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Here's something I've been thinking about lately. Thoughts? - lris
I think you have some pretty astute observations about how it's growing and what people are starting to look for. And I think I've already seen a few folks tell some of the newer ones, make it what you think it should be. I'm not sure that people need to step back though to decide the future of the group though. I think that the people that are active will make their presence felt and the group will try things out and step in new directions. Some will fail, others will succeed. But I think it - Sir Shuping is just sir
will be interesting to see what happens next. - Sir Shuping is just sir
Dorothea: that's because LSW grew out of libraries, so some of the "founding friends" were female, and we all spend most of our time working with women. Code4Lib grew out of programmers: even the women in that group are (unfortunately, in a sense) accustomed to the locker-room feel of the developer-centred environment. - DJF
Oh that's a wrinkle I hadn't thought of, and I'm still not sure what I think of it. It's weird because I think part of the success so far has been that there's no real conscious structure. People could do whatever and have a name to attach to that. But part of some of the newer frustrations I'm hearing is that there's an expectation of more procedural inclusion rather than assumed inclusion. - lris
Yes. Absolutely. But is it enough to simply assume it? Part of our past experience with all Groups is that somebody "owns" the group and that ideas have to go through that person or people. I think some people expect to need permission before going and doing things in the name of LSW. - lris
I mean *we* know they don't need this permission, but do they? - lris
What's the phrase? "Tolerance for Ambiguity" I think? People who have this ability (as I like to think I do) easily do without formal/conscious structures (as I feel the LSW 'organization' consciously embodies). What is structure beyond potential restriction? Structure allows for building larger entities with specialized sub-domains or sub-specialties - We can hold up ALA as an example of this - LSW started as a reaction against structures like that, but it's only normal for people to ask the questions... - Aaron the Librarian
I agree and really like LSW the way it is now, but let me just play devil's advocate for a minute. You know how ALA responds to criticism of its weakness as a professional development vehicle by saying "We're not actually about PD," and you know how that feels like a cop out since they *do* some PD and therefore are expected to do it well? What if, because the group is now so big, there's an expectation that it'll find a way to have structure without restriction? (I know, I know. Devil's advocate, remember? - lris
You don't have to become a Unitarian, you _are_ one: - DJF from twhirl
I hope 'newer' members or members who feel a need for more structure feel free to make up something which helps them feel more comfortable, but I also hope the structures created take into account that there are members who feel no particular need for structure and in some cases actively resist structure/stricture :) - Aaron the Librarian
I feel like some of the vitality has left LSW recently and I don't know why. Or maybe activity has shifted away from the Meebo room & twitter to other venues, such as the Shovers and Makers blog. I dunno. - maʀtha
martha, I wonder if that's partly because of the difficulties of keeping up with multiple social sites? I know recently I've had more trouble with this, and have pulled back a smidge. What is the central communication vehicle for LSW? FriendFeed? Meebo? Twitter? - Rachel Walden
i think rachel has a good point. because i've drifted away from the meebo chat room, and i'm a peripatetic friendfeed user, i feel like i'm missing a lot of the conversation. i'm glad a lot of you are still using twitter, but even there, i'm just as involved in romancelandia discussions as i am with libraryland ones, so my attention feels split. - Katie
I think convos have shifted away from the main meebo chat room. I see some stuff happening here on FriendFeed room and some seems to happen spontaneously on people's threads, but I wonder if folks have moved to other areas, individual chats/e-mails. Maybe not? - Sir Shuping is just sir
Rachel, I agree about the multiple sites. Originally - as Iris mentions- twitter and meebo were key. I don't spend as much time in either place anymore and suspect that others don't either. Also, there are informal social groups that have split off, which is only natural when a group reaches a certain critical mass. With such an anarchic organization, we will get more out of it if we put more in. I think Shovers and Makers is a perfect example of what can happen when someone (carping nerdboys) have a - maʀtha
brilliant genius idea and then make it manifest. So, I ask myself: What do I want LSW to be and do and become? Is it still important, relevant and useful enough to me for me to invest time and energy in it? Is it time for newer people to embrace their inner leaders and assert themselves with the virtual spaces? - maʀtha
I have to laugh (in a good, amused way) about Rachel's comment and follow ups to it... Walt (Crawford if you need the clarity) has been saying (for quite a long time, iirc) something along these lines... the multiplication of communication channels is actually a detriment to conversations -- too many places to look to be sure one is not missing a piece of what's going on. If LSW does anything 'organizing-wise' it would be to define our main communications channels (pick 3 or 4) and resist adding any more. - Aaron the Librarian
Agreed about resisting adding more channels. It's hard to tap into the group discussion if the group is everywhere. - Rachel Walden
It's a problem for sure- even with tools to help follow stuff, at times it's like being a character in a space opera with a squillion info channels open. - Pete
I do agree w/ probs of keeping up w/ multiple channels of communication for the most part. However, is the idea of defining/limiting avenues of comm for an organically-evolved, hive-mind-technophilic-group like this a little dangerous? Once you limit something like that, does it make it harder to evolve to meet ever changing needs, environments & tech? Isn't that one of the main shortcomings of more formally defined orgs like ALA? ps: please don't take "hive-mind-technophilic" to mean "borg-like"! - Dana Longley
Dana, I'm thinking there's probably some middle ground, between "1 official place that must never change to anything else" and having so many places that the usefulness is significantly diluted. What that magic balance is, I'm not sure. - Rachel Walden
Rachel: well-stated! - Dana Longley
Josh- you need a Share- Situationist-Prankster CC licence - Pete
I'm fairly new to LSW, and thoroughly appreciate the conversations I've followed in FriendFeed. Sure there is benefit to thinking about the future of such a group, but all the same, from what I've seen of LSW's existence and inclusiveness it seems that the members will propel it into exactly the direction it needs to go! - Galadriel C.
Hear hear, Galadriel. I would also like to note that while I think this kind of introspection is probably beneficial, I don't think it should go on for too long. Too much introspection, however thoughtful, can kill momentum and initiative and all the things I love about this group. - lris
oh, sure, get us all introspecting and *then* you say this ;) - maʀtha
Yes, well, I never claimed to be consistent. ;-) - lris
zactly - lris
But Iris, I just twisted around to get a really good view of my navel! ;) - Rachel Walden
LOL. Consider it yoga. Then you'll feel better about it. :-) - lris
Just wanted to comment on the conversations aspect as it relates to the "W" in LSW. I was/am really keen to be part of this but the time difference and the fact that, unlike @sirexkathyn, I am not a late night person means I keep missing the conversations in the meebo room. At least on FF I can catch up whenever and feel much more part of things. - suelibrarian
I don't know about forcing people to use only 3-4 certain social networking sites. I am sure next year there will be some new awesome communications tool that is *gasp* better than Twitter. As an organization grows, it is natural for people to faction off a little bit, but the nature of the LSW is that it will be the amoeba that shifts and changes by the minute to fit the needs of the members at the moment -- like daily multiple virtual unconferences. - Joe
I got the meebo room password once but due to timezone issues (like @suelibrarian) missed out on conversations. Then when I tried going back recently it gave me an error - don't know if it's a meebo problem, a "no-one's here anyway" problem, or a "duh, we changed the password *months* ago" problem... - Deborah Fitchett
@deborahfitchett I tried the room at the same time as I was having the meebo widget issues and had issues with the room as well. I think it was meebo at the time. I havent actually tried since.I could get in irregularly but the password was fine and not the issue - suelibrarian
Yeah, Meebo's been a little flaky for a while now, unfortunately. It's really too bad, because it was a great place to hang out (er... especially in U.S. time zones), but due to one thing and another participation there has been a whole lot less consistent in the last couple of months, and I'm as much at fault as anyone in that regard. It's been a while since I last logged in. - lris
I'm inclined to think that consolidating the communication channels of LSW is totally missing the point. It's organic. It's alive. It's everywhere! Let the conversations and activities of the LSW take place wherever one or more members feel inclined to make them happen. So what if you miss something? You're missing something relevant to you somewhere right now anyway. Let it go. The last thing I'd want the LSW to be is a stress inducer and another source of "keeping current" fail. - Greg Schwartz
Greg (and Joe)-I want to be clear that I'm not at all advocating forcing anything wrt to channels of communication. I think I just worry that there are LSW channels developing or in existence that I'm not aware of that I'd like to be participating in. Which speaks well of LSW to me. ;) - Rachel Walden
I see. Personally, I do get a little stressed that "I might miss something important," too. I would bet new communications channels will be announced in loads of existing LSWish places. Have you heard of this new Twiter thing? :-) - Joe
Too bad someone else already got - Joe
What I love about LSW is that it's playful and anarchist in the best sense - which means organizing it would break it, right? But there does seem to be a change dynamic for communities that has to do with size and/or changing memberships. I've experienced it in an old-fashioned Yahoo discussion group and tried to diagnose it. Some intimacy and we-get-all-the-jokes familiarity is strained as people join and some people drift away. It's not necessarily bad, but it does come with a twinge of loss. - barbara fister
This has been most helpful. I didn't really understand it before, but now I can loosely equate it to how Code4Lib got started and flourishes in the library technologist arena. I heard of LSW after it had reached the "A Group" stage, so this summary of its history has been really helpful. - Peter Murray