The Art of Hosting

Art of Hosting Ning site - Conversation between Rowan and Ria on Dec 1, ‘09

In Preston - quite dark and rainy - getting to get used to the winter weather; lots of energy focused on the survival academy in Copenhagen. I had a renewed spark of energy for the AoH - talking with people in Denmark! Building on the experiment in Leeds. The potential for the online community... I created an empty sceleton with a design. What would be the best way to make it alive? It feels good that it is just the two of us sitting here - we seem to be the ones with the energy for it. Sitting with the question of what the AoH community needs and what we need as the stewards of this.

Ria: Wintery here in Brussels. I have been holding the aoh online community with E-nexus for some time and see that it has not worked quite as we have imagined. I see that the Ning is easier to engage with. We have used it for Women moving the edge - and I have been using it both as admin and user. I really feel the need for sharing threads like the academic discussion. I see from the Presencing community that it has an initial rush, and then quite down... But I see a clear need.

What is the purpose and content of current site and the Ning?

In relation to the purpose of the Ning next to the static website - good to have a good distinction. Ning can have a lot of stuff, but has its limitations! Post the more static stuff on the existing site; keep the Ning as easy as possible.
Content for the Ning right now:
- place for sharing resources: group? blog?
- Having the welcome and purpose of the site ready – Rowan: Intro or welcome: from material from other similar sites.
- content.... should be simple...
- look at the academic tread and look at how we can categorize that... - Ria
- Connect with Charlotte for the ‘look’ – Rowan
- A map showing individuals – Rowan
- Easier to share media: video and resources! - Links with the current videos should be there!
- Harvests from AoH trainings, harvest teams should know the site
- Show good harvest documents - How to make good harvest documents.... there seems to be a need for people to learn and see how this can be done
- Twitter and FB - Benjamin
- Online harvesting instructions?
- How to use the blog in the best way??? Use it as AoH news? or as harvest? Is TWC using the blog? (ask Amy?)
- Can we have direct payment and registration for events? (Like Berkana in the US?) – if someone wants to do this…

Need from the AoH community and our needs
Need that I see is for regional groups. Adding the visibility of both the individuals and the map! also a keep where you can set up the regional groups. Or linking with some who have already a Ning themselves... or transfer them into a group? a regional group? There isn't very much activity in these little Ning groups - UK and Germany? Also harvest from each training could be good!!!

What do we expect from the community?
Probably there won't be very much people who add content. A lot will just come to look around.

Where will the economy come from?
Rowan: Economy, I don't think it will be an issue, but there need to be some clarity. Most stewards I have talked to I agree on this - it would be brilliant to bring it to one of these stewards gatherings that will happen in 2010.

Related to economy: proposing a model to the next AoH trainings we see happening – and feeding it in to the next stewards gathering. Later make some more set guidelines.

Economy: there is 450 pounds from the last AoH training in the UK - can be used.

Way forward
Rowan: In relation to others to invite in – from another experience: initial hosting team with 4 people, and invited 4 other people each, and so on. Would be a good way of populating the site - it worked really well! People got some more ownership by being invited. It could be a nice way of growing the network slowly. Good to have some meat on the bones.

Let us start what we have passion for and keep each other in the loop. We will start our conversation on the Ning itself.

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Hello Rowan,
Instead of having an afternoon full of clients, the snow decided differently! So I have done some work over here:
- added profile questions for people to fill in when they first come to the site
- started some conversations - basically adding some categories
- tried to upload a video, but the link wasn't active anymore
- made one page but I don't know how to link it with the Resource Tab AND the whole page looks weird - all formatting is more or less gone!

Dit you ask Charlotte about the colors of this site - I just don't like the black/blue in the tabs.
Is it OK for you that I would answer - on the emaillist - to Tim that we are working onthis Ning site, and they don't need to open a specific site for it?

As I have copied you on a message for Helen, related to video's, I think it would be a good strategy to:
- invite people into the site who want to help out with something specific, or host a certain conversation
- invite then all the stewards in to fill in their profile - and start some conversation or add a story
- let all the stewards invite some of their mates in the hosting teams they are working with
- then send out the link to the emaillist when we are ready

Maybe tomorrow during the day some more???
Art of Hosting Web call Thursday Feb 11th 2010
Participants: Ria and Rowan

Check in
Ria: I am very into the theme now, since it has been on my agenda for the last two days. I had a whole at home today, because of crazy snow conditions. I have been looking at the aoh list for the last months and looking at what we would need to guide this onto the ning site. Some of the interesting stuff like the academic research and a few other threads.

Rowan: In Preston, clear day with sun, 3 weeks in Denmark en 3 weeks in Columbia - trying to see what we are going to do with our life here in the UK. Where will be the next move? next projects? where are we called?
Thanks for taking the lead on this Ning site; re-ignated my passion. A lot of questions what we want to do with it etc. Inviting the money in... would help me to stay focussed. Good that Ravi and Helen help out.
Next week AoH in Sweden, with the young people. Will be good fun. How to use the Ning for the learning there? With new levels of workbook etc. How can the Ning be used to support hte ongoing trainings and the whole community?

Static site
Short conversation with Toke, where he explained how to update and edit the page.
I have uploaded some new pictures and edited some text.
Aoh list
The host says something is happening here. Lets see if the new solution is better.
Ria: has been looking at how to organize the conversation area, inspired by amy in the world cafe. I now have 6 catagories,

* Help,
* Resources and research,
* Ideas and passions,
* Exciting developments,
* Stories,
* Mates wisdom

Also added profile questions. Also trying to make subpages to the resource tab. something went wrong.
- The 6 categories are quite good - maybe make them a little more explicit.
- For projects we could use the blog function maybe, like in the POPI, as list of Places.
This might be under Groups too.
- Groups can be regional and thematic. Can also be linked with a specific training.
- Blog?? is there a need for? we don't need to solve communication in this community! How can we make it as simple as possible? as light as possible?
- under conversations there is category of Resources, so we need to link the other way as well.

What to move on?

* Organise resources
* Link from recourses to conversation
* Invite Tim, Tenneson, Sara...
* Invite stewards
* Invite hosting teams
* Invite larger community
* Update
* Update design
* Member map: no need to fill in the second line
* Link Under resources other Friend communities/nings.. LearningVillage
* Add OST ning to front page
* Donate button - link with a bank account?
* Devon Money?
* Contact re Leeds group

Static: will be updated as Ria goes with the Resources
Static/ning relationship: is for people who are interested, curious about aoh and looking for an initial intro as to what it is; Ning is for practitioners to share tools etc.

Our roles:
- Rowan and Ria are the main hosts; holding the other people that add content to the site - helping them out if need be. We also adding content.
- We could look at hosting space, hosting process, hosting harvest. How?? Rowan can make a little checklist for it.
- Rowan: more on the technology side, Ria more on the Resources site

Startup - 1200 Euro
Ongoing hosting - 500 Euro
When we start inviting the steward circle we can bring this up again.

Time and Focus:
WE will do our what is on our todo list and what is needed and share whatever money comes 50/50. Be aware of times when the balance of work might be shifted

Unsettled issues
Bank account/ how to recieve money
Aoh list - keep an eye out

Check out
Rowan: nice to get a connection between the static and the Ning! Nice call. Fun to be just two.
nice slow dynamic, but we covered the essentials. I like the action orientation.Thanks you!
Ria: I can only echo what you said. Practical, moving forward. Feels good without too much conversations before moving forward. Feels like we

Next meeting: March 4th 19.30
AoH ning Skype call - March 3rd 2010 - brief notes

- has made the links page
- restructured a few tabs
Question: Where to post little articles?

For the articles, maybe a few categories? Pages - linked with the conversations about Resources
Keeps playing with the colors
Cases = case stories
Formatting the Pages - use DreamWeaver: changes the formatting in html OR use the places in Ning that does good formatting!

Money: There is a Donate button and a Paypal account + bank account. (add to the stewards email)
Some kind of online hosting would be needed, but on the other side we are not creating a job for someone! (for stewards gathering?)

Move on:
Wrote some draft email to invite the stewards... first some more flesh to the bones here.
change the links to the other Ning Communities - World Café and Open Space on top.

Next steps:
Resize images on static site to 127 pxl wide
Work on design
Work on resources
Create Bank account
Invite Hazelwood money
Invite Karlskrona money

Invite Chris and Tenneson for a call
Invite Amy for a call
Work on Harvesting structure

Next Call:
We move with what is possible for us; but also keep some momentum - next date!(25 March)
Conversation Rowan and Ria, June 28, 2010

Check in

Rowan: good to be back in Denmark; with focus on being professional - how that spills over into this work - good intention and right exchange. This seems to be my new quest. The ning fits into this.
Ria: getting keys for new home tomorrow. I am becoming more focused on writing and sharing learning and harvest and host the sharing of learnings.
What is going on:
The hosting team of Art of Humans Being are looking into using the ning for their harvesting.
Will have a call with people on research; early July - I will propose that we use the ning for the further online conversation.

Ning - payment
Ning has changed payment status: small amount every month - also own domain; not too much money. There is some money, from T & M and from Hazelwood AoH.
Future: AoH trainings can pay straigth to Rowan's AoH account.

the general sceleton we have is quite good. We have the basic structure.
Donate button is working.
Rowan takes over the dealing with Novicell (static site); both issues and payment.
About the static website:
Three levels/areas:
1) good service but they charge way too much! It is not ideal,
2) we don't like the editting site of it; quite illogical. It could be made a lot smarter and easier. Other options - looked in with Toke - for administrating a new site + update of the site.
3) content could be summarised and shortened.

Taking it forward

Rowan will:
- stream line the Pages Resources and Links - make a differentiation.
- do something on the banner - there should be people there! – Helen’s pictures can be used:
Ria: I will run through the email list and see what the overall topics are.

Static Site:
Point 1): Rowan can ask/research - it needs to be quick enough. There is the Mac offer - might not work for everyone. Maybe ask the network? Look into what to pay for what kind of service. Regarding what system to use: what systems do we know?
Wordpress could work for the static site.
Content - It would be great to take Helen on board, this is her main job!

What about emaillist? need for archive - Rowan will ask the Kaospilots

Money structure
how to invite the money structure to keep the sites and us going, being more strategic about it? needs to be a default thing again to pay a little % from each AoH training
Regarding money/compensation: for Ria - when there is some money 'left over' then it is fine. for Rowan: when there is a more clear agreement on the money side that would make the work easier.

Rowan: good to reconnect with this work - learning and harvesting of this AoH work. That has a lot of energy. Excited to take the next steps - see some action.
Ria: I like this kind of working in waves... It comes together... slowly but surely
Conversation Rowan - Ria on July 23,2010

looked into Googlegroups - provides forums and chat - not really an emaillist. Not the best. Other open source emaillist providers; we can try to go with one of those. Names af recommended Elists - Mailman, Sympa - have to look a bit deeper into it. If we get an open source function, it will require some administration - need to think about it. Is it possible to have a flawless emaillist? Or do they always play tricks?
Lets ask the list for any input for what lists to use.

For the static site: we need another CMS - the current one does 'crazy' things; you get easily frustrated! Aiming at find a solution over the next 6 months. Meeting with Toke next week; maybe talk about this.
[07/23/10] Rowan: Tech side:

Ria did a lot of work on the Resources - have a lot of resources, just need to get around to them. - looks very good. Links still needs to be sorted.
When we are getting more books, we might organise them in another way.
Switching from Word to html - Dreamweaver.

We could invite other local Nings to this one; now that they have to pay - like New-Zealand.
We love how it grows organically; also it needs some tending. It seems that MA is in online hosting mode. She seems to have some ownership too.

Question of Tenneson: probably the best to create it within their own group. We don't know what they really ask... maybe best to put all their resources in a separate thread in their group.

To do:
Rowan writes the email for AoH emaillist - asking for perfect emaillist + inviting other 'local' Ning sites to join. Ria writes to Tenneson.

Launch for september + emaillist done. Static site for later.

Checkout: Rowan: good to reconnect with the Ning this morning. It becomes more alive - now that people are there, my responsibility for it heightens. I enjoy that. We are still on the case, both of us, - good - look forward to the final sceleton - it is maturing; almost ripe and ready.
Ria: I like how this goes in waves, and how we work more at some times. I like how the Nz people and Boston are gathering. also feel like inviting the research group. Feels like we are ready for september
AoH Ning
Conversation with Rowan, Tenneson and Ria
Sept. 22, 2010.

1. Cool that something is evolving + that there is one place. The Ning platform is set up for AoH practitioners, NOT for people looking for what AoH actually is. The static site needs to fill in that purpose. (and will be rewritten sooner or later) It grew out of the desire for an integrated space to share - for harvests and materials. At the end of an event you can guide people to the static site and/or the online community, depending on what they need.

2. Creating a Group for a specific training or event / language / theme
Speaking from the experience of AoHB - we created a group. Question = what feels private and what is available for everyone?
- An AoH Training or Event can have its own group space = to have a clearly defined space, where answers of motivation and further sharing between event participants can take place.
- Anyone who is a member of the site can set up a group. The one setting up the group can make it open to anyone willing to join, or invite only specific people from the Ning members (= closed group)
- Ning Group could be a respository of all the event harvest – and/while linked to the whole of the AoH.
- A Group has only separate Conversations, not separate blogs or a separate place to upload pictures and videos. (Please create Albums of your pictures, so they are easy to find back for anyone.)
- Privacy: Some experience with closed groups on other platforms learns that with google, you could still read it! Weird, but there is no real privacy. A Group on the Ning platform = pseudo privacy. NY is using a Ning Group and then their own email list for more private stuff.
- somebody of a hosting team can set up a group with a specific name – and picture!
- Invites participants to become members of the site – approval is normally within hours
- Participants can themselves join the group and conversations can start!

3. Two levels: Conversations community-wide, or within specific group?
- Conversations and News that is of importance for the wider AoH community can be posted under Conversations/Stories (when input from others is welcomed and asked for) – and News/Blogs for announcements with no need for exchange. Like Tim's "we did something cool, this video." This is about the general means of being together. Next to that are the conversations going on within specific groups (specific event, language, or theme)
- New beginners can be invited in the group space, and then into the broader AoH online space.
- Site Membership and upload content (photos, videos and blogs) approval is done by administrators: Rowan, Mary-Alice and Ria – others who would like to join?

4. Is our Ning helping an added level of connection, and an added level of ease to harvest and materials?
This is an experiment, it is an important experiment. There is some hope - the belief that an online space will help. Some groups have used FB groups; we have here this broad Ning site.
Intention = ease for harvesting events and a place for materials for the practitioners. Far from complete. Big job to do this. Doing it step by step. We have such good content. Good to make these available.
Not sure if connection will be better. If some of us feed the online space regularly with interesting stuff, then it grows. Thus people are asked now individually, to upload video and other things to the blog (next to the emaillist posting). If there is people who deliberately use it then it has the potential to grow into.

5. The financial relationship.
- North-America trainings have always contributed 3% through Berkana – for online presence and scholarhips. In Europe a bank account was held by Toke and Monica, also from contributions of some trainings, not all.
- There is a new little group forming (Caitlin and Tatiana and Rowan?) that is looking for a minimal financial structure for the future to work.
- Agreement with Rowan and Ria was made to pay some money for setting up the Ning; no real clarity for the ongoing support.
- idea of feeling as an AoH community - maybe like the map of OST, everyone is invited to pay a little bit every year. (Rowan: I like that idea, and will also be in touch with Michael about if we can use some of the work they have done on the OST map in the aoh context.)

It is a practice space and it is practice time! Tenneson will hold it like this for the two upcoming events in Oct. Who is joining and willing to share experiences and ideas???

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