOSO, the virtual Facilitator

guides all participants simply through the process of the conference. The

participants themselves are the experts: They meet because of a shared

interest in a major theme. It is their knowledge, their questions, their

suggestions, and their dedication that co-develop new ideas and solutions.

They also provide a sample documentation. And the prices sound fair. But I wonder if it really works without a moderator – probably they mean that one of the participants has to take over this role.

I think this is wishful thinking, but even if it’s interactive and well organised, there are other dimensions that could be added. As it is right now, it is a plain, uni-dimensional tool. But just think what it could become if John, Jens and Helen would give you access to their online identities before the meeting (Bloglines subscriptions, and Flickr tags, Technorati profile as a link to one’s own blog(s)). Or if you could browse them during the discussions or afterwards! Just have a look at the About section of this blog – isn’t this all the information that characterizes us nowadays?! The 43 Things or his Orkut communities give you much more information about a person than you can get from reading a formal CV! Of course, this could be only the information that the person agreed to make public.

And then I surfed further, and via Riccardo Cambiassi, I found this “cool new service: evnt; a kind of for events”.

Few words from the Introduction:

evnt is a project developing a range of web based software applications for

handling events, location and calendaring. We are currently building our first

application, an online tool for calendar sharing. With the beginnings of this

open platform in place, we are now expanding our activities towards developing

other situated tools, based on a common platform, that support multiple and

diverse projects in the area.

This made me dream even further: not only looking for people reading the same things as you are, but also looking for people who are going to attend the same event, or be in the same town.

I had moments in the last few days when I felt overwhelmed – so many things are happening every day, that being away for a day or two makes you feel left behind. But now I’m beginning to guess the big picture – there is a direction, something new is being build under our eyes, bottom-up, without an initial blueprint, without a unique command point – like in the blog-related impressionist painting metaphor discovered by Lilia visiting the Art Institute in Chicago.

February 08 2005 12:40 am | Uncategorized

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