On the e-collaboration blog I have posted an interview with Joost Oorthuizen (here) One of the questions I asked him was:
You are an experienced face-to-face facilitator, and this is your first online experience. What is different as an online facilitator?
Well, my first observation is that there is more similarity than I expected. Also e-conferences need facilitation, and participants do want such facilitation, and strongly relate it, very much similar to the way they appreciate face-to-face facilitation. So, as a facilitator, one can ‘connect’ to the participants, take ownership of the process of the discussion, ‘lead’ participants towards certain outcomes. This is easier and more similar to facilitating workshops than expected.Another observation is that e-conferences are far less intrusive than face-to-face meetings. The latter requires people to sit together, to listen to each other, to listen to a facilitator for often too long a time, etcetera. How often do we not feel that we waste a lot of time during face-to-face meetings, or that we have to work with/listen to people who do not really appreciate. So, this e-conference method leaves participation much more open. One can easily ‘vote with your feet’ (mouse) if not interested. Put more positively, people can participate whenever they like, whenever they are up to it, in their own time- and energy frames! READ MORE