Questions and answers

The questions and answers here were originally drafted for The Membership Project. As explained here  we are starting a new phase, and will update shortly.

The project

There's a broad description of the project on the about page, with more on project plans here. Items about development are tagged process, and updates appear under Project news.

When did the project start? The first ideas for the project were developed on the RSA Networks site (registration required) in December 2007, and then moved to this site in February 2008. This followed earlier work with the NCVO Third Sector Forseight team by Simon Berry and David Wilcox.

What are the main aims? To explore how the social web and other factors are changing the ways in which we may belong to groups and organisations, and develop practical help for organisations to deal with those changes. At the same time to explore how we can organise without organisations using the web.

Who are the main partners? The founding partners were the RSA, NCVO Third Sector Foresight, Simon Berry and Ruralnet|UK, and RSA Fellow David Wilcox.

How will it develop? The inspiration for our approach was the Open Innovation Exchange, where Simon Berry of Ruralnet|UK and David Wilcox led a team in developing an "open source" bid for a Government tender. Anyone could join in, and the development process was conducted openly. The same principle will apply here. Project plans are here.

Who will set out the programme of work? We expect that to develop in two ways: from ideas that people discuss on the site and in associated meetings, and also from some research and analysis carried out by the core team. As ideas emerge, people will be encouraged to form collaborative teams to develop proposals. This could then lead directly to offers of products and services, or bids for funding.

Who can be on the core team - and who makes decisions? People who are prepared to work at developing products, services and proposals. Our experience with the Open Innovation Exchange was that people were happy with a mix of facilitation of ideas, and project management to develop saleable or fundable packages.

How can I get involved? Register on the site, follow discussions, and put in some proposals. Once you register you will have the ability to create content on your personal blog. See How to use this site for details.

The site

How to use this site provides some first guidance. If there isn't an answer for you below, please drop in a comment.

What sort of site is this? It is developed using the open source Drupal content management system. We've kept the design simple at the start so we can evolve as requirements become clearer.

How can I find content? There are two main types of content: items authored by individuals as blog items, and static pages linked from the menus - see the Main Menu in the left sidebar.
Blog items generally appear in date order on the main page, as well as in people's individual blog spaces. They can be categories by tags - see top right. Find content through the menus, the tags, or by going to people's individual profiles listed here.

How can I keep up to date? Recent posts and comments are listed in the right sidebar, and new content and comments can also be reached at the top menu. In the left side bar you can sign up for daily email updates, or subscribe to RSS feeds. Explanation of RSS in this short video.

What can I do on the site? You can comment on exising content without registering, or create your own content if you register here: see left sidebar.

What's involved in registering? Completing and submitting a brief form. You will be sent a confirming email, and your request to join the site will be passed to an administrator. That's to avoid spam.