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Here are some questions and answers about what this space is, how it fits into what's already up and running, why we're doing this, and a bit of how it works.

See also WhatAreTheRules | HowToUseWiki | NetSpaceDevelopment? | NetSpaceSpirit | SandBox

Q: who can post a question?

A: anyone, of course! <grin>

Q: how to post a question?

A: click the 'edit text' link at the bottom of the page and then just add it to the text that's already here. click save and admire your handiwork! AND NOTE... that this is the same way to edit any page here!

Q: how to make those bars between questions?

A: when you click on the edit link, you'll see the formatting trick, which is to type four hyphens together at the BEGINNING of a line. try it in the SandBox!

Q: what else do you want to know?

A: who will post the next question?!

Q: I will! Iīm still a bit confused about the difference between the .ORG and the .NET sites. Could you summarize your thinking? I tried to follow your thoughts but didnīt manage too good. Iīm getting attracted to this way of working though and will start thinking about if I can use this in my work. A downside is that instructions (help) is in English.

A: Open Space World currently comes in three flavors...

Q: What about the reliability of this site? Is it hosted on a server that is reliable? Is there anyone to contact if something breaks down, or canīt it? I know some of you have used it with clients, so I guess you think it is very good!

A: Technically, the .NET site is hosted WITHIN the .ORG site. http://www.openspaceworld.NET simply redirects to a folder within the .ORG site. So the .NET site is as reliable as .ORG, which has been hosted by the same company since 1999, without any real difficulty. If there are any troubles, click NetSpaceHolders?. Of course, if you see any content that needs fixing, feel free to click 'Edit' at the bottom of any page and fix that page. This site runs on community-solutions more than technical-solutions. The operative metaphor is MeatBall:BarnRaising.

More questions???

Q: did anyone open space in Iraq?

A: No. --TedErnst

A: Well, not that we know of anyway. --MichaelHerman

A: Unless you mean in somebody's roof. --TedErnst

Q: Why is this site needed as well as the other great site that you already have up and worked so hard on? --BirgittWilliams? (asked via the OSLIST)

A: The descriptions above make some distinctions between the COM, ORG and NET sites. The main reason for starting this one is to make a place where many many more projects and experiments can be tested in a much messier, less structured and perhaps less intimidating environment, a place made more for playing than promotion. This NET space supports and invites the community that is needed to support and invite the future of the ORG site. --MichaelHerman

A. The old site is a "closed site" implying that a "controllig facilitator" will have to check and edit all the contributions from the people that care to contribute here. In this wiki site any OST practitioner can contribute directly in the cooperative construction of this "open space". So this space is really open, contrarily to the first one. Can this be called a "given" or have you constructed the new site with this in mind, Michael? - Artur Silva

Q: what are the "givens" that are implied in this new site. There are implied givens in your other sites and yet they have not seemed to be openly stated. For example, for me, the word "practitioners" is not something I agree with at all. I have noticed it having slid into use on this list and elsewhere as though that is what we refer to ourselves as. Is it a "given" that this is some of the agreed upon vocabulary and if so, whoever made that decision? --BirgittWilliams? (asked via the OSLIST)

A: I think this would be an excellent page/project to open all by itself. So far, the givens are essentially that we are in open space, that we will do things in circles, running on passion bounded by responsibility and will self-organize other structures and agendas and discussions and resources as we go along and find needs and interests and the time to execute such things. It is a time and space in which to move forward together. If you will bring your expertise in naming "givens" to a new page here, then perhaps we will tease out more of them. I think that would be a help to me and the rest of us working here. Maybe you could call that page NetSpaceGivens. Also, I think VocabularyControl would make an interesting page all on its own. --MichaelHerman

A: birgitt, my english speaking colleagues and i use the word practitioner here in haiti when speaking in english. in creole and french we have various words. seems to me that the "given" we're dealing with regarding vocabulary - or at least what i would propose - is that individual and regional choices are respected with regard to vocabulary. how could it be any other way?

we invest substantial time and energy here in haiti toward standardizing language to describe aspects of our work. wouldn't it be strange if after all this local dialogue, someone here in our group said, "we can't use that word because the international community has not agreed upon it."

i think you would agree that this goes against what we are working toward in open space.

-- JohnEngle (answer via the OSLIST)

Q: please tell me a little more about people being able to go in and edit anyone's words. For example, could I post something, and without my permission, someone change my posting but it still end up with my name on it? --BirgittWilliams? (asked via the OSLIST)

A: well, now... this gets right to the root of ownership and control and trust and a raft of other community gems. technically, you have it exactly right. this is an open document. it is ours. we sign or don't sign our names as we choose. we give or retain ownership as we choose to sign. we learn, we contribute, we edit and grow together. it's bound to be messy. it's not likely to be life-threatening. we all make our own choices about signing, owning, listening, sharing, editing, caretaking in virtual community. more about this in the links at NetSpaceSpirit. Maybe we should start a page for WhoOwnsTheseWords?. --MichaelHerman

Q: Hi, Michael and Birgitt. I can see a problem with this, for example in the upcoming OSonOS where it would be a pity if someone (assuming by accident) would change the proceedings made on the physical meeting. Is there a good way to handle this? --ThomasHerrmann

A: Well, I can't say it wouldn't happen. I can say that it didn't happen last year, that all previous revisions are saved afterward, so it could not possibly be lost, that you can print pdf copies of all the pages as they are posted, or I could and that would be the official, static record and then then rest would be allowed to evolve from there. I would also point out that many many things are said in open space meetings and the documentation process is messy and inexact at best, so many things said and just a bit written down, usually by somebody who didn't say most of it. see also MeatBall:WhyWikiWorks --MichaelHerman

Q: Am I on the same page in thinking that you are suggesting we shift some of this 'deeper' discussion onto the wiki (from the OSWorldORG:OSLIST) so that we have an ongoing public record of it? --JustusLewis

A: As for the online discussion, not looking to shift anything. rather, there are things that we cannot work on via the list because there would be too many messages back and forth to too many who don't care about a smaller issue.

the iberian wiki development is a good example. it's good to have the discussion, but oslist is not the place for such a narrow topic. and still, if we have the discussion of questions happen only by individual email, all the learning is lost to the larger community. by having the .net wiki, artur and his team can bring questions and i (and others) can help answer them. then others who might start a wiki later can review those QandA?'s. this example is a bit complicated by the fact that the team discussions are on a separate list in portugues and spanish, but otherwise, the whole thing, project plan through documentation could be sprouted right there in wiki. [Only a small clarification. We are no longer using that list very much. We have set up an Iberian Wiki Dev Page within the Iberian Wiki, and we are using that for team comunication in Portuguese and Spanish and for registering there what has been done and who is doing what at any given moment - this could be interesting to others later, but we will first have to translate it to English someday. We are still using the Iberian Wiki Dev in this wiki only to put you, Michael, the questions we are not able to solve ourselves - ArturSilva]

this is what i will do with the NetSpaceDevelopment? page for work on .net and .org. As you develop your workshop, you can record your progress and evolution and others can follow and comment on your steps. if you do a community os on some big issue, then you can post the proceedings right there on the wiki and follow work can be archived there by your participants. they get a free wiki website facility and we get a full-blown ost story live and in action.

project development, website development, other resource development, community development... these are all things that happen in addition to what happens on the oslist. nothing shifted, though somebody might choose to archive a particularly rich oslist thread into the wiki as a new resource... or might invite postings on the oslist specifically to create such a resource archive. in this way the two feed each other, so no shifting and much potential. --MichaelHerman

Q: So how do we get started? I know that question isn't really accurate because lots of people have already done a lot of work before the public invitation, but now that the rest of us are here, what do we do? --TedErnst

A: see the NetSpaceDevelopment? page for the list of things that i have thought up that might need doing. add your own to that list. that is our working bulletin board. then use your two clicks to fish around where you can and make some growing here, being mindful of the structures and shapes and tones that are growing here and also noted in the NetSpaceSpirit links, which i know you've already surfed, ted. as things get done, we'll see them in the RecentChanges space and it will also help if we leave notes in the development page, moving things to the done pile or posting questions we might have about how we went about doing things. --MichaelHerman

Q: The whole thing still seems a bit abstract. Any practical advice for getting my mind around what this space might be and what I can do? I surfed the web a bit and found some icons to start brainstorming on that score, but the rest just seems beyond me. Is looking at other wikis the way to go? --TedErnst

C. Two comments. The minor one: I think that the questions and answers should be reorganized to have the last questions first. - Artur

A: Great, why don't you take care of that, Artur. Or... better yet... have a look at the questions and group them by major issue, major question, making a list of those questions and breaking this page into many smaller pages, each answering a different question. That way this becomes a page of questions linked to subpages with answers. [Great suggestions, Michael. But I thing this will need a more experienced OST practitionner (to make a distintion from other "practices", related or not with OST) and one that is a native speaker of English. So ;-) Artur]

Q: The major one: I think the main Wiki Page must be reoganized to be more friendly and give direct links to someone interested in OST and not mainly in the wiki projects over here, as it is now. --Artur

A: This site is under construction ...and it is all about posting project and conference work. It is NOT the OSWorldORG:EnglishHomepage and as such it welcomes a different group of people. It's not yet a place to learn about OST... it's a place to look into practicing OST, by convening project or conference workgroups here, and documenting the work of developing a project or extending a conference online, over time. Once there is more practicing going on here, there will be more to show off and the welcome can get warmer. So I caution against making this a space to talk about OST, which would replace, rather than extend, what is happening on OSWorldORG:EnglishHomepage, Iberia, Haiti, etc. Iberia might do talking about and demonstrating simultaneously, but that's only because you don't have the stock of stuff that we do already in English. In English, we will have to grow the practice space and then let it merge into and inform the many many pages of stuff about OST.

hmmmmmm...... communicating like this is interesting and a bit strange, AND I suppose it could become comfortable.... Like Artur, I have two comments.

Q: The first one: I'm not sure what others are thinking about the word "practitioner," but now that I'm paying more attention, I can see how the use of that term in the opening page to this web site serves to create some exclusivity on this site. Seems pretty clear that practitioners (whoever they are) are invited to communicate here, which implies that non-practitioners aren't. That's a chillier approach than the OSLIST, seems to me, where it feels like all comers are welcome anytime. Is the exclusive approach what we want? How do we "know" what we want? How do we know who "we" are? --JulieSmith

A: This site is not the OSLIST, which is for everyone. It is also not OSWorldORG:EnglishHomepage site, which is also for everyone. The opening page of .NET does not even say 'practitioners' though the CallForOnlineLeaders is addressed to 'practitioners.' That is because this site is for practitioners is for them to post the proceedings from their OST events (something only practitioners lead) and also for convening ongoing follow-up and project groups in an OST-informed way. This is specifically a space for practitioners to work AND for them to invite others into for the purposes of working in OST in a more visible way. The organizers of this site are inviting practitioners to invite others. In this way, all are welcome. Once we have more stuff here, the invitation might be made directly to others to surf around and read, but it may or may not make sense for visitors to be directly invited to join whatever projects are going on here. That is likely left to each individual practitioner and workgroup to decide. --MichaelHerman

Q: I really like the OSLIST. I like that everything that gets said comes to all of us at the same time. I like that I don't have to go to a web site and look under a variety of different topics to see what's happening. This structure feels much more cumbersome to me. I don't feel nearly as connected. I understand that this can be a place to post things about workshops and such, and that makes sense. What I don't really understand is how this is better than the OSLIST as a forum for discussion and learning about OST. --Julie Smith

A: It's not better than the OSLIST. Nor does it replace it. It is different. The OSLIST supports ongoing conversation. This supports working together on projects, which move at a much different pace and bring their own depth of connection. This is not meant to be a conversation. It's meant to be a living archive of various projects and conferences. Individual projects can be developed here with the results announced on the OSLIST, rather than every little communication passing through that list, burdening project and non-project participants alike with a flurry of detailed emails. Here, small changes, additions, comments, questions can be accumulated and addressed, with the most current state of the project always immediately available and most recent past versions also accessible for those who wish to see how we got to a certain point. --MichaelHerman

A: Comparing the online world to an OST event... The OSLIST is the big circle, evening and morning news. The .ORG site is the proceedings document, the cream of all that we've done. And this space is the breakout sessions. All of the events and projects that we work on are breakout sessions, of course, snipets of which are reported on the OSLIST, in the big circle. But this space is for making those previously invisible things visible. For example, previously "where does the website come from?" was invisible. Now it is becoming visible, as I post all my notes about development here and invite others to participate. But even if it's still only me working it out, if i post this session and nobody else comes to work with me, i can still do my work and document my thinking for others who will come later on. And, thinking about the differences between this space and the OSLIST, notice that blurting out some idea in the middle of a news circle and posting/hosting a discussion group on that idea are two very different things. This space is for posting topics, working things out, whole conference proceedings, etc... it's deeper space, for longer postings, longer lasting postings, and can hold and invite much more responsibility on the part of those who would play here.

.....oh, well, you should have SAID so! Playing is my favorite thing of all! :) Julie

Some more questions and comments (4 indeed):

Q: I have noticed that Ted began an interesting page on WikiRoles comparing them with OST roles. I would like to have a more open dialogue about the relations between the Wiki spirit and the Open Space spirit. I think we could discover very interesting things about both of them that have never been made explicit, as far as I know. Is this the place to have that dialogue? (Reasons for yes - it is fundamental for what and how we will develop here. Reasons for no - it will not be very visible) - ArturSilva

A: can certainly have that or any dialogue here, though wiki is not the best medium for lengthy dialogue. it is, however, a very good tool for "storing collective knowledge," including storing group knowledge about the status of a given project, situation, or issue. Project plans, project documentation, conference proceedings, all of these are evolving records of what we know NOW more than they are dialogues. Wiki works for group drafts of common documents wherein participants contribute to a larger whole product (a plan, project, proceedings), rather than back and forth dialogues where speakers/viewpoints do not ever dissolve into the whole. if there is a topic you want to develop here, write what you know about or see in it and invite others to edit or extend your work directly, not commenting ON it, but commenting IN it. that way OUR view of the topic grows in a more useful, finished and still evolving form.

Q: the work of a WikiGnome is limited if many pages are "read only". Suppose a gnome discovers a link that is not working in a read only page or discovers a link that is working but doesn't conduct to OST material but to a completelly diferent subject from what is announced in the read only page; what should he do? And if the page is not read only shall he supress the non working link or just put a note of caution? - ArturSilva

A: there are no read only pages at OSWorldNET:OpenSpaceWorldNET, so we need not be concerned with this for the development of THIS wiki. There are read-only pages in the OSWorldORG:EnglishHomepage wiki, but that is not yet expected to be a community-developed site. The invitation at .ORG is to post your current info, not to manage and maintain the whole site. As a result, the site doesn't move as much and links are less likely to be broken and need fixing. Those read-only pages then work the same as fixed pages, a Gnome would email one of the webmaster team.

Q: What is the adequate way to deal with Projects that use OST (or claim to use OST) to conduct meetings on completelly different subjects or methods, and those different subjects or methods are then develloped at lenght, diverting from the OST material? (this is, by the way, related with the point on "OST spirit" above and with what I am now begining to call the "meta foundations of OST") - ArturSilva

A: This NET space is especially FOR the posting of notes on other subjects. I hope we will have many conferences and projects here that do just what you say... USE OST to work on OTHER things. This is a place where we SHOW what OST is, rather than TELL what it is. It is also the place to SHOW that it operates on itself, walks its talk, as easily as it operates on other topics.

Q: I think I have already asked this and the answer is probably no, but let me ask again: is there any way for subscribers or contributors to be informed, by mail, that a new comment has been added to a page they are interested in? If not, could some intructions on how to use the "Track Changes" function for that be displayed somewhere in the wiki? - ArturSilva

A: There is a way (sort of) but it's not recommended. See UseMod:EmailNotify