Friday, April 01, 2005

NTC: A collection of post event thoughts

There was some talk on the nptech IRC channel and on a few blogs about the lack of outbound news at N-TEN's Nonprofit Technology Conference. This despite the conference wiki, del.icio.us and flickr tags.

And this is contrast to the wealth of outgoing information from many other conferences. So why?

I can give excuses (laptop battery drained, too much presenting, general exhaustion) but the truth is, I don't think I place enough of a priority on this kind of real-time knowledge sharing. And I believe that reflects the community as a whole. We tend to live in our inboxes.

We can't live by email (some the richest post NTC exchanges I've seen have been on the NOSI discussion list) alone throughout the year and then expect that people will step out of their inboxes and onto web communication platforms.

A group of earlier adopters (and I hear there's someone who's ready to rally those particular troops) has to take this on and begin communicating and knowledge sharing on a regular basis now. That way, when next year's NTC rolls around, it isn't something extra and unexpected. It's what we habitually do.

It seems to me that a community is beginning to develop around knowledge sharing outside of listservs (which can be a difficult way to archive and collect content even though it's a great way to get a connection to a broader community). These effort show up in the del.icio.us/tag/nptech, in the fledging effort to start keep an IRC channel going. Certainly, it's a part of what N-TEN seems to be thinking about in their rigorous and admirable efforts to collect and maintain a collection of materials from the various conferences. Aspiration is trying to keep this going in the Penguin Day wiki. NPOBlogs.net also helps to support this effort. It's absolutely some our own motivation in setting up ConsultantCommons.org.

But it's not going to happen over night. And it's not going to happen because of the efforts of a few people. It's only going to happen if people keep going to these channels and participate, if these channels bring information, comradeship and connection into the post conference realm. And then, then, if someone does the hard work of bringing them together during a conference.

nten, ntc, nten05, networks, online_communities, knowledge_sharing)