Collaborate, Create, Communicate

Day Oh, now I know how to…

They came from near and far to attend Day Zero of the AgKnowledge Africa Share Fair in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. And what a day it was too. We were overwhelmed by the response. More than 180 participants attended the various training and sharing sessions held on the campus of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) campus.

“Day Oh, now I know how to… !” (as the training day was dubbed by the ICT-KM Program’s Nadia Manning-Thomas) was called to order by an Ethiopian horn blower. This is just one of the many traditional Ethiopian touches that make this event unique.

During the opening ceremony, Nadia introduced the concepts of knowledge sharing, knowledge management, ICTs, facilitation, social media, online collaboration and networking. She also gave examples on how to identify, choose and implement the right knowledge sharing tools/methods for a particular stage of work and for a particular purpose or goal.

The day was centered around several parallel training sessions (see the agenda), each focusing on different knowledge sharing and communication tools and methodologies.

Two hands-on sessions on video sharing (or ‘blipping’ as it’s called), showed participants how short video interviews or ‘blips’ can be used to capture face-to-face events, record comments and thoughts, etc. After a short introductory session, participants were let loose on the ILRI campus, where they interviewed other participants. Afterwards, they learned how to edit their videos and discussed how they might incorporate them into their work.

Another session on how to make interesting radio for farmers covered different radio formats, planning matrices, recording material and editing programs. Participants learned about the importance of knowing their target listeners: the farmers. Listen to what some of them had to say in a podcast about this lively session!

Some of the more popular sessions included Katarlah Taylor’s Mendeley (an open source reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research), Google, collaborative writing by our own Tania Jordan and Antonella Pastore and blogging. Participants were also exposed to face-to-face knowledge sharing methods, such as the Fish Bowl, which involves a small group of people seated in circle, having a conversation in full view of a larger group of listeners.

For pictures that capture the energy and excitement of Day Zero, please visit http://tinyurl.com/sfaddisphotos, or http://www.shotfromthehip.org/, a blog maintained by Peter Casier, the man who is spearheading the Share Fair’s team of social media reporters. Volunteers now number more than 30 and growing as participants become more familiar with the tools. Watch his engaging wrap up on what social media is.

We also heard from Susan Thorpe from WrenMedia how to make the most of the media

Day One (Tuesday) focuses on a series of ‘learning pathways’ that cover four key areas: agriculture and water; agriculture and climate change; land; and livestock. In the afternoon, participants will also have the chance to take part in a special Share Fair feature: an interactive open air market, where they will be able to exchange their ‘knowledge wares’, with special emphasis on rural knowledge exchange approaches drawn from rural Ethiopia.

You can follow the Share Fair via the Social Media Team’s coverage on the Share Fair website as well as the individual websites of the various tools used:
• Blog: http://tinyurl.com/sfaddisblog
• Wiki: http://tinyurl.com/sfaddiswiki
• Tweets: http://tinyurl.com/sfaddistweets
• Photos: http://tinyurl.com/sfaddisphotos
• Videos: http://tinyurl.com/sfaddisblips
• Social web: http://tinyurl.com/sfaddismention
• Share fair FM: http://tinyurl.com/sfaddisfm

And if you doubted that social media can let people know what you are doing… you may want to know that the last 50 tweets with #sfaddis at the time of writing reached over 16,000 people

Check out the agenda and stay tuned for lots of tweeting and blogging from Addis!