Date Posted: 2002-12-10 21:12:35
Dear Grant (and any lurkers out there enjoying this exchange)
thanks for coming back to the discussion. Yours is a very detailed post, which will take some digesting. I for one don't know that much about the theory of online communities and so on, so I guess I can just respond as a ccd practioner keen to see the online environment work.
On the whole, I think your criticism is a little harsh. Yes, this is (obviously) a beta site which hasn't been taken any further, but they haven't had the response from the field to work out what changes to make. Hopefully your post (and other people's..hint hint) will be responded to by what the site offers and how it operates. My suggestion re a closing dates discussion was certainly responded to quite quickly.
I don't have a problem with money being spent to set up a resource for us, and I wouldn't expect the organisers to get it right the first time, or ccder's to take to it right away - we can be a conservative lot. I'll reserve my judgement until I see what changes are made.
I do remember ORCA, but my recollection is that it WAS an unmoderated, no-need-to-register site, and that was one of the reasons it quickly became useless. It was filled with junk like chinese cutlery manufacturers advertising for investment in a new factory and things like that.
there may be research which shows registration is a barrier to participation in sites such as this, and I would be happy to go along with it if that is the prevalent view. Obviously something is keeping people away in droves, but I really don't understand how that can be the cause. It was dead easy to register, and it isn't as if it cost any money, or more than a few moments of time. It certainly didn't discourage me, or make me feel untrusted or unwanted. Indeed my thought was it would keep the Chinese steelworks out of a discussion on ccd terminology. I will defer to the experts on this.
Your idea about anonymous polls is a great idea...especially if people can set up their own. I'd have done one on the Australia Council closing date issue right away, and something like that would give us a great way to see how many people are visiting the site (and not registering/posting) and what they think.
Open submission of interesting and useful links would also be a good addition to the Resources section, which is particularly bare at the moment.
i certainly agree with you about the way you have to trawl through to see if there are fresh posts. I am, of course, always disappointed when I do check through. there must be a way to alert you to fresh material from the home page.
i suspect that the 'closed' fora are getting more use than the open ones. short life discussions like the Theatre and Dance ones do seem to meet the description CANSA have given the site so I wouldn't write it off just yet.
I think this site is a good framework and has the 'potential' to be 'an excellent resource tool'. Hopefully the organisers can identify and remove all of the barriers to participation with the help of those (few) of us trying to use it.
Anyone else out there with two cents? (sorry mine turned into a marathon post as well!)
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