Collaborate, Create, Communicate

Ready to go, Italian IA Summit here

Here’s the start of the CGXchange section of the ICT-KM blog. It features news, posts, comments and musings  about online collaboration, networking and how Web technology can support the sharing of information and knowledge inside and outside of the CGIAR.

The idea is to cover and offer for comments what goes on around these themes. CGXchange is the name of the collaboration platform of the CGIAR (read project details), but there’s more to it than just the tech. It’s about understanding the needs of staff who are working across the physical boundaries of their offices, about exploring new tools in support of managing work and sharing information, about figuring out how technology changes the way we work and makes it more effective and efficient. 

Technology is a moving target (have you ever heard that?) and it’s necessary to keep an eye on the way it is evolving, what’s new in the field and what other tools can support the way work changes. And lately the talk of the town is all around Web 2.0. So here’s the excuse for starting this blog.

I’m at the Italian Information Architecture Summit, in Trento, as a member of the Scientific Board, and co-presenter for tomorrow’s presentation “The Web2Architect” that Chris Addison will deliver about the Euforic Web site.

Why am I here? First and foremost because I remain an information architect at heart, and second because the case Chris will present is a very good practical example of how to create a Web presence on the basis of Web 2.0 tools. What are the challenges? What stays the same and what is radically changed? How do you need to get organised to maintain a Web site where most of the content is out there, with little control on it? And why go this way?

Chris, Pier Andrea Pirani and I met at Web2forDev last September in Rome. They presented the Euforic site as a case of extensive application of Web 2.0 tools to building an online presence and delivering their information services. While they were talking, it started to dawn on me that much of what they were discussing had an information architecture implication: content generation and classification, increasing the reach of their information, cooperative approaches to search. Instead of building a one-stop shop, they are putting their content out there, all over the place, and increasing the reach and visibility of their own and member’s content.

So I proposed to Chris and Pier to put an information architecture angle onto their case study and present it to the Italian IA Summit. And here we are ready to go (to Peter van Dijck session for now…   blog +  consultancy blog on Global IA)