Yesterday the Connected Futures Workshop group had a fantastic teleconference/skype chat. It was moderated by Nancy White and the purpose was to kick off week 4 of the workshop and bring forward our big questions. We were encouraged by Etienne Wenger to be flexible and creative in how we engage others in our topic. Some participants chose to post to their blogs so I thought I would follow suit. I had two questions but this topic seems most suited for posting to a blog and inviting comments.
Here's my dilemma...I find as a community coordinator every time I create an account these days I pause while I run these questions through my head:
- Will I use this for my own work?
- Am I creating this account for a community?
- If so, what should I call it?
- Which email address should I use?
- Should I create 2 accounts -- one for myself and one for the community"
- Is that redundant?
I recently had the task of uploading presentations from the Shaping Our Future conference that were not my own to slideshare. I felt a little stumped. Do I use my own account? Do I create a new account? I ended up creating a separate community account called "BCcampus". The conference is sponsored by BCcampus and is held at SCoPE, and I'm now manager of BCcampus online community services which now includes SCoPE. So that made sense...sort of. Then I started to get notifications that people were following me (the community) and marking me (the community) as a favourite. I thought now what? Do I reciprocate?
Recently I checked a pagecast that I created for the SCoPE community and was alarmed to see that it was called "sylvia"! Good grief, did I just quickly make the pagecast public and as I clicked away it added my username to the URL? I'm working to rename it. Or should I start over with a separate community account?
At SCoPE we use Moodle which doesn't have a site wide feed. So as an easy work around I simply labeled all of my feeds from public SCoPE forums in Google Reader as "scope-sitewide" then made that tag public. The problem with that strategy is that the public page is called "scope-sitewide" via Sylvia. That doesn't feel very community like, does it? On the other hand, does it make sense to create a separate account and repeat the process of adding and organizing RSS feeds ing Goggle Reader? Not really! Hmmm, this is getting a little sloppy!
A social network where individuals share and reciprocate is managed by the individual members. That's the whole idea. When associating a network with an existing community it gets a little complicated. I'm now managing several communities. Does it make sense to have my own identity tied so closely with each community identity? I worry about what will happen if I leave my community coordinator role. It could become quite a task to tease all of this apart!
The line between individual and community identities is becoming blurry. Hey all of you community stewards out there, how do we manage this?