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How might the insights and successes emerging from our experience with structured World Cafe dialogue be applied to the more free-wheeling and disjointed realm of "asynchronous" online conversations?

I am referring to the comment streams that are ubiquitous on the internet, including forum discussions just like this one.  A particularly juicy example is this lively, complex and at times heated exchange on the topic of "A New Economy" from the forum of "Occupy Cafe" (where I'm spending most of my time these days and invite you all to come play as well!). 

I see exciting opportunities to develop new processes for making meaning out of these threads.  So often, there is great energy in them, but the format--a string of sequential or nested posts-- fights against one's ability to capture the deeper meaning of what is emerging, let alone to clearly perceive the range of basic ideas being presented.  

Ironically, the more energy there is in a thread--the more posts there are, and the longer and more involved they become-- the harder it gets for someone coming in for the first time to grasp the whole and find an entry point.  

I have some ideas for software that can help to address this (if you want to co-develop it, let's talk!).  Meanwhile, I think that it should be possible to create some simple protocols that would allow any individual or (preferably) small group of people who have been in an online thread to produce a harvest imbued with the essential elements we have come to love from our experiences with World Cafe.

I also think that this process of harvesting will provide an extra layer of value for those who participate in it, as they connect with one another and shift their perspective from participant to one who is caring for the whole.

I have created a group at where we will experiment with such processes, and would love to have some members of this community join me in this endeavor.  In addition, we can use this thread for a more general discussion on the ways that this kind of harvesting might be done.  

I am especially interested in processes that can easily be implemented by a group of typical participants, as opposed to things that might require more advanced skills/training, such as graphic recording.  That way they can scale up to meet the needs of very large groups such as one often finds on the web.


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How might the insights and successes emerging from our experience with structured World Cafe dialogue be applied to the more free-wheeling and disjointed realm of "asynchronous" online conversations?

We are all students of existence whose forever is a lifetime and whose eternity is what we leave behind when we pass on. As students of existence, we strive to find meaning through inquiry, questions that bring things to a conscious level of awareness. To find meaning one must first be humbled by that challenge, patient, persistent and commited to the goal of finding what is right rather than being right. Keeping in mind that the map is not the journey, the sign is not the destination, and that the we never step into the same river twice, we must get out of the asynchronous transfer mode that plays on our inherent capacity to recognize associations for the purpose of getting the answers we want rather than getting answers. Life is short but eternity is an eternity. We're here because we're here, and we are all together where the past meets the future in the present. No one knows everything, but everyone knows something. Facilitate participation in conversations that allow for the extraordinary to emerge from the ordinary and make those contributions visible. Bring all things to a conscious level of awareness by putting a degree of reality into the tools that aid in appreciating and understanding "different" rather than creating and environment driven by the fear of looking stupid, being wrong, and perpetuating the "us and them" mentality.



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