Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing


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Voluntary and Professional Associations: Signal and Noise

I receive regular blog post alerts from the Scholarly Kitchen.

The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) established the Scholarly Kitchen blog in 2008.

SSP’s mission is:

To advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking.

The Scholarly Kitchen, a moderated and independent blog, aims “to help fulfill this mission by bringing together differing opinions, commentary, and ideas, and presenting them openly”.

I admire the way The Scholarly Kitchen goes about sharing openly. I have linked to their posts in a number of my posts.

This morning Kent Anderson has a stimulating post about associations. In his introductory comments he observes:

It’s no secret that associations and membership organizations are facing generational, attitudinal, practical, and economic challenges simultaneously. Many things are going on, but a sampling shows how profound the challenge is becoming:

  • Younger people don’t want to join organizations they see as either irrelevant to them or as fusty leftovers of their parents’ or grandparents’ generation.
  • Organizations haven’t shifted their value propositions sufficiently — they haven’t trimmed benefits to match their members’ needs or added the right new benefits, which means they have value propositions that are hard to explain or just plain wrong.
  • Time pressures are everywhere but associations and societies have bylaws, structures, and practices that demand a lot of time and commitment. You have to work your way up to Board work; there is only one big meeting per year; or all meetings demand travel and multiple days away.
  • Dues are expensive relative to other things competing for the same money — as much as a new iPad or an airplane ticket. All these things compete for money, and there is less discretionary income at the same time.

These trends seem to be cultural universals for voluntary organisations as well as professional associations.

In his discussion of these trends, Kent links to Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers’ 2011 book Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations. He links to a Steve Rosenbaum post too.

Harrison and Mary suggest that relevant associations:

  1. Have a small, competent Board
  2. Empower staff and the CEO
  3. Examine membership categories
  4. Rationalize programs
  5. Build a framework for the future

In his discussion of the framework for the future, Kent links to Steve Rosenbaum and the role of associations in information filtering at a time of digital overload.

Steve suggests that:

Associations are a veritable content creation machine. These groups of thought leaders are blogging, tweeting, meeting, and plugging in to social media with innovation and enthusiasm that in many ways surpasses many of the media organizations.

While media is suffering from audience erosion, as the web gives readers and viewers and ever widening array of choices — association membership remains strong and solid. Why? Because professionals need access to high quality information, professional networking, and professional development resources that a consortium of their fellow members can provide.

Steve adds that:

Professionals need access to high quality information, professional networking, and professional development resources that a consortium of their fellow members can provide.

I am fascinated by how individuals and groups share (or do not share) information. Much of my thinking these days is related to open sharing and the flourishing that is possible through such sharing.

I appreciated Kent’s discussion of relevant associations and am grateful to him for the links to Harrison, Mary and Steve. I believe that knowledge and learning organisations can help distinguish signal from noise and do so in a ubiquitous and asynchronous way.

It necessitates addressing a clear point made by Steve:

So thinking about how to share information from other sources, and how to walk the line between making members aware of other voices without necessarily endorsing them is a complex bit of content calculus.

I think it is trust that can address this complexity. I see trusted collaboration as both energy giving and energy saving. I see this becoming increasingly personalised too.

Photo Credits

Curation Nation Book Party

Woman sitting on a beached boat reading a book

Share @ Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, NYC


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Cirrus 111203

A brief Cirrus post to end the week.

I read with interest news of a Little Printer via a Scholarly Kitchen post. Berg has produced the printer and reports that:

Little Printer wirelessly connects (with no configuration) to a small box that plugs into your broadband router. . . . your phone is your remote control. We think of BERG Cloud as the nervous system for connected products.

There is more information about the Little Printer on Matt Webb’s post.

By coincidence the Scholarly Kitchen page had a link to an interview with Clay Johnson.

Marc Slocum notes that:

Clay Johnson (@cjoh), author of the forthcoming book “The Information Diet,” believes the information overload problem is actually an information consumption problem. In the following interview, Johnson explains how reframing the issue around consumption and taking ownership of our info intake are the keys to finding information balance.

One of my consumption issues is how to curate the information I gather. My cirrus posts are one way of doing this for me. My blog has become a repository. This week I was interested to find Lyn Hay‘s post (via a Diigo Teacher-Librarian Group link) Content curation and the power of collective intelligence. I thought Lyn’s post was an excellent resource for a community of practice keen to connect about curation.

The Teacher-Librarian Group in Diigo brought me news of David Kapuler’s Top 100 websites for 2011. David observes of his list:

I tried to cover a wide range of sites, from flash card creators to digital storytelling and of course, social networks, which really shined in 2011.

Photo Credit

Little Printer


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111115 Cirrus

I have read some interesting posts this week.

They include:

An ABC discussion of attention and the visual cortex. (Reviewing Masataka Watanabe et al.’s paper in Science, Attention But Not Awareness Modulates the BOLD Signal in the Human V1 During Binocular Suppression)

News of Real Madrid’s use of Cisco’s Connected Stadium Wi-Fi at the the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. “Along with Cisco StadiumVision, the two solutions will allow Real Madrid C.F. and its sponsors to connect with fans in entirely new ways. And by bringing high-definition video of the game to the numerous screens located throughout the stadium, spectators will be able to catch all the action and enjoy exclusive content, even when away from their seats.”

Phil Davis’s post in The Scholarly Kitchen, Statistics and Storytelling that considers “Two thought-provoking articles published last week in JAMA” that make “compelling and complementary arguments to the rhetorical power of both numbers and words in conveying the message of science” (Reporting of Effect Direction and Size in Abstracts of Systematic Reviews, and Narrative vs Evidence-Based Medicine — And, Not Or.)

A link from Stephen Downes to the chaos leadership graphic in the Steve Collis must pay post on the Design for Learning blog. (By coincidence I found Stephen’s link a day after discussing with Shane Fudge his PhD research: “This study aims to utilize a multi-disciplinary approach involving Crisis Leadership, Chaos Theory and Complexity theory, to attempt to initiate an advanced understanding in Sports Events Organising Committee members to recognize the state of constant adaptation their organisational systems exist in today. By drawing on elements of complexity theory, the study seeks to analyze how a leader’s cognition may improve their cognitive complexity when dealing with and understanding the non-linear and dynamic nature of the systems they work within. The nature of the study is to collect qualitative data to fill the research gap regarding how a Sports Event Organising Committee may utilize a different leadership paradigm to improve their crisis management skills, as well as measure the effects of implementing anticipatory systems on the organisations behaviour. “)

A delightful week of discovery that added to my introduction to Olegas Truchanas.

Photo Credit

Ostrich reads caretaker’s paper


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Quick Response (QR) Codes

Background

A few days ago I received a Diigo Teacher-Librarian alert to Gwyneth Jones’s QR Code Comic Tutorial. Her comic format is a great vehicle for sharing basic information. Her picture reminded me about a Scholarly Kitchen post by Michael Clarke (11 December 2009) Get a Whiff of Google’s Augmented Reality Stickers.

Some Discoveries

I followed up that link with a visit to The Big Wild campaign that is using posters in seven Canadian cities, “hoping to entice smartphone owners to scan the image and access one of our mobile-friendly petition pages.”

The Big Wild poster uses “a QR code, or 2-D barcode. These codes–they look kind of like crossword puzzles, can be read by the cameras on smartphones. They can store text information, SMS messages or (as is the case with our campaign) a URL for a website.”
From the Big Wild I visited the Wikipedia entry on Quick Response Codes, then went on to learn more about Denso Wave’s development of QR code as a particular form of 2-D code and noted that QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated. (I was surprised to learn that it was developed in 1994 “with the primary aim of being a symbol that is easily interpreted by scanner equipment”.) This is a link to QR Code Features. This is a link to Denso Wave. From Wikipedia I noted that “The use of the QR Code is free of any license. The QR Code is clearly defined and published as ISO standard. Denso Wave owns the patent rights on QR Code, but has chosen not to exercise them.”
Thereafter I found the 2d Code Blog edited by Roger Smolski. From 2d I followed up on some Australian links including: JMango and Ilan Oosting; and Jarrod Robinson.  I found Jarrod’s Prezi on Qr Codes, and his blog. Whilst searching for Jarrod I discovered a great post in the Physical Educator by Joey Feith.
Revelation

After this journey of discovery I am very excited by the potential of QR codes to inform and develop my work. I am delighted that I traveled the globe to find a PE teacher in country Victoria but profoundly disappointed that I have only just found his work. Gwyneth and Jarrod embody for me the wonderful altruism teachers exhibit and exude. I am going to monitor their work very carefully and hang where the wild things are.
Postscript
After posting this item I have discovered:
QR Codes: The nuts and bolts (David Hopkins, 17 January)
QR Codes in a Journal (Kent Anderson, 31 January)
Why QR Codes Will Go Mainstream (Hamilton Chan, 9 March)
QR Codes in Education (Steve Anderson, 8 March)
I did blog about QR codes throughout 2011. This is a link to all my QR posts.
Photo Credits
QR codes generated by Kaywa


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Writing Week at the University of Canberra 2010

Today is the start of Writing Week in the Faculty of Health at the University of Canberra. We had a preliminary event last week with Robert Brown. His writing workshop provided an excellent stimulus for disciplined writing for publication.

This is the Faculty’s second writing week. There are some blog posts about the 2009 Writing Week in this blog. This year the Faculty has scheduled no meetings for the week in order to create time for writing. On Wednesday staff from Sport Studies are meeting the poet Harry Laing at the Old Cheese Factory at Reidsdale to develop our writing skills. We are in for a treat judging by an excerpt from his poem Wordsmith:

…Cold forgery is impossible,
Words must bleed from a hot core –
They bulb at my fingertips
Exuded like beads of mercury, my sons
Hatched from the ashes and into the blaze with them
See those salt blue flames singing at the margins –
That is spirit, quicker than embers
Thumping, banging smith-spirit.

 

Whilst the Faculty’s Writing Week is in its second year Meanjin is celebrating its seventieth anniversary. A recent Radio National Book Show (24 November 2010) celebrated the anniversary and discussed the role of literary publications in a digital world. The discussions about a published journal compared to an on-line journal mirrored debates in the academic world about open access.

It was interesting to listen to Jim Davidson and Christina Thompson discuss Meanjin and the role of editors in forging a publication’s identity. I was very interested in Christina‘s discussion of her work at the Harvard Review and the positioning of the Review in a digital age. I noted the importance Christina attached to Laura Healy‘s work with the Review’s website (see too Laura’s Chocolog site).

Just as I was savouring these thoughts, Colm Toibin appeared on the same Radio National program to discuss his Off the Shelf books (Off the Shelf is a regular segment on the Book Show where writers and artists talk about a book or books that have influenced their thinking, or one that they go back to for inspiration). His discussion of Ernest Hemmingway’s The Sun Also Rises and A Moveable Feast explored the art of writing. (James Topham said of the A Moveable Feast “I think there is no author that makes you want to write than Hemingway; every sentence he writes seem to suggest a joy and delight in his craft”.)

I am looking forward to the joy and craft of writing this week.

Photo Credits

Writing Home 1914

D’Aug Days