We launched the first iKnowHow wiki section (collaborative working) just over a month ago and instantly got a flurry of contributions. It was very exciting after all our planning to see people keen to try out this new 'thing' and join in with the fun. However in recent weeks contributions have dripped rather than flowed. Why? And what can we do about it?
Well first things first, a quick plug: today we launch the third and final subject for our iKnowHow wiki project; giving you complete access to all of our material on commissioning and procurement.
So, back to the issue of this blog: how to strike the right balance between creating a good reading experience and making it obvious that a wiki guide is editable? After all, most people come to our site to read information and advice – they don’t want their reading experience interrupted by big edit buttons and menus. However, wikis thrive with lots of editorial input – it needs to be obvious that people can edit them (and easy for them to do so).
One of the questions that should keep any funder awake at night is: are we doing the best that can be done with the money?
Answering this naturally leads any funder to ask how do we measure our success?
On one level they can obviously reflect on the work of the projects they fund or partner with. After all, a core measure of success is what happens with the money. But in a wider sense, funders work in different ways and so to understand their effectiveness there has to be an understanding of the strengths or weaknesses of their funding model. For example, are they all about supporting the continuation of work by existing organisations? Or are they an early stage investor who tries to get new ideas off the ground? In this case, how do you measure success when you're starting up new projects?
I found a very interesting article this week that I would like to share with you all. It's called ‘the nine reasons why women don’t edit Wikipedia’, published in 2010 by Sue Gardner, responding to a New York Times article that revealed, that 'less than 15% of Wikipedia's hundreds of thousands of contributors are women' (reduced to 9% in 2011). A startling statistic that immediately caught my attention and had already been a topic of conversation at NCVO HQ during earlier research before we launched iKnowHow.
Historypin’s latest tools unleash a new scale of archival exploration
26th March 2012
Thanks to funding from Nominet Trust, Historypin, which allows users to ‘pin’ photos, videos, audio and stories to an interactive “map through time”, is launching new technology for libraries, archives and museums across the globe ways to share and curate vast swaths of digital content.
Over 200 organisations have already signed up to use the tools, which go live on 26th March, from the US National Archives, English Heritage and the Imperial War Museums to local groups, like the Biggleswade Historical Society.
Yesterday I gave a brief introduction to how I think about the research process.
Today I want to give a (briefer) overview of what that means for a particular study. I talked before about measuring ‘success’ in search engine tasks – and that’s one part of my study. But my main interest is in the reasons for differences in success, on a sociocultural level. So, rather than asking “does this group have access to information”, we also need to ask “can this group use the information they have, effectively”. Part of that will involve looking at skills, part about how they’re supported – by friends, family, professionals, part about structural issues for example, if they need to travel to a job interview, can they afford to do so.
One week on from the launch we are delighted by the fantastic feedback we have had both internally (at the NCVO) and externally. It has been great to hear the positive comments from users; and that they have found iKnowHow easy to use.
Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), University of Stirling.
20th March 2012
Broadcaster and writer Sally Magnusson will be speaking about her personal experience of caring for her mother, who has dementia, when she launches an online resource to demonstrate dementia-friendly home design.
Sally’s mother, Mamie, now has advanced dementia and the Songs of Praise and Reporting Scotland presenter is passionate about developments, such as the DSDC’s virtual design guide, that can be used to support people with the condition to live in environments that are specially designed to meet their needs.
An online presence is now a given for most charities. However, we need to ensure that we use technology in the right way if it's to support our charitable objectives. In an environment where relationships with supporters are becoming increasingly important, we must use technology to strengthen the way we work and communicate with beneficiaries and supporters.