Different types of networked project & how they grow

I enjoyed this post on Collaborate about Social Collaborative Platforms

‘If you’ve had a very imaginative idea but are struggling to scale up or duplicate through regular enterprise models and methods there’s a chance you have created a Social Collaborative Platform without realising it. I have only recently come up with these observations, as always I am keen to know what you think.

I guess Social Innovation Camp, Interesting, Lunch Beat and the all formulas for meet-ups, hack-days, camps and so on might fit this.

I’ve been doing some work cateorising different types of networked project and looking at how they grow, with a view to thinking about different ways they could/should be funded.

I’ve been looking at social design, arts and community development stuff. Categorising different projects has been difficult. In the end I ended up drawing some pictures.

1. This is a professional association, members group type thing. Learning happens within the same structure.


2. This is a funded network of organisations. Like a network of libraries or museums who are funded to learn from each other and share information in meetings, seminars or experimental projects. They sort of learn as they go along, trying to take their existing communities with them.

3. This drawing represents projects where there’s a recipe for a project that can easily be replicated in different places. Like cooking from a recipe, but with people. The important thing here is spreading a sticky idea to people who want it.

4. This is a bit more than 3. When the recipe founds an organisation, or established a community, which can then be linked up with some of the other communities. Each of these organisations has a slightly different form in a different local context.

5. I was originally drawing this to represent growth in an ‘open innovation platform’. As it grows, the community can achieve more/do more complicated stuff, but it remains centralised.

I guess Social Collaborative Platforms fit into 3/4/5.

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