Comment by Christina Jordan
I've been doing as lot of thinking about this.
I think there are some very interesting benefits to be gained in creating a space where collaboration between social entrepreneurs and organizations to take place in public, with no walls. Large corporations are facing enormous challenges these days in figuring out how to reconfigure their lines of communication toward more interaction with their broad range of stakeholders. We are start-ups. There is no reason I can think of why we need to have walls built up between ourselves and our potential stakeholders in a day when technology is pushing them down.
Moreover, we are social enterprise start-ups, preaching transparency and mashability of information and claiming to be here in order to achieve a mission. The highest purpose we can achieve, in my view, is to offer our work as models for what can be accomplished when entrepreneurs put social good in a higher league than profit. If we are really going to change things, then I think we need to practice as much transparency and openness in doing that as we possibly can. Technology will continue to push us there, so why not just go there and own it?
From a mission related perspective an open public group would offer each of us the opportunity to solicit input from our supporters and create some additional dynamism in our other networks. I think a public group will give us more personalized response on our challenge issues at hand, and I also think some supporters/stakeholders will really appreciate the invitation to talk about their favorite project's business plans in this way.
But that's me. While I know there are some who agree with me, I do realize that mine is perhaps an extreme view, which I don't feel I should really impose. It may be that there are good reasons to collaborate in a private or semi-private group that I just don't get yet. Christopher alludes to idea theft, which is indeed a concern I've heard from others. Is it really a concern? Will good things come if someone steals our ideas, or would that be bad for the world? Is it profit or glory that fuels our proprietary tendencies? None of you has to answer that! But I do think it's worth thinking about as we each also think about the possibilities for building a community around your work that could come with an experiment in collaborating with other orgs publicly.
As Christopher mentioned, we have options here at ned. Our options are:
- 100% private group - only invited members see activity (not available to all members, but I might be able to arrange it with Mark).
- Invited members only group - Ned members logged in can see, only group members invited by an owner can post/edit
- Membership group - anyone can see and join, and you must be a member of the group to post or edit.
- Public group - everyone can see, and every ned member can post.
Concretely, which do you think would be the best structure for a bunch of entrepreneurs to collaborate in getting our social enterprise plans off the ground?
Give it a think, and let me know.