Plato tries out community management ethnography

At the Nordic end of Edgeryders, we are about to start a project on building tools and methodology for participatory placemaking. It’s a project we call Plato (Placemaking Tools), funded by the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova.

Plato combines technologies that we have built for the Borderland and Edgeryders over the years into a “suite” of tools for placemaking. These tools include Dreams , Realities , Graphryder , Open Ethnographer, and Discourse (this forum). We will integrate all of these tools with each other, allow them to share data, and enable a single login to all of them through the account a user has on the forum.

We will use this suite of tools to activate Frihamnstorget, to map out the different projects and their budgets, map out the different responsibilities and their dependencies, document contacts with authorities and build a great community. Frihamnstorget will get its own Dreams platform, Realities platform and the conversations on the forum will be visualized in a graph showing the connections between people, ideas and projects. We use this forum as the starting point and all platforms will integrate with the forum through a single login.

A part of Plato is running a demonstration of the tools at Frihamnstorget and Blivande. We are taking this opportunity to level up the methodological toolbox of Edgeryders and invest in valuable skills. As a part of this, we have decided that our own @MariaEuler will do both community management and ethnography in the Plato project and that she will be trained and mentored by @amelia, who will act as “senior ethnographer” in the project. Since the Plato project will use the entire Blivande community as its testbed, we will come out with an ethnography and SSNA graph of the Blivande community as a whole.

This ethnography workpackage in Plato will result in many good things for Edgeryders and the ResNet:

  • We level up the capacity for in-house ethnography through @MariaEuler
  • We get another SSNA graph to show clients
  • We can test the hypothesis of combining community management and ethnography leading to better results on both ends
  • We develop deep knowledge of how to use SSNA for a pre-existing community, rather than one built specifically for the purpose of a project

In addition to all of this, there is 10k EUR in the project earmarked to work on improving our SSNA technology. That work in the Plato project starts in early 2021, and until then I think that we will have made some headway into building a realtime representation of Discourse in RedisGraph.


I am extremely happy to be involved with this new connecting branch of the lush Edgeryders and Blivande forests.

Looking forward to learning and using the ethnography and to working with dreams and realities and everything in between with the community and workshops on plato :slight_smile:

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Very interesting – though we cannot speak of real hypothesis testing in this case (and ethno folks do not like the whole hypothesis testing scene anyway). Onward!