Sunday, November 12, 2006

Backchannel Resources

Howard Rheingold and his network have developed a good wiki page on Backchannel Resources. My quick read of it is that it is about online back channel at F2F events. I realized I tend to think of backchannel a bit more broadly in terms of private messages that are part of the communication fabric of groups/networks/community and not always captured or visible for the full group. For example, a blogging network sends IMs and private email between members that is not part of their public blog-based communications. A distributed community of practice has it's main online interactions in a forum, but the members coordinate, nudge, remind in private messages.

I think we may need two terms to distinguish between these, because the conference chat back channel IS available to the group. Hm. Time to think through this again.

This is just one page of a great wiki on Participatory Media Literacy that is supporting a course (courses?) that Howard and others have been leading. It is a GREAT resource.

I also noticed that the Socialtext platform they are working on has had a major interface change. It looks different! I have to investigate. I see a personal note pad - I like that. But the editing buttons appear to be moved or hidden. Hm, upon checking "help" it appears that all you do is double click the page you want to edit. That is new! But I can't seem to get it to work. And I don't see edit buttons, which should always be there according to help. Hm. Will play more.

It is always interesting to see what happens with an interface change. I'd also like to know if it improves the experience for a new user. Enoujgh for now... time to work. (Yes, on Sunday!)


Blogger Chris said...

WHat of we thought of backchannels as eddies in a stream's flow? What could we use those structures for? Flowing against the current, resting and recirculating in places that arrest our attention.

It seems there is a pattern here...

11:19 AM  
Blogger Nancy White said...

Hm, nice image. I suspect this is one piece of back channel (in the chat during F2F live stuff, or combined F2F online context.)

It is also

* annotation (adding links)
* holding questions for later
* what else?

Does it matter who is playing? Does that change the patterns? Should we pay attention to that?

No answers... just questions!

11:56 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Yup...that's what happens when the eddy leads you back upon yourself...more questions. Never a bad thing.

2:33 AM  

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