SPRIG or SPRING

spring by miyukiutada
A Moment of Clarity:
[Via Transparent Office]

I do my best thinking when I’m talking. That may sound funny, but it’s true. When I write, I tend to overthink the issues and get ahead of myself. But when I’m talking to another person, or better yet a group of people, I slow down and spit out what’s really essential. (I’m a solid E on the Myers-Briggs test.)

So it’s not surprising that I had a moment of clarity the other day while talking to a customer. The customer had asked me how you launch a collaborative, wiki-based community. We didn’t have a lot of time–I was late to pick up my kids from school–and I had promised him a 60-second answer. What I said was, “Look, it’s really very simple: Structure, populate, review, invite, and garden.” As soon as the words had passed my lips I thought to myself, hey, that’s pretty clear. Maybe I should write it down. And now I have.

It’s a good, and simple, way to remember how to do it. So I propose “SPRIG” as the acronym for remembering how to launch a collaborative community:
Structure the wiki up-front with stubs and links
Populate it with real content
Review what you’ve done within your core group and refine the structure as needed
Invite a few people who have relevant knowledge and relationships and will be into the idea
Garden the wiki content as things get going.

In my next few blog posts, I’ll elaborate on each of these activities. So stay tuned. And if my tone seems conversational, now you know why.

BTW, “SPRIG” may not be the world’s catchiest acronym. Maybe we could do “SPRING” playing off the first two letters of “Invite”. Any reactions or counter-suggestions?

Acronyms can be very useful. SPRIG is a good one. SocialText uses SPRING, with the N coming from ‘Ncourage.’

Whichever is used, the steps are very important, particularly the last, which is often missed. Not everyone needs to garden but it will not be a useful wiki without a gardener.

UPDATE (6:25 am): No wonder the acronyms from Transprent Office and SocialText are so similar. The author of Transparent Office, Michael Idinopulos, works for SociaText as the VP of Professional Services. I guess I should have clicked the ‘About’ link before I wrote.

It makes no difference. The acronym is as useful as ever.

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