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Re: Starting Up the Web Innovation Forum/New Ideas Forum

From: olivier Thereaux <olivier@thereaux.net>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 08:13:34 -0400
Cc: "Ian Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>, public-vision-newstd@w3.org
Message-Id: <C7ACB19C-6B4C-42AE-905F-A754473EF36B@thereaux.net>
To: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@w3.org>
Hi Harry, Hi all,

With my apologies if my comments are out of line or plain "duh" - being busy and not being able to attend the calls makes it hard to keep up with the discussions so far. I'm slowly catching up.

Meanwhile...

On 2010-08-19, at 7:37 AM, Harry Halpin wrote:
>> (2) starting up the Web Innovation Forum (WIF)
>> 
>> This task force has suggested we start this up right away, and there
>> are good reasons to do so. 
> 
> I think we should start the "new idea forum" ASAP, as a list-serv with an
> associated hashtag, with ideally an associated mediawiki instance in w3c
> space that lets people put draft specs and notes somewhere.

Definitely a good idea, and something that could be set up in no time. It does, however, come with a set of drawbacks:

First, mailing-lists are very alien to a lot of people outside w3c, and not the most comfortable form of online communication for many

Secondů I've tried using wikis for idea sharing, it doesn't work very well. Putting aside the fact that (again) wikis are not familiar to all, I have found that a wiki exhibits a number of issues when it comes to being an idea/innovation space. The main issue, I think, is that wikis seem to work best to document something that is going on elsewhere: news, knowledge, a software project... But when it comes to using a wiki as the innovation space itself, it doesn't provide the right social dynamics: no sense of "ownership" of the concepts, no guidance, comments tend to be put on a "talk" page, the difficulty of knowing where activity happens, and I won't get started on the thorny dynamics of editing the text of someone elses's idea.

Although I can't of course suggest the perfect alternative, I would suggest considering this one, flawed but IMHO showing more potential. Start a blog where anyone can register and where the default role for user is that of author. 

Why?
* The blog (or news, or social-network-status) and comment paradigm is comfortable to most of our contemporaries

* People can take as long as they want to let their ideas mature (draft), show them to the world (publish), discuss (comments, trackbacks, etc) and make their idea evolve (re-edit) based on the feedback while retaining some control and pride of "ownership"

* The popular (and thus familiar) wordpress software allows you to do just this, and is ridiculously easy to install and manage.

* Barrier to entry would be minimal

* A blog could also be used for more "guided" challenge-response topics. This I find is how a lot of successful (or budding) open innovation networks have chosen to work. See for example: http://www2.innocentive.com/ http://openideo.com/ or http://frogmob.frogdesign.com/

HTH,
olivier
-- 
olivier Thereaux
http://olivier.thereaux.net/ - http://ot.zoy.org/
linkedin: in/olivierthereaux - twitter: olivierthereaux
Received on Thursday, 19 August 2010 12:14:07 UTC

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