The team of administrators agreed to be accountable to the members of the OAC after the first half year in December. We are now four: Francine Barone, Keith Hart, Justin Shaffner and Paul Wren. In the past six months, we found that we work well together and managed to resolve some challenging issues.

Today we have 2,400 members from across the world and with a variety of statuses. 135 groups, including some in Portuguese, Spanish, Russian etc, a forum, blogs, library, press, seminars (starting in January), photos and videos, personal pages in all their variety. We currently average over 500 visits to the site a day (see About).

We now wish to make two proposals:

1. That the current admins team be allowed to serve a full year's term until the end of May 2010; and

2. In that time begin to separate the admin function from the strategic task of developing the OAC's institutional capacities.

The latter would involve proposing to the members a clearer definition of the administrator role (including a method for recruiting new admin team members) and opening up a new window on the main site where all who wish to can join a discussion about further developing the OAC. This could lead to the formation of a new body, a development committee or some such, separate from the admins team, but no doubt with some overlapping membership.

Upcoming issues: In the New Year, we plan to move to our own domain; remove ads from the main page; announce an OAC logo competition; reorganize the Groups; create a place for questions and suggestions on the front page, and so on. We hope that a number of you will step forward to help us continue to improve the OAC.

Views: 170

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I support these proposals 100%.
I also support these proposals, including the plan to move to a presumably independent domain.
Sounds reasonable to me.
I wonder if the OAC should explore some connections with existing anthropology organizations. There are so many things to join, social networking sites, endless listservs...I fear I will never get back to reading, teaching, and doing ethnography in that other world, the one with material objects in it.
Richard Wilk said:
I wonder if the OAC should explore some connections with existing anthropology organizations. There are so many things to join, social networking sites, endless listservs...I fear I will never get back to reading, teaching, and doing ethnography in that other world, the one with material objects in it.

There are lots of ways for the OAC to link up with other anthropology organizations, Rick, and we are actively considering some of them, as you can see from Fran Barone's thread in this series. Are you sure that the abundance of opportunities for online perusal and interaction is the reason why you don't have enough time? I read fewer books these days because people send me their work in progress and I can enter an exchange with them about it, unlike with the authors of books I get off the shelves. It's a question of changing priorities and I don't find that the OAC stops me from doing what I would rather do.
This sounds very reasonable. Let's go forward with it,

Charles
Thanks for comments, Jan.

We intend to move to a new domain name, openanthcoop.net, for which freedom Ning charges a monthly fee of $4.95. This will allow us to keep the present main site and also integrate other non-Ning functions like the Press and the Wiki under the same domain name.

Ads vary by country and some are quite obtrusive, with flashing datable bimbos for example. Ning charges $24.95 a month for refusing its ads. The more members we have, the more we may attract undesirable ads. Obviously, if we decide to go this route, we will have to present members with an account of annual projected expenditure and solicit voluntary contributions. But nothing has been decided yet.

All the admin team agree that sorting out and reviving discussion groups are a high priority to which we intend to turn this month with as much participation from members as we can muster.

Jan Begine said:
we plan to move to our own domain
How do you guys propose to do this? A migration to an other domain usually leads to a loss of information (like user resistration, posts, ...).
I think ning works out fine. If you mind the ads, just install Adblocker or something similar. I didn't even know there where ads on the main page!

reorganize the Groups

This one should be a priority, imo.
I'm working on enhancing the functionality of groups. I can't do much about the way Ning structures the groups section, but I'm experimenting on a way to better display group content. Updates on that soon. Any/all ideas welcome!

Jan Begine said:

reorganize the Groups

This one should be a priority, imo.
I, too, support these proposals.
One thing that I would find helpful is some pruning. Seems to me that if a group remains inactive for, say, a month or so, it should be archived and disappear from the top and group pages. This step would, I suggest, offer several benefits.

1. It would make it simpler to see where the active interests of our members are.
2. It would provide an incentive for those who start groups to work a bit harder to generate activity.
3. It would clear the way for people to create new groups for old topics that are stuck because previous discussions have ground to a halt, and nothing is more discouraging that checking out a group that looks interesting and discovering that the last activity was several months ago.

It could, of course, be argued that the "My groups" list and the choice of "largest," "most active," etc. already provides a mechanism by which individuals can pick and sort groups as they choose. I think, on the other hand, of the title of my favorite book on Website design, Don't Make Me Think.


Francine Barone said:
I'm working on enhancing the functionality of groups. I can't do much about the way Ning structures the groups section, but I'm experimenting on a way to better display group content. Updates on that soon. Any/all ideas welcome!

Jan Begine said:

reorganize the Groups

This one should be a priority, imo.
Hi John,

Thanks for your input. I agree with all the improvements that you suggest. As you've discovered, Ning's group pages are very badly designed, so we are fighting against the structure of Ning in order to provide a better way to view the activity taking place in groups.

In my opinion, there are far too many groups. To prune the list, we would have to determine if it's possible to archive groups at all, or if we simply have to delete them. Still, some groups may be dormant for long periods of time, then have renewed activity. I'd rather only remove the clearly empty ones.

I have been working on this issue and I hope that we can soon provide a solution that will offer a more detailed view of group content and that this will, in turn, help to renew activity in groups that are virtually hidden away in the group pages. It would be helpful if group owners could also work with the admin team to refine our list of groups, keeping only the most active and dedicated to interesting conversation. If posts are made only rarely on a particular subject, they can just as easily be placed in the public forums, rather than a dedicated group.


John McCreery said:
One thing that I would find helpful is some pruning. Seems to me that if a group remains inactive for, say, a month or so, it should be archived and disappear from the top and group pages. This step would, I suggest, offer several benefits.
1. It would make it simpler to see where the active interests of our members are. 2. It would provide an incentive for those who start groups to work a bit harder to generate activity. 3. It would clear the way for people to create new groups for old topics that are stuck because previous discussions have ground to a halt, and nothing is more discouraging that checking out a group that looks interesting and discovering that the last activity was several months ago. It could, of course, be argued that the "My groups" list and the choice of "largest," "most active," etc. already provides a mechanism by which individuals can pick and sort groups as they choose. I think, on the other hand, of the title of my favorite book on Website design, Don't Make Me Think.

Francine Barone said:
I'm working on enhancing the functionality of groups. I can't do much about the way Ning structures the groups section, but I'm experimenting on a way to better display group content. Updates on that soon. Any/all ideas welcome!

Jan Begine said:

reorganize the Groups
This one should be a priority, imo.
Hi,
on deleting groups: I think it would be respectful to only delete really inactive groups (with practically no members/comments) or at least ask the members and group-creators if its okay to delete their group - some of these groups may not function as a active discussion-site, but then again they might still work as a resource for contacting people with the same interests in person and for re-reading posts.

Ben

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Translate

OAC Press

@OpenAnthCoop

Events

© 2017   Created by Keith Hart.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service