Thoughtful and reflective answers to the evaluation questions by Erik Kats in a Skype video interview with Graham ASttwell
I was particularly interested in Erik’s comments on market positioning – where does this network fit and what gap does it fill and for whom?
I’m really interested in other people’s views on this.
He backs this up by suggesting there should have been more market research into what added value this network can offer (given that there are so many existing networks) and whether networks created ‘top-down’ can ever be successful as those that emerge spontaneously. In fact, is it inherent in the nature of networks that they need to be bottom up?
Another critical point is the notion of fluidity – there is a lot of research around why people join on-line communities and how individuals and the network as a whole operates over a time period. Networks come and go as do participants. Should we just accept this or try and intervene to stabilise and sustain it?
Erik also stresses that we should be searching for the added value this network offers – his suggestion was the transnational dimension but points out this is limited by the fact it is an English language network.
He seemed to think it would be difficult having local language versions but I think that using the software we are currently using, this would be fairly easy. We could set up very simple to use local network pages on this site in any language we want to but we would be reluctant to do it if there was no content to populate it. Please leave a response if you would like a page for your own national network.
Finally he was unsure about the value of e-conferences as a direct way of strengthening the network.
Erik has raised 3 or 4 new evaluation questions as a result of answering the ones I originally posed so I shall write these up as a new post.
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