• Mainly about engagement and collaboration using social media and events, with some asides on living in London. More about David Wilcox and also how the blog started.
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Nice weaving of things together to bring them forward, David.

I was on a chat today with two technology stewards of a community and a new element came forth.

How does the community support their technology?

Does the Total Cost of Ownership concept fall on deaf ears here in the UK or with communities?

TCO -- the cost of implementing technology is not just the cost of hardware and software, but the "wetware" - training, technical support, and understanding it.

Marc Osten and I co-authored a guide on this topic .. not sure if it has been published, but maybe some of our older thinking on it:

Oh yes, there's a whole social language we have to develop for talking about it with clients. And, increasingly, a social language in different languages. Lucky some of us are persistant!

Beth - I think what David is drawing attention to here drills down further into TCO, as it is understood and discussed in practice anyway, which usually stretches to training and support provision.

There's a useful tension here between the new accessibility offered by web 2.0 tools and services and the trials of good ol cultural change. Not wholly convinced of the sustainability of the model proposed by tech stewardship - isn't it what’s always happened - informed and enthusiastic people can progress organisations and projects, for as long as they are around and willing - maybe the question is how does this translates in terms of staff and organisational development, and more widespread HR practices?

Not keen of this use of stewardship either – this is a personal thing though, as I then to use stewardship as a concept of ownership and responsibility available to all members of a community rather than of expertise.

Josie - you have helped surface some of the concerns and ambivalences that I was trying to get at. I'm reminded of the time when I did a lot of work on helping set up development trusts as regeneration partnerships. My task as consultant was to manage a process in which different interests came together and formed a new organiation with a clear, shared purpose, appropriate constitution, business plan, and means of communicating internally and externally. The key issues were relationships, commitment, sustainability ... and a transfer of ownership.
I was "stewarding" and help others steward ... but the whole thing only worked when the chair and executive director were in place.
As consultants we can steward - or whatever - the development of communities of practice. But do we have to stay there? Or should we be trying to grow the internal stewards - whatever we call them?
I used to reckon that setting up a development trust from first idea to staff in post was a year. Is virtual any quicker? And who bears the Total Cost of Ownership of the whole thing?


There is also another term we've used along with TC0 - It's "total value of ownership" -

I also think approaches may be different in a community of practice context than in an organizational context.

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