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Josie Fraser :: Blog :: Notes on Manchester & going forward

July 15, 2007

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind for me, so first of all, sorry for the late posting. I did manage to get my Emerge pictures up pretty much strait away though!

Monday evening I stayed up far too late enjoying networking at the Emerge social. Tuesday was fantastic – I loved the venue, and, it seemed to me as a member of the support team, the whole atmosphere of the event had shifted.

At the first two whole-community events, London and our online conference, the support team were hyper as they attempted to model a shape for the community, and begin to start off the narrative of this community. Manchester demonstraited that we had definatly turned the page - and that the community had started to draw the rest of the picture. Since the start, the support team has had a road map for the community in mind, a journey we wanted to achieve - for the members engagement, independence and general bolshyness preference. For me, it’s never been a question of herding cats – it’s always been more like finding a space that would fit at least 100 different species’, and supporting them to take control of that environment in ways that most suited and benefited them. The support team had a lot of ideas and propositions about how we would get from where we were to where we are now, many of which actually turned out to be pretty much in the ball park. But we always knew that the success of this project would depend on our flexibility, and our ability to adapt and respond to the emerging community (as well as an occasional extra layer of skin).

So Manchester was amazing for me. The support team really did take a back seat, concentrating on the organisation to allow the members to get on with it. The day was very relaxed, full of intense and interesting conversations, the sharing of ideas and future planning. That we’ve achieved this in about 5 months is astonishing.

Of course, this isn’t to say that we’re anywhere near done. There is a huge amount of work for the support team to be taking forward, and members of the project who still don’t feel centred or in control of their engagement. But it’s exactly the start that we hoped for.

A big thanks to all of the teams who participated in the showcase, whether in person or not.

Following on from my roundtable (Platform Users and Development) I’m happy to report that members of the Salford team have volunteered to host our next barnraising session, which will take place on the afternoon of Thursday 9th of August, so if you are interested in shaping the future of tool and support provision, do try and make it. Sign-up coming around soon!

Best, J.

Posted by Josie Fraser

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