Nancy “Snow” White: Seven Competencies of Online Interaction

Day One of the Northern Voice conference, and Nancy White is running a great session on the important assets of online interaction. I hastily set up my iRiver to get a recording, may be noisy due to proximity to projector fan. And I rushed the editing.

[52 minute MP3, 24 Mb]

Some sloppy written notes as well are below, most likely she will post on her Online Interaction blog

updates feb 20 2006:

First, share the chocolate!

Struggled with facilitating online community in mid 1990s. Why did what worked in f2f world fail in online?

Why the Story?- increasing poepls’ access to online life at faster rate than any other tech– need fo competencies
Things that choke us in online life
Speed = good;
new medium allows lateral travel- distruptive to hierarchial model

using blogs as data annotation (Mark from genomic research org) – new funding model that data needs to be open

Need to change organizational culture

Competencies are emergent

Seven Comptencies (yes she started with number 2)

2. Online Communications —
scan (when to scan, when to go deep)
see patterns (global vs sequential thinkers)
image-inate (writing beyond words)
intuit (bring it online, check it differently)

skills to increase:
write/blog daily
read/vary diet

3. Learning with Others (sociality of everything we do) lurkers are force that can change the world
learning as practice
gift economy (approach with open hand- holds more sand than closed fist)
open hand

Ben Ramlinger – 6 Network Functions
community builders

Skills: (funny photo of small girl with marker and baby sister with drawings all over face)
filter, search – tag annotate, blog
be unknowing

4. Facliitation for relationship. identity/reputation, presence, flow

the classics – shouting in the room vs shouting online
informaed by ICT
creatively anrasive (Dorothy Leonard) – how to disagree for the purpose of constructive

Convening Conversations
invite (how to create one that people will respond to)
name the question (starting point but give up control)
design for local choice

Like Open space – www.openspacesworld.org

5. Intercultutural Antennae
broadly defined
speaking not from “default” culture – leanr to speak/listen from other places (e.g. getting women to tech conferences, but speaking to men as a woman)
heart variations
biggest challenge

Look / read
fala! (speak in portuguese)
become a bridge (a little part of)

6. Tolerance for Ambiguity
ok with “not in control”, not knowing
move forward w/o certainty

Dancing with ambiguity skills
“yes, and…”
ask questions
new advocacy

Do we have more than one domain?
Engineer Economist Artist
need to tap into other channels of ourselves

7. Ability to switch contexts
multi-membership mavens (we have many different personailities in different communitiies)
multiple perspwctives
Outsiderness — it is a gift, we are all outsiders, if we embrace it we can see the world in different ways. Magic of the periphery

1. Finally, most important… Self-Awareness
need to look inward to understand others
understand strengths, joys
some media support self-absporoption not self awareness

So What?
undeterred by failure
care for the whole – systemic point of view, not the tool
willing to be vulnerable
value the human system first

There are two ways
of spreading the light;
To be the candle or
the mirror that reflects it
(Edith Wharton)

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Thanks for grabbing the recording and making it available. The slides on Flikr are impressive, but your notes and the audio make it much more useful.

  2. Thanks for turning on the iRiver – can I ask a couple of questions about that? Which iRiver did you use? Did you modify the recording at all to improve sound quality before you uploaded? I’m asking because it was surprisingly good and I have an iRiver as well and was thinking I would do something similar at BlogHer rather than bring more equipment, if I can just bring my iRiver and get sound this good…

  3. Denise,

    I used the iRiver iFP-799, which is 1 Gb of storage (about 23 hours of recorded audio), with its built in microphone, which is less thsn US$200 (I have gotten good results as well with the iFP-790, listed at US$99).

    It works best if it is not handled or touched. I try and sit it in the front of a room. You do not need to speak into the microphone and it does pick up sounds from maybe 30 feet away. The iFP-799 has a line-in input and I have seen it used attached to a sound board.

    My minimal post production (same day) was using Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net) and basicly just a fade in fade out, and an amplitude adjustment.

    I did a small writeup on my basic approach at:

    Nancy- that is just so cool that Nick in Honk Kong would extend himself to combine the audio and images, and post publicly.

  4. The URL Nnacy gives now has nothing there I’m afraid. I had to delete it, edit the original movie file and re-upload it to the Internet Archive, as one of Nancy’s slide graphics needed changing. Be warned it is a 122MB download!

    It is now at:


    Sorry for the strange url … I used ccPublisher and their form fields don’t seem to match with the Internet Archive’s ones exactly.

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