How people have and haven't used Talkoot
We launched the Talkoot project a few months ago. Looking at the activity logs for the Talkoot space on this wiki, we can see people are reading the posts and wiki content, but that most aren't engaging with the project.
About three weeks ago, I asked a few friends for their honest opinions about the project. One person said something like, "I'm intrigued. I like the principles and values that you've set for the project. Now, what is it actually supposed to do?" Others echoed this feedback, saying things like, "I wasn't sure where to start or what to do."
On the other side of this, my colleagues Antti and Isa have waded in, using the Talkoot space for work of their that they wish to do out in the open. For my part, I've done the same. When the partner interviews started to focus on more than just the book, I kept the work in this space so that I could share the process and (hopefully) what we're learning from partners.
A more transparent Magnolia
In the last few months, there has also been a change in how we view transparency at Magnolia. As we grow, we want to work harder to keep our customers, partners and others in the Magnolia community more up-to-date with what we're working on and what strategies are guiding our actions. Read more about this in the Sharing more information blog post.
Things to change
I think that we need to change a few things about Talkoot to make it a viable project. In no particular order, these things are:
Larger scope - I started the Talkoot project with the idea that we'd focus solely on a Magnolia 5 book. Over time two things have become clear. First, people want to use the project in different ways. Second, even the narrow focus of producing a Magnolia 5 book involves work that is useful to many people inside and outside of Magnolia. We should recognize this and use Talkoot as a kind of clearing house for public projects and information related to Magnolia.
Guided participation - Rather than posting content and hoping that people will engage, we should find ways to invite people to participate. Take the partner interviews as an example. Early on, we asked people to create empathy maps of their needs and customer needs. No one found time to do this. As soon as we directly contacted people for interviews, they were more than happy to help.
Better collaboration - The partner interviews are helping us to develop a deeper understanding of what our partners need and where our needs overlap. I'll be tuning our community strategy to better reflect these understandings and will write more about this shortly. As a preview for folks familiar with the Business Model Canvas, here's a rough sketch of our current model:
I'll write a post about this model in more detail in coming days.
Things to keep
There are some things that we should definitely keep.
Personal feel - I've been happy with the relaxed and personal feeling of much of the writing in the Talkoot space and have had good feedback on it.
Focus on a Magnolia 5 book - For my part, I'm still focused on using Talkoot to help us develop a Magnolia 5 book. The first deliverable for this will be draft Magnolia 5 Human Interface Guidelines which we'll have ready for the Magnolia conference.
As always, thank you for reading!
If you have comments or questions, please leave them below or drop me a note at email@example.com.