Discussion forum for members of the Massachusetts Bay Organizational Development Learning Group

Thursday, August 11, 2005

ODLG Blog Guidelines

Last night Mal Watlington and I conferred with the ODLG Coordinating Committee and agreed to the guidelines for the ODLG blog. In short, our guidelines are the following:
  1. Any member of ODLG may post to the blog. Just ask to be added to the list of contributors, if you're not already on the list.
  2. Before you post to the blog for the first time, take some time to get familiar with the flavor of what's been posted already. Then add your OD-related inspirations to the conversation.
Below are our official preliminary guidlines (subject to change by the ODLG coordinating committee).

For years Learning Group members have suggested that we find a means for ongoing discussion. We are thus pleased to announce another methodology for that purpose and to invite participation by all members.

At our June 19 meeting on “Planning for Change,” our business section had a special presentation on blogs by Bruce Hoppe (whose blog is “Connectedness”) and Mal Watlington (whose blog is “Online Conversation and Beyond”). Bruce and Mal volunteered to create an MBODLG blog, and the Coordinating Committee was pleased to approve that ideas, as you now see before you.

What is blog? A blog (or “weblog”) is simply a web page that is in the formal of a journal. Blogs have a theme, sometimes called a “meme”. Blogs are somewhat like a list server, but have the advantage of a nicer interface.

What is this blog for? This blog is for ongoing discussion of organizational development topics. Each month we will select a particular discussion question from that month’s program meeting. We recognize that discussion may be “flowing” and don’t anticipate “censorship,” but we do reserve the right to edit the blog with this goal in mind and with respect to the guidelines cited below.

Who may contribute? All Learning Group members may contribute. (Note that, as explained below, nonmembers may use certain other forms of MBODLG communication methods.) To be a contributor, simply write to blog@learninggroup.org. No technical skills needed – though literacy is assumed!

What are out guidelines? Ever discussion needs some ground rules. The following are thus indicated:

  1. Be respectful. No attacks (so-called “flaming” – but see the next rule). Try to be sure that you understand what you writing to, especially when responding to a post, and that your information is accurate.
  2. Avoid jargon. Just as everyone who is interested in OD is welcome at our program meeting, so too this discussion forum is not just for the digerati! Try to avoid technical langue that may impede others’ understanding or participation.
  3. Stay on topic. Be relevant. See below for other resources for sharing your thoughts that may be unrelated to our discussion.
  4. No commercials. See below for other resources for this purpose. Likewise, thoughts on MBODLG issues should be directed to the Coordinating Committee, and discussion will be recorded on its web page.
  5. Use private replies. Before posting responses, make sure that what you say is for everyone and not just meant for the original poster. If the latter is the case, send that person an individual e-mail.
  6. Edit your post. We all make mistakes; that’s why spell check and grammar check were invented. E-mail is very susceptible to errors, and we maintain the right to make needed corrections.
  7. Be brief. Conciseness and brevity are conducive to good blogs. If you have a long statement, consider posting it to our Member Essays page.

We would note that the Learning Group provides many other resources for communication and that many of these may be more suitable for what you have to say. These options include the following:

  1. If you “just want to talk,” we have our e-group (so-called “Message Board”). Note that this resource also allows for file sharing, on-line chat, and other features.
  2. If you wish to communicate with individual members, use our Member Directory. Please note that under our privacy policy we will not give out information except as authorized by members in this source.
  3. If you have a question or announcement, you can use the Newsletter, members having up to two paragraphs each month in the Member Announcements and Requests section. If your message is time dependent such that the monthly newsletter deadline would be too late, you can use the e-group.
  4. Subject to time restrictions, those attending our program meetings can make announcements on matters of interest. In addition, they can use the Wall of Networking to send such information to those attending and (for members) to post it on our web page.
  5. We encourage members to contribute reviews of books, articles, organizations, persons, places, or things to our newsletter and both members and nonmembers to submit Internet resources to that source. For longer writing, we have our Member Essays web page.
  6. Our Jobs Group maintains an e-group for members that is used to share information. Employment notices and related information are posted here.

If there is some communication resource that we not providing, let us know (cc@learninggroup.org), and we will try to provide it. And now we have the blog, too. Let the discussion begin!

For those who want to learn more, here a few resources on blogs:

Why people blog: http://www.ics.uci.edu/~jpd/classes/ics234cw04/nardi.pdf
Short history of blogging: http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html
Sociography of blogs: http://home16.inet.tele.dk/jesper_t/weblogs.pdf


Blogger Malchus said...


You did a great job of capturing the spirit of yesterday evening's conversation. The guidelines make good sense, too (uh, you might want to apply #6 to the current post ;-)).

Let's see what happens.


4:14 PM


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