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Objectives and inspiration

This text outlines a way to publish and learn in a collaborative way. It's very scalable, you could it all on your own, with a few people or with hundreds of people. Of course, the dynamics would be different, and for groups elements of community management will be needed. While this list aims to be very practical, a more comprensive handbook for peer-to-peer learning is the Peeragogy Handbook. The fun thing is that it lives here, on GitHub. You can contribute to the handbook on GitHub as well by going here.

A practical workflow for collatborative learning and publishing

  • Organize your thoughts using mindmapping. There are lots of tools, I like to use MindMeister. The added benefit is that, in a later stage, you can turn your mindmap into a collaborative map, asking others to help you. There are free alternatives for online mindmapping but they won’t all allow for collaborative mindmapping.

  • Organize your concepts: build a lexicon. Do this by linking to Wikidata (which makes you give a short description), eventually contributing to the Wikidata knowledge base.

  • Head over to social media such as Twitter and Facebook to listen. Organize relevant people in Twitter lists, search for hashtags. Other interesting places for in-depth discussions are Reddit and Quora, and for each subject you’ll find specialized forums.Use a good dashboard such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to keep stuff organized.

  • I still use RSS-feeds and RSS-readers, in my case that’s Feedly. Make your own procedure for hunting and gathering important content. You can stock posts into Feedly and in social bookmark services such as Diigo. I use Diigo a lot, it makes it easy to use tags, descriptions and to work in groups.

  • Have your own blog, but don’t underestimate the technical hassle. An easy solution might be Tumblr, Medium or Ghost. Or you could go for a fully hosted WordPress or Drupal solution, or for a decentralized solution suc as IPFS or the Beaker Browser. The advantage of Wordpress or Drupal is that you have more freedom to experiment. You can also blog on GitHub.

  • Why not open up the writing itself by using GitHub or the Blockstack-app Graphite? People can build their own versions and eventually suggest to merge the different versions.

  • Of course you also need social media to talk about your blog posts and to discuss with others. Don’t hesitate giving others credit for their posts and contributions and engage in real conversations, not in thin excuses to promote yourself.

  • This is where the circle closes itself: you return to the social media to tell people about your post and to reconnect. You can use the feedback to develop your mindmap even further and then you can publish the mindmap as a collaborative document where others can add their own thoughts. Maybe this will inspire you for a new post and a new cycle.

  • Chances are that you can invite people to form a small community on Slack, Mattermost, Discord, Mastodon... where you can work together, exchange bookmarks, organize channels for different aspects of the subject the community is interested in.

  • A videoconferencing tool such as Zoom enables you to engage with that community into a weekly of monthly meeting. Or you can invite experts for short presentations and experiment with realtime collaborative mindmapping.