A snapshot from Choutari history

Originally written by Shyam Sharma on a joint blog namedKnowledgeMaking–contributed Bal and Prem also–before we began the NeltaChoutari blog, which replaced three people talking with a web magazine and public discussion forum. (post date changed here)

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“Over the course of the last few months, Bal, Prem, and I have been talking about a random but very significant set of issues via email (copying among the three of us). I am beginning to wonder if we should redirect that time and energy into something more productive, more shared, and more beneficial for a larger community. As Prem and I talked on Skype this afternoon, we should archive and share these discussions through blogging (I created this blog after our talk), through a wiki (I set up knowledgemaking.pbwiki since that email also), a discussion list (way to go), or anything better than email–email is not designed for collaboration, for Pete’s sake! Here is how each of those technologies would help us preserve good conversation for our own and other people’s advantage.

  • Blog: a blog, like this one, will allow us to archive our discussions by date and also allows us to tag them by subject areas so we can both browse and search. I am serious when I suggest that what we are talking about is real serious “knowledge,” and I believe there’s much advantage in at least the three of us sharing/brainstorming ideas like those that we’ve been for some time. Having a common blog will allow us to freely write back and forth, generate ideas for long term and short term project, and not worry about manually archive them.
  • Wiki: Our Choutari wiki is public, so I set up a private one knowledgemaking.pbwiki for us to set up a schedule (that’s best for collaborative edititing, project schedule, automatic update notification, etc, and we’re already familiar). For all the good things, wiki demands that we archive things manually, so let us use both wiki and blog to do what they can do.
  • Discussion list: It’s still high-end technology (one that I had on my site went corrupt with a million spams, so I got rid of it). Advantages include designed for interaction, automatic archiving, visual organization of response, and a lot of built-in convenience for discussing in particular. I will update on this; you guys do the same.

On a more important note, lately we’ve also been talking about oral projects. Coming from an oral culture, we do better than westerners with oral interaction, oral materials, especially in Nepalese (Trust me, if we don’t require people to say it all in English, they’d say more substantial things). So, by using a schedule on wiki that we all can edit, let us set up something like once a month 3-way call on Skype among the 3 of us, talk based on specific agenda (communicated by email in advance; or negotiated before going on record), with one of us moderating the interaction, and record the talk and edit it.”

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