Several days ago I "soft launched" the Canada's Waste Network forums (you might have seen the link added to the navigation menu several days ago). This post marks the formal (not so soft) launch of the forum.
The desire is for this forum to server several functions:
- A collaborative and collegial space to discuss upcoming events, promote your work, advertise positions, and discuss conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and other research-related issues.
- A place to discuss matters related to the Canada's Waste Network itself, such as resources you might like to see or issues (e.g., broken links) that might arise over time.
- A place for organizing events.
- A place for working through ideas or posting short, informal writing.
- In addition to the intended purposes stated above, this forum, its structure, and its use, should ideally remain flexible. If there are new sections or topics you'd like added, we can make it happen. It will be adapted as needs emerge.
The ambition of the forum is to facilitate member participation and interaction by allowing members to freely post content they'd like to share, such as, but not limited to, the ideas listed above.
Certain content posted on these forums will be "curated" on a regular basis and may posted to the actual CWN website. For example, I will have my eye out for:
- Employment/volunteer/student opportunities posted here will also be posted in the relevant section of the CWN website.
- Publications you promote on the forums will be added to the Outputs section of the website
- Upcoming events posted will be promoted on the blog
- Things you post explicitly requesting being added to the website will be added to the website
My hope is that this will keep the content on both the website and the forum reasonably current and relevant for members and visitors. No original content will be reproduced to the CWN website, though I may suggest working together with you to turn something posted on these forums into a guest blog post which you will have full control over.
This forum is, and will remain, a "beta" or "experiment" for the foreseeable future. It isn't clear if the forum software is suitable for our needs, if the topics we've initially chosen are meaningful, and if the forum actually fills a need felt by the community. This is all to say that initially, and for the foreseeable future, there may be numerous technical hiccups, organizational issues, and other hurdles related to the management of this online community. As such we ask both for your enthusiastic participation, your constructive feedback, and your patience while the kinks are worked out.
I am also considering putting together a monthly email digest rather than a traditional listserv. The digest will be distributed to all CWN members (with Unsubscribe option) and will contain content curated from the forums for the website as well as other community news. Listservs can often be overwhelming and inflate our inboxes. The combination between the forum and the monthly digest should allow people who want up-to-the-minute information to visit the forums or subscribe to forum notification, while those who just want highlights can simply use the digest. This allows you to stay on top of things at your desired pace and give you control over your email load.