How to get the project started
I've been thinking a lot about how we can get The Membership Project started in an open, innovative way, and coming up with a few ideas. Here's first thoughts:
1. The best way of doing things would be to have another team meeting and work through our objectives, the tasks, who does what, the milestones etc. But that would delay thing for a few weeks if we organised it face-to-face. We could try doing it synchronously online, but it would still take a bit of organising.
So - stop worrying about being too neat and tidy - just drop some ideas in here which we can clean up later, or better still leave as an honest example about how processes are messy!
2. On previous projects, like the Open Innovation Exchange, we ran a multi-author blog like this one and also has a private "backstage" system using Basecamp. We used that for team messaging, documents, todos and milestones. Do may need that this time too, but let's see how open we can be here.
3. This site needs some tweaks, but we can do that on the run by using our immediate blogging to test what changes are needed. Let's have an area for feedback and the fixes needed.
4. We need to set some milestones around events. The first is the team meeting that we do need to have - but sometime in March. Then a bigger meeting of people who may be contributors to the project. Question - is that a fairly self-organising Barcamp-type effort, or something more formal with organisational representatives? We will be running a workshop at the NCVO membership conference, and should look out for additional opportunities to engage with people.There's a calendar on the site.
5. If we are going for an open innovation process, then the people who will make this work are other enthusiasts operating in an open, collaborative style. A good place to start is people who demonstrate this by blogging about their work. In an earlier post I've put together a first list.
6. We need to put together a proposition, then start with wants and offers. How about we put together a short version of about this project, and get in touch with those on the blogger list in these terms:
"The aim of this project is to create a market place for ideas, products and services that will help people think about and manage the changes that social media is bringing to membership organisations. Are you interested? If so, what are you looking for, and what could you offer?
"Do take a look at the list of people we are contacting. Can you think of anyone else? We hope one of the attractions of the project will be joining a network of people with an interest in this topic. We are trying to develop some membership here! Any ideas on how best to do that?"
7. We need to look at the lessons for open collaboration, not least in Charles Leadbetter's new book We-Think. What's clear from our past experience is that however wide the collaboration, you need a core group of enthusiasts, a process for making decisions that is not wholly democractic, and a way of chunking work up into modules or packages.
8. We should start developing an FAQ (questions and answers) about the project.
How does seem to the rest of the team?