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In The Crowd

Monday, October 17, 2005

BrainJams

If you're reading this now then you probably also read my post about the Web 2.1 BrainJam event. As it turns out, I wasn't the only one interested in creating an ongoing series. Thanks to Chris, BrainJams has a new site, including the obligatory blog and wiki, and about ten of us met at his home on Friday to try to hammer out what exactly we're trying to accomplish here. It's early days yet, but at least initially we're focusing on trying to connect those without a technical bent with the tools and knowledgeable people to accomplish their goals.

This has actually been something I've been interested in for a long time, so it's especially gratifying to be involved with a group working towards that goal. It's exciting to see the light go on in someone's eyes when they first grasp what's possible. For example, just last night my roommate was saying that what she wanted instead of social networking sites like Friendster, MySpace or Tribe was something that focused exclusively on forming networks between independent, strong-willed women (especially those working in the non-profit sector). An informal community but not a random one, built on shared experiences and goals. So I showed her Ning, and she's in the process of building her own. She doesn't have any technical knowledge at all, but she doesn't need it. She just needed to know where to find the tools that exist to help her.

Right now, my first goal is to find people skilled in mediation, conflict resolution and moderating discussions to train the BrainJams team. An important component of what we hope to accomplish is small group discussions between people of different disciplines, and having a number of us with the skills to keep the discussions on track would help tremendously. If you have connections in this area or know those who do, please get in touch. I'll be working both online and offline (gasp!) to find people with the necessary skills who may be interested in helping out, but I'd appreciate any help you can offer.

5 Comments:

  • At 10:59 PM, Blogger Jonathan said…

    The 2.1 BrainJam was, for me, the validation, the proof of concept, the realization, of what we've been saying the internet was all about since the beginning. I want to be part of this. I think I even have the skillset (or at least a damn comparable one) that you're talking about. Either way, I want to throw myself unabashedly in this corner. Visit me here

     
  • At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Jason C. said…

    My father has a side gig as a professional arbitrator and mediator and has worked for the NYSE and the American Arbitration Association in that capacity. He is rather inconveniently located 3000 miles away from you, but he might be able to point you in the right direction.

    Oh, and I'd like to help too. But my resume is less impressive than his, so I thought I'd lead with the big guns.

     
  • At 9:36 AM, Blogger Alicia said…

    Thanks, both of you. Jonathan, I'll make sure you get updated when we know when the next planning meeting will be (and make sure you add yourself to the wiki).

    Jason, is there any official capacity in which your father cannot serve? Pope maybe, but even then he could probably bluff it. Thanks for the tip.

     
  • At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Alicia,

    Please let me know if your roommate needs any help getting her social network set up on Ning. We founded Ning with exactly this type of thing in mind. We'll continue to make it easier and easier for non-developers to customize and configure their apps, but in the meantime, I'd love to do whatever we need to do to help.

    Best,
    Gina

     
  • At 8:19 PM, Anonymous shoshie said…

    Would you all just shut the fuck up and let me talk for a minute?!

    Sorry, that's the best I can do.

     

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