This recent post on how attempts to create shared online platforms for community groups often founder has received quite a few comments. In it I argued that being open and generous are key principles for success online. David Brazeal has helped me identify another: optimism. Part of what I was driving at is how risk averse public bodies tend to over moderate and control their online efforts, to the extent that they suck out the openness and freedom which makes collaboration work (see also today’s story about whether companies should ban Facebook). David sums it up:
Here’s the secret to this — the negatives almost never happen. And when they do, they’re not a catastrophe — they’re no different than the bad things that happen to you in your everyday work life already. But the positives — those things you can’t even imagine yet — they happen all the time for people who simply make a commitment to participate in this online space. And with patience, those positives start spinning at them faster and faster, so that they can’t imagine having done their work without that resource.
And one more thing. Those people and organizations who are successful in the online space — who have thriving blogs or podcasts, or who use social networks to help their work — they are not any different from you in talent or time or personality. The difference is that they’ve jumped in when the negatives seemed daunting, trusting that the positives would follow.
See Uwe’ blog for the image which got David thinking.