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The phrase "Working Wikily" was coined by Lucy Bernholz (I don't know how many phrases she's originated in the nonprofit, social media, and philanthropy - but this one is a gem). It is also the title of a report "Working Wikily: How Networks Are Changing Social Change" a paper Gabriel Kasper and Diana Scearce of the Monitor Institute. The paper provides concepts and specific examples. It is heavily influenced by the writings of Clay Shirky (Here Comes Everybody)
What does working wikily mean? The paper gives this definition:
"Wikis and other social media are engendering new, networked ways of behaving - ways of working wikily - that are characterized by principles of openness, transparency, decentralized decision-making, and distributed action."
I'm beginning a project with NTEN in the next few weeks that focuses on social media, nonprofits, and curriculum development. We'll be using a wiki to create and house the curriculum materials which will be open source. Right now I'm focused on thinking about one aspect of the project - What is the social (networked) process around curriculum development? How can we work wikily effectively? I participated in projects where we have worked wikily, but I haven't facilitated one. So, this is new area of learning that I will be sharing over the coming months.
A couple of takeaways from the report:
- Basic Rules for operating in a Networked Way:
- Promise, Tool, and Bargain - "The promise is the basic "why" for anyone to join or contribute to a group. The tool helps with the how. And the bargain sets the rules of the road: if you are interested in the promise and adopt the tools, what can you expect and what will be expected of you?
- Human Elements: Trust and Fun matter. Quote from Beth Novek, "Fun matters. It's about harnessing the enthusiasm of the crowd, not just its wisdom. And you do that making things fun."
- There are different types of networks or working in a networked way - it isn't just one definition or approach. These may include:
- Networks of organizations
- Networks of people
- Peer-to-peer networks of individuals working outside of organizations
- The issue of balancing control with the productivity of the network.