Being the first to acknowledge that we are merely scratching the surface of the already available features that can be added, we are appreciative for the basic abilities such as keeping us up to date with the latest news and happenings, allowing MC Associates, who register online, to participate in online discussions and to comment on articles published; creating a healthy platform for associates to be reflective practitioners that share thoughts, participate in healthy dialogues, agree to disagree, learn from one another and their cultural understandings on interpretation of thoughts, etc.
Recently the Mission Commission (MC) made a decision to effectively pursue the journey of a restructuring process of both its internal and external communication platforms. Excited by the thought that we are about to embark on a process that might help to increase its effectiveness in communication, little did we know how much it will impact our own way of looking at the value of online interaction.
In our quest to understand best how to undertake this massive task, we were forced to do some extensive reading online and offline, introducing us to a variety of great authors on the subject. One such person is Jane Bozarth who is a popular conference speaker and is frequently found at both live and online international events. Her passion for online interaction speaks for itself, and was it her blog on “The Value of Online Interaction” that really got us to a point of reviewing what we communicate, how we communicate, and when to communicate.
Giving a broad overview on ‘value creation’, Bozarth uses an overview chart designed by Etienne Wenger of “Cultivating Communities of Practice fame”. Through the chart she explains that although not always tangibly measurable, value are certainly created by participating in online interaction. It is through networking, linking people with one another, finding answer by publishing questions and or requests online, and allowing people to express their views on statements made that progress are measured.
“I don’t know that I’ve changed my institution (yet), but I’ve influenced ideas around new ways of working. And while I’m not asked for evidence that I am effective, whenever I get a solution or innovative idea via one of my social channels, I take a screenshot or write a quick note and send it on to management anyway” (www.learningsolutionsmag.com
In another fascinating masters thesis by Casper Rossing (http://essay.utwente.nl/62583/1/MSc_C_Rossing.pdf), Rossing explains how from the time traditional newspapers went online in the late 1980’s, early 1990’s, the number of print newspapers that offer their news online has grown explosively. Today, virtually every print newspaper has the option available for its readers to access their news published in a digital format too. However, the significant impact of the digital platform is not just the easy accessibility, that is if you have internet access, but the ability that the reader can actually respond and express its view on the article itself, the format in which it has been made available, and select what they want to read and when.
Realising that the MC website still needs much more work before it will successfully serve all the needs of the broader mission community, we invite you to assist us in this journey by actively participate in the functionalities already available, send us your comments and recommendations, as well as informing us to how we can serve you better.
Value are certainly created by participating in online interaction…