International Conference on Virtual Communities (Vircomm2003)
|Event Date/Time: Jun 16, 2003||End Date/Time: Jun 17, 2003|
|Registration Date: Jun 16, 2003|
|Early Registration Date: Apr 28, 2003|
The 2003 Virtual Communities Conference Church House Conference Centre,
16-17 June 2003 Programme
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Day One: Monday 16 June 2003
Opening Keynote Presentation
David Snowden, Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity,
IBM Global Services, UK
Managing in the Shadow
The vast bulk of useful knowledge within an
organisation self-organises in the informal or shadow organisation
and is rarely "volunteered" into the formal organisation
at the same level of intimacy as occurs between trusted entities.
Not only will it not be volunteered with any consistency (whatever
the reward or penalty attached) but the sheer volume of potentially
useful knowledge exceeds the capacity of any formal system. Organic
Knowledge Management focuses on enabling a just-in-time transfer
of knowledge between the informal and formal, and also focuses
on using, growing and stimulating naturally occurring trusted
communities, rather than constructing communities of practice
to some corporate formula of best practice.
This presentation constructs a sense-making model to enable the
audience to understand the boundaries between formal and informal,
and then describes a series of pragmatic techniques to enable
the self-organising power of the shadow organisation to be aligned
with organisational need.
Greg Searle, Tomoye
Corp., Quebec, Canada
Guerrilla-KM: Six Steps to Creating Successful Communities
of Practice Online
You want to transform casual conversations
into Communities of Practice to revolutionise your organisation?
Hear case studies from successful guerrilla knowledge managers
who have implemented communities of practice online. Learn how
to: start where the ground is most fertile and the pain is the
greatest; empower ordinary users to participate; delegate to the
right community leaders with the right management tools;
leverage the lurkers in your community; put conversations,
experts and knowledge in context; close some doors.
Storytelling will familiarise participants with the real-world
successes of over 40 communities that Greg has helped design and
Joanne Self, Rolls-Royce, Derby, UK
Communities of Practice: the Rolls-Royce Experience
This presentation explains why Rolls-Royce
chose to implement communities of practice, how the concept was
communicated within the Rolls-Royce businesses, and the benefits
that Rolls-Royce has gained from its communities of practice programmes.
The presentation concludes by outlining the future of the communities
of practice within Rolls-Royce.
SiteScape, Massachusetts, USA
Creating the Right Communities of Practice Model to Facilitate
Today's business climate has inevitably seen
more challenges due to the velocity and rapid pace of change.
One of the biggest areas of concern is creating an environment
where employees can capture, share knowledge and communicate effectively
despite geographic boundaries. In this session, learn how Rio
Tinto with its 30 'Communities of Practice', enabled employees
working in related disciplines in Rio Tinto companies around the
globe, to problem solve and share best practice.
Rio Tinto's Communities of Practice encompass over 1,000 users:
two major communities are HSE (Health, Safety and Environment)
management activities and climate change. Rio Tinto acknowledge
that the cross fertilisation of Communities of Practise model
has shown tremendous ROI around the Group promoting the transfer
and best use of skills, training, development and shared ideas.
The merger of Hewlett-Packard Company and Compaq
Computer Corporation brought together two high-tech companies.
Upon completing the merger, the challenge of the new organisation
is to identify and leverage the collective knowledge of the two
pre-merger companies into one. At the new HP, communities provide
an opportunity to accomplish this by creating intersection points
for knowledge sharing and exchange. In this session the presenters
will share their experience in sustaining and evolving pre-merger
communities, creating an integrated community model and methodology
for the new company, and lessons learned from staying focused
during changing times.
Elisabeth Richard Jensen, Novo Nordisk, Denmark
Supporting and Visualising Communities of Practice
This presentation discusses how to motivate
individuals to engage and involve themselves in COPs in order
to enhance effectiveness, learning and results in the organisation.
As a non-profit, technical professional association,
the IEEE searched for a medium that would facilitate communication
and collaboration between its volunteers, members, and staff.
Also through this connection, the members would be enabled to
share and access the latest technical information, research and
career tools. The product of this search would provide IEEE's
constituencies with a direct way to connect and collaborate with
each other regardless of their geographical location. Through
its efforts, the IEEE has come to realise these goals through
the use of virtual communities.
This presentation explains the reasons for choosing this communication
and collaborative vehicle based on the members' and organisation's
needs; examines the challenges that IEEE faced in internalising
the use of virtual communities and how it overcame them; and lessons
that the organisation learned from its experiences. It also provides
comparisons to other similar organisations that have implemented
virtual communities. This paper also provides insight into how
the organisation plans to continue using the results produced
in its virtual communities to enhance the effectiveness of the
organisation and add value to its membership.
Mark Brogan and Gurpreet Kohli, Edith Cowan University,
Case Study of a Vertical Portal: theCape Range Ningaloo
The Cape Range Ningaloo Project was released
is an experimental 'vertical' portal organised around an ecological
application. The project supports a virtual community of users
sharing interests in the biological diversity, sustainable development
and ecotourism in the remote Cape Range Ningaloo region of Western
Australia. The vortal provides a virtual space for researchers,
government, industry and the community to publish online documents,
run forums and provide other services that relate to the core
mission. Cape Range Ningaloo is the subject of a protracted heritage
dispute involving competing interests of development and heritage
conservation. A core element of the mission is to promote cross
frame dialogue and learning aimed at enhancing prospects for conflict
resolution. This presentation canvasse issues in vertical portal
design, implementation, management and marketing of a low budget
online community organised around an ecological theme. The presentation
reflects on issues pivotal to portals provided as a common property
resource, namely the requirement for self-organisation and its
implications for critical mass and sustainability.
Over 20,000 school leaders are registered members
of online communities in England. Work at Ultralab has been to
develop and run these communities. These range from formal learning
communities, set up and facilitated as part of a professional
development programme, to informal communities or social networks.
Some of these have a geographical co-location, others are purely
virtual. In this presentation we explore the lessons learned on
establishing and maintaining these communities, issues of scale,
identity and impact on learning.
BiblioTech and Schoolmaster, London, UK
Structured Anarchy: A Study from the Educational Sector
An online community is made up of people, tools
and content, but the most crucial ingredient is control. It is
necessary to create structure. Without any structure there is
mayhem and lack of focus, but with too much control you have lack
of fluidity and can end up stifling innovation, ideas, the flow
of information and the creation of sub-communities.
While all communities require the ingredients above, the level
of controls required varies considerably depending on the community
itself. This presentation discusses some of the controls required
for what is arguably the largest homogeneous community in the
world, while at the same time the most fragmented: education.
The objective must be to create a system that accommodates predefined
hierarchies that are not all necessarily the same. One that accommodates
and reflects differing processes already in place while at the
same time being flexible enough to create new processes and cross-organisations
and sub-communities. The only way to accommodate these demands
is through a system we term Structured Anarchy.
KidFu, Chicago, USA
Children and Teens Online: New Generations, New Scenarios
Children and Teens online: the generations
who grew up with chat rooms and instant messaging are making it
their own and shaping the future of online community. The presentation
begins with a survey of children and teens online and looks at
what are they doing differently from adults. We go on to identify
the tools and sites they use, and the ways in which they use them.
This is illustrated with some case studies. The next part of the
presentation looks at safe and ethical use of technology, the
messages we are giving children and teens concerning safe and
ethical use of technology and the ways in which children and teens
are internalising lessons from adults After a survey of online
communities created by children and teens who grew up with chat,
IM, etc, we move on to educated speculations concerning the future
of online community based on observances of what children and
teens are doing now, and end by looking at what operators of children's
and teens' online communities should do now to equip their young
users to create the best possible future for online community.
Day Two: Tuesday 17 June 2003
Opening Keynote Presentation
Rainbow Media, New York, USA
What Makes a Successful Virtual Community?
The initial promise of virtual community --
aggregating eyeballs to make millions -- faltered with the dot-com
bust, but communities exist in myriad places. Some communities
are clearly marked, like blogs, user groups, local action committees
and political parties, while some exist under other names. What
are those names? Customer support departments, knowledge networks,
TV chat rooms, online dating services, electronic classrooms.
Many collaborative tools depend on community software, and their
users form communities in everything but name.
The presentation gives a brief and celebratory history of virtual
community, then goes on to classify the areas where virtual community
works, mentioning key players and core technologies. Finally,
it discusses the opportunities for business, governments and individuals
in the community sphere.
Martin White, Intranet
Focus, Surrey, UK
Collaborative Technology Solutions
This presentation discusses the criteria that
need to be considered in selecting a technology application for
collaborative working. These include distinguishing between synchronous
and asynchronous applications, and maintaining a balance between
"push" and "pull". The second part of the
presentation outlines the benefits and issues of a range of technology
applications, from blogs and wikis through to knowledge portals
and virtual meeting environments. The presentation emphasises
the need to identify user requirements at the outset, and that
there is unlikely to be one single application that meets these
Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Bristol, UK
What the Grid means for Virtual Communities
The Grid is an infrastructure enabling the
transparent sharing of computing resources (including computing
cycles and storage, and possibly also software, data and applications)
across organisational boundaries. The sites performing the sharing
will be geographically distributed, and may also have different
hardware, software, use policies, and quality-of-service requirements.
This presentation describes what this infrastructure will mean
for people running virtual communities. One particular application
is the assembling of a co-ordinated set of resources for an ad-hoc
or one-off time-limited online meeting of virtual community members.
To close, we speculate on how the economics of the Grid may change
the computer business. If a "marketplace Grid" takes
off in which unused computing resources can easily be sold and
bought online by anyone, then there will be considerable downward
pressure on the price of standard resources; traditional computer
vendors will lose some of their current economic advantages; there
will be interesting arbitrage possibilities for communities; and
virtual community applications will flourish.
Martin Nielson, AltosBanCorp, UK
Consolidation in the Collaborative Software Industry
Two years ago, predictions were made that the
next new software giants were likely to evolve from the community,
collaboration, web publishing, data mining and e-learning spaces
funded by the venture capitalists in 1996-2000. Through mergers
and acquisition, and company transformation, this 'Knowledge Technologies'
industry is fast emerging to become a mainstream product. We examine
some of the more interesting deals that have been completed and
share some expert opinions about how this industry evolution is
likely to remain in the forefront of technology development over
the next few years.
ASPectx, Kentucky, USA
Professional Choices: Positioning the Virtual Community
To Fit the Health Care Environment
In today's health care environment, there are
many different roles from drug companies to doctors to patients,
and the need for virtual communities continues to evolve. Large
pharmaceutical companies such as Abbott Laboratories and Johnson
& Johnson are often found participating in a variety of communities,
and the success of these endeavours often parallel the acceptance
of a patient's electronic medical record. We examine the features
and benefits of distinct health care communities online, including
advocacy extranets, physician portals, disease awareness communities,
and compliance portals. We look at how the plug 'n play software
market is adapting to these environments with offerings from companies
such as Softwatch and tools like Siebel ePharma. Patient focused
endeavours that have done well, such as Teva Neuroscience's MS
Watch for multiple sclerosis, are also detailed. With health care
privacy concerns looming, we explore how online member communities
such as those at Humana expand with solutions from companies like
ZirMed.com that offer payment portals to disseminate in real time
what used to be disparate data.
Ian Bilsborough, Countryside Agency, and Tim Pickles,
Learning Networks in the Countryside Agency
The Countryside Agency has invested heavily
in the development of topic-based and regionally-based Learning
Networks. These provide a communications, information sharing
and knowledge management platform for the agency's staff, partners
and stakeholders. Users range from government ministers to community
volunteers. Each of the learning networks is based on a common
platform and template, but is individually branded and configured
to its members' needs. Each learning network is private, but members
can have access to several networks from the same login. A full
best practice support programme is provided to the network facilitators
by the platform provider.
Community Reward Programmes
From the inception of its community efforts,
SAP has recognised the value of a strong promotion campaign to
highlight the resources available to customers and prospects.
Through offerings tailored to its audience, SAP's executive-level
community has grown substantially over the past three years with
over 100,000 proactive members today. As the SAP Community has
reached critical mass, the challenge is to maintain and maximise
the potential of its strong base of core members. In late 2002,
the SAP Community Membership Reward Programme was launched to
recognise and promote the contributions of these key members.
Though still in its early stages, the Membership Reward Programme
has already provided SAP with a snapshot of its core community,
and provided an incentive for new members to increase their interaction.
Ogilvy Interactive, Germany
Online Community: A Tool of Customer Relationship Marketing
The presentation examines the marketing aspects
of communities and their role in the collection of customer relationship
tools. We focus on the constitution of strong customer relationships
and the generation of customer insights. Every relationship between
a company and its customers passes through different stages, which
decide in what way a client can be turned into a loyal one, if
To enforce and to support this evolution, companies use several
communication channels. Since the online channel has been established
and its use grows every day, customer relationship marketing in
this medium is becoming significant. High data transfer capabilities
demand responsiveness at all levels, feedback channels enable
the direct dialogue with the customers. These developments offer
a chance for companies to be approachable for their clients, and
to be able to establish a direct communication line between both
parties. The possibilities offered by this communication approach
based on online communities will develop with further technical
development and allow more innovative ways of communicating.
Hazel Hall, Napier
University, Edinburgh, UK
Motivations to Share Knowledge: the case of the Cipher
Researchers have concluded that knowledge sharing
is more likely to occur when individuals hold strong beliefs about
organisational ownership of their information and expertise, and
when a positive attitude towards knowledge sharing is promoted
within the organisation. These conclusions apply to the business
environment where individuals are bound into a particular set
of operations with a common corporate goal. How applicable are
they, however, in a "social" setting in which participants
have no work-based commitments to one another?
This paper reports on a research project that examined the motivations
to knowledge share in a world-wide virtual community comprising
an e-group of over 2,500 code breaking enthusiasts. The discussion
group included school children, amateur code breakers and professionals.
For just over one year the members of this community were in competition
with one another to decipher ten messages that had been encrypted
in the The Code Book published on 2 September 1999. They exchanged
messages to provide hints, ideas, support and encouragement about
the Cipher Challenge. Five Swedes won the challenge on 7 October
2000. Of particular interest to the study was the tension between
the goal of each participant to win the £10,000 prize and
the apparent willingness of individuals to help their rivals.
What were the factors that motivated weakly tied individuals,
located in a virtual community, working towards a goal that only
one (or one set) could achieve, to share valuable knowledge capital?
Results revealed interesting findings. Although motivation to
participate was ostensibly to share knowledge, personal gain --
in terms of help with particular problems, and support and encouragement
from others in the same position -- was a more important factor
for engagement. Lessons learned on the importance of knowledge
capital and social capital to the group's membership may be applicable
in certain business settings where virtual communities of practice
are "created" to meet corporate goals.
ICP Europe, UK
Trust and Reputation in Business Communities
The presentation looks at the processes by
which businesses assess the trustworthiness of others online (whether
in evaluating online advice/comments or in assessing an online
vendor). We also assess how reputation (for this purpose, defined
as the aggregate of trusted transactions) acts as a draw for an
online service. Key concepts introduced and discussed will include:
the 'half life' of reputation; reputation as a serial, dynamic
measure, while 'trust' is a static, single decision; the 'badges
of trust' online: how to appropriate, display and convey; planning
campaigns to increase perceived trust for business advantage.
The snail-trail of reputation
In online communities and other digital social
spaces (mobiles or Cable TV Chatrooms for instance) you become
known by what you do and say; by each
single interaction. The style of each message, comment or article
you generate is leaving a snail trail of social information. People
spend time building up online identities, or accumulating points
as rewards for buying and selling on auction sites. Is your digital
reputation high or low? Can it be stolen? And
could this social currency be turned into hard cash?
Andrew Ross, Oxford
What We Can Learn From Organic Online Communities? How
Communities of Practice Seed Themselves With Conflict
This talk discusses how three adult online
learning communities that were created by learners, for learners,
have developed into virtual communities of practice (CoPs). The
groups studied are purely textual environments that have come
to represent a primary source of support, content and practical
information for learners, and all exist independent of any formal
educational institution. The multi-functional nature of these
virtual CoPs clearly illustrates the complexity inherent in social
systems that develop in response to user needs. As such, they
also provide important lessons for managers and moderators in
seeding, growing -- and even eliminating -- bespoke online communities.
Cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) is used as a helpful
heuristic to explain how and why these online communities become
fully-functional CoPs, and most importantly, explains why and
how conflict may indeed be the most important ingredient in evolving
a virtual gathering space into a true community of practice.
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