[eDebate] Jimbo's Question about convergence

Andy Ellis andy.edebate
Sat Dec 27 23:37:57 CST 2008

Let's get to it.
Should CEDA Create a Lifestream?

If you are asking what is a lifestream you probably do not think ceda needs
one, if you do know what it is you probably think yeah that would be pretty

Therin lies the problem with discussing technology within our community, and
what jimbo's question gets to the heart of. There are a million different
communication and computing technologies and 90 per cent of them could be
used effectively by CEDA to further some aspect of its mission. But just
because the technology is cool does not mean it will create your
communication or information plan for you. That requires dedicated input
from a group of people willing to engage in developing information systems
with CEDA. Currently there is little incentive other than community service,
interest, and altruism to do technology development work, and thus we have a
lot of people who may or may not care how their ideas and knowledge of
technology interacts with CEDA.

We need to get all those minds together, Hanson, Brushke, Snider, Kerpen,
Stannard,Drake, Baushard, Hall, Perkins, Smith, Lacy, Maritato,  Jarmen, and
others i am inevitably forgetting, if i missed you let me know and i will
add you to my list....not into some sort of summit but into an online
working group and collaboration teams that breaks off and assesses the areas
of interest that they have and how those areas can help CEDA come up with
a consolidated communication and information strategy. But just because
people like tech and like CEDA doesn't mean they will put in work on this
just for the heck of it. CEDA has the power as an organization to leverage
power that allows all of these contributors to have access to tools and
services that might not be available for their individual processes, this
could include summer volunteer hires, consults with mbas and development
people for specific projects, and the ability to harness the power of the
collectivity of the community, to develop the information systems we need.

So here is what i would do.

I would recruit a large information and technology committee comprised of
all of the people i mentioned above and others interested.
This committee would of course be virtual, skype, google chat, i chat and a
bunch of other things provide free online conferencing and meeting services,
and virtual conferencing and collaborating is as easy as ever(we can for
example get an education edition of google apps for free, two hundred email
accounts, shared sits, shared documents etc).
But the committee would be charged with at least the following
-develop and implement an information and technology plan for CEDA
-work to create collaborative systems not just for debate and discussion but
that allow community members to work together on debate capacity projects.
-identify no and low cost resources and services that could enhance CEDAs
information and technology resources.
-create technological resources for members interested in learning debate
specific technology skills.
-identify funding opportunities to further develop CEDA information and
technology including paid internships fopr students who are members.
-create a proactive member friendly user driven CEDA online community.

One of the thing the committee would do would be to break into project and
area collaboration teams, and CEDA should provide the online mechanisms like
innocentive and wordpress to facilitate this conference work.

So ive mentioned a ton of services, many of you have no idea what they are
but would probably like them if you saw them (de.licious furl  or magnolia
are good for that) but if the committee gets to play with some stuff they
will have more things to review for the members and to figure out how to
explain not just how they are cool but how they are useful....

Tinyurl's make a ton of sense but if we don't know what they are we are not
likely to make a good choice the first time a challenge is made about them
being legitimate sources, its great that everybody has digital cameras, but
do pictures at ceda nationals become property of flickr?

The key is this, the negative embarrassing information is never going to go
away nor should it, but with good information through official channels you
can push it down, you can make there be less of a story when
something embarrassing comes out because you have a built in defense, a
defense that establishes context, and shows the true mission of the

The more information we have that is good the harder it becomes to jam us in
a way that causes damage, if there inst much out there then you get Shanahan
Howard Dean on you tube etc...the goal should be to utilize as much media
and information mediums as possible to most effectively achieve the mission,
diffuseness is not a problem as long as there is a strategy that can deal
with diffuse media, that is what i would work to put in place.

Here are the links to the services i name dropped some of them will be
useful to some of you but all of you will find at least one you like.
A good example of a lifestrem (a personal on but still)
grassroots.org(social venture volunteering and systems building)
www.skype.com (if you are a pc user you can do a lot of online collaboration
and meeting)
google chat (gmail.com)you either know about or dont, and if you use a mac
you know what i chat can do.
http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/index.html google apps for
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm_BGJ0b_3E howard dean

These are jjust some of my favorites, some of you may have better ones, and
others may disagree that these are good, but thats kinda the point of all
this, that disagreement and resources sharing is in fact good, as long it
occurs in a forum that informs the membership and the public.

In the end of the day there is a three part model for information that i
The brand-what will people remember
Content- what do people want to know
Function- what do people want to do.

if we take this framework into a collaborative communication and information
framework for CEDA we can answer the second part of Jimbo's question as well
because we can provide not only potential internship and volunteer
professional opportunities for our students, but we can also facilitate a
community that is utilizing and learning technologies that many students
already use. Simply put, we cannont begin to prepare our students to make
arguments with information technology if our organization sees many of these
technologies as sub par media, and web gadgets. More people doing productive
technology work for the organization and more people seeing how it can be
used for scholarly and professional purposes means more people willing to
explore it as an in round communication and argumentation tool.

Don't get me wrong we are makings strides in the right direction with the
blogs and the new website, but we need to go forward further and harness the
power of technology information and collaboration to enhance our ability to
promote inform discuss and debate.
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