User story: Online tools for offline communities

(During our LOTE3 event at unMonastery Matera, we collected user stories for improving the edgeryders.eu website. This is one. You can find all of them under tag “project-userstories”.)

"Edgeryders provides online tools for offline communities"

Story: “A manager of an existing offline community or project struggles with how to support their offline working processes with the right tools for efficient online collaboration between offline meetings of the group. She is hinted by a friend to the Edgeryders website, checks it out, and finds the tools that Edgeryders has on offer for this. During their next meeting, her group creates a project on the Edgeryders platform and they work away.”

mail lists

the manager finds that many people involved in her offline project are not very ‘digital literate’ and has trouble getting them to use web tools - she finds a mail list is useful as people tend to check their email most regularly and email works well on any device that can connect to the internet.

Alternative could be that the manager could subscribe someones email address (or a group of email addresses?)  to a post (even if they were not registered on the site) and then the post and any replies to the post are automatically emailed to that address

In this case a reply by email function, with the email response being automatically added to the post, would make it easy for people to participate in any conversations.

Model users as learning & adaptive agents

Egderyders styles itself a boutique community/collab environment. That is, we position ourselves as a solution for people who aspire to be advanced collaborators and are not scared to do work. So, there is a tradeoff between deploying tech and Ux to accommodate the current expertise of participants and setting the bar a little higher, where the desired expertise of users as collaborators is. Getting people to upgrade their online collaboration skills takes a bit longer, but builds capacity, that then stays in the organization even as it moves on to the next project. So maybe…

“The manager can safely start a project in Edgeryders, knowing she will find not only the tech features, but the culture and the generosity to upgrade her team’s collaboration skills. This benefits everyone, since the manager’s team members are now edgeryders!”

Learning Curve

I like the sentiment [Alberto] and think its definately the direction to head in.

I have found, in a couple of projects, big difficulty getting people to start using web tools - even etherpads, which I like to think of as reasonably straight forward.  At the same time I’ve found communications that are happening by email often have people involved in the project not being cc’d into conversations, particularly as new people get involved.  A mail list makes it easy to keep everyone involved in the conversation + have more control as most mail list software allows users to choose between individual mails or daily digests.

Funnily enough I just got this email this evening about etherpads from someone I’m working on a project with.

“don’t understand the ether thing sorry. might need a tutorial!”

Happily found some youtube tutorials to send a link from…