Weeknotes #218

This week I did:

Get value sooner

I redesigned how young people interact digitally with the Trust to focus on giving more value earlier, lots of second chances, safety at every point, and targeted and tailored pathways. It has consumed all my thinking this week and I haven’t has much time for anything else. Apart of figuring out the complex technical architecture of making six products work together to create the experience we want young people to have it has also involved lots of conversations about safeguarding, changing operational models, design principles, etc., etc.

Testing Narakeet

I found Narakeet, a new product that creates videos from PowerPoint presentations and voice overs from the notes. I wrote up a quick review and used it to create a video version of my blog post ‘To improve the charity sector focus on the weak links‘. The idea of creating video versions of blog posts (I intend to do more) is that it hopefully makes the post more accessible and helps me test whether creating videos and having content on YouTube is something I might want to do.

Why do people have personal websites?

I wondered, why do people have personal websites? So I looked through the bios of people I follow on Twitter and picked a few that have personal websites. I wanted to see if people regard their websites as finished brochures or portfolios, or whether they use them as online thinking and writing spaces. Almost all of the sites I looked at were of the finished brochure -type, suggesting that if their owners are writing online they are doing it on platforms that come with an audience.

Lecture time

Lectures start next week so I’ve been setting up my study section in Notion to make note-taking easier. I’ve got two modules this term; Innovation Policy and Management and Research Methods in Management. I’m looking forward to getting back into it.

Read about some stuff:

Reconceptualizing the digital divide

This paper examines the concept of a digital divide by introducing problematic examples of community technology projects and analyzing models of technology access. It argues that the concept provides a poor framework for either analysis or policy, and suggests an alternate concept of technology for social inclusion. It then draws on the historical analogy of literacy to further critique the notion of a divide and to examine the resources necessary to promote access and social inclusion.” Wauchner talks about how the concept of a digital divide and the ‘access to technology’ approach to solving the issue is unhelpful and how a more social inclusion model approach is more likely to be effective. He concludes that, “A framework of technology for social inclusion allows us to re-orient the focus from that of gaps to be overcome by provision of equipment to that of social development to be enhanced through the effective integration of ICT into communities and institutions. This kind of integration can only be achieved by attention to the wide range of physical, digital, human, and social resources that meaningful access to ICT entails.”

It’s kind of an interesting systems thinking point too. The more we think about things in isolation the more isolation we create. The more we think about things inclusively and interconnectedly the more connection we create.

Writing is Networking for Introverts

As an introvert that writes a bit, but doesn’t really have any interest in networking I wonder about this. Bryne’s answer is to outsource the extroversion by becoming micro-famous because it “combines an easier task (be famous to fewer people) with a better outcome (be famous to the right people).” I don’t think I’ve ever experienced any micro-fame, but on the other hand I have no need for networking. If I had more time I’d spend it writing more.

Why Community Belongs at the Center of Today’s Remote Work Strategies

Dion Hinchcliffe writes about how, “In the 30+ years that we’ve all been digitally connected worldwide via the Internet, we have collectively made many profound discoveries about how people can come together through computer networks to create mass shared value“, and how technologies that provide rich social interaction for the highest number of people for the longest period of time, offer the best opportunities for collaboration. This is interesting to me (for obvious reasons given the current situation, but also) as one of the exam questions I answered a few months ago was about the kind of enterprise digitisation that Hinchcliffe is talking about. My conclusion was that “For some businesses the coronavirus lockdown will serve as an accelerator for the adoption of Enterprise 2.0 technologies, new ways of working, and new ways of unlocking value within the organisation”, but thinking from the ‘community’ point of view rather than the ‘technology’ point of view makes things look quite different (similar to Wauchner’s point above; tech is the tool to build the solution, it isn’t the solution).

Thought about some stuff:

What does ‘digital’ mean in the charity sector?

I’m interested in getting an understanding of what digital means in the charity sector. I created a list of 30 websites that come up in search results for ‘digital charity’ and I want to use them to assess and understand the state of digital maturity in the sector. My hypothesis is that if all of the resources and training being offered by these organisations (interestingly no charities show on the first few pages for term) is low on a maturity scale then this is a market indication of the sector.

Tech Ethics research collection

I’ve been working on my collection of research about Tech Ethics. I feel like I haven’t got very far, and I kind of lost direction so I’ve stopped until I figure out what I’m trying to achieve with the Collections on my website.

Notion everything

I was thinking about Notion Everything‘s business model. It’s a templates marketplace (built in WebFlow) for Notion; a collection of digital goods that customers can purchase to import into a digital product and short cut organising their Notions. It’s a bit like how WordPress has a marketplace for theme and plugins but is separate from Notion. Building up an ecosystem of things like this is essential for any digital product to succeed (WebFlow and Roam too). Having people creating training courses, user guides, other added-value offers is all part of increasing adoption, but the insecurity for those people building businesses on top of a digital product is that the company providing the product could choose to build their own version to compete.

Do people use Twitter Lists?

Having spent some time thinking about collating and curating collections of info about a topic (and looking for people on Twitter that are interested in that topic) I thought about how Twitter Lists could be better used. Hashtags work for seeing what’s going on immediately but don’t provide a long lasting solution for what’s going on in an industry, sector. Lists of people might. I wonder if well curated Twitter Lists might be an interesting product.

What do I want to use Twitter for?

I haven’t spent much time on Twitter this week but I have been thinking about it quite a bit. I’ve been thinking ‘What do I want to use it for?’ It seems to me that Twitter is a place for expertise and specialisation. If you want to become ‘the x guy‘ and have something to sell/somewhere else for people who interact with you to go then it works as an acquisition channel, but I also think that people who are well known on Twitter probably become that way by being well known off Twitter. I have no intention of becoming well known but it’s interesting to look at how others use Twitter. Anyway…

And some people tweeted:

Monitoring is the new meeting

Tiago Forte tweeted, “Does anyone know of a curation tool that allows you to monitor certain online sources for mentions of a word?” One of the replies was about PMAlerts which I quickly signed up for a set up alerts for ‘Digital charity’. The results it returns are very comprehensive and show links to things I would never had found otherwise. I have a bit of a hypothesis that the shift away from meet-ups with a small number of true-believers will be replaced by broader, smaller, more diverse engagement, and being able to find those opportunities is what monitoring tools like PMAlerts can provide.

Digital inclusion

YSS tweeted, “As a charity supporting people in the community, we’ve seen during lockdown the enormous impact digital exclusion has on people’s lives – simply being unable to connect with loved ones is just one example.” The YSS website showed as not secure but I went to the Good Things Foundation website and found their ‘Fix the Digital Divide‘ page and the ‘Blueprint for a 100% Digitally Included UK‘ (It’s a pdf, but ya know). It seems routed in the ‘access to technology’ approach and doesn’t go as far as Warschauer in fixing the digital divide through broad social inclusion “enhanced through the effective integration of ICT”, but it’s good that there are people

How leadership has changed during COVID-19

Zoe Amar tweeted, “How has leadership changed during COVID-19? I spoke to charity leaders to find out how they are leading differently, and what this means for the sector.” The article highlights some examples of charity leaders focusing on the well being of their staff, which is of course important at any time. But when the day after we see stories like the Canal & River Trust leadership making decisions to make about twenty people redundant and it reminds us that leaders don’t always deal with things in the right way. I think leadership is always a moral dilemma of choosing between the individual and the organisation. Even in cases like this, where those people may not legally be the responsibility of the organisation, it is the role of leadership to take on that dilemma and behave morally, which should at the very least include treating people with respect.