One other use for a yammer network

Close to the Heart: Stories of Everyday Transformation is the working title of a project being designed by my colleague Moragh Mackay and friends. “Close to the Heart” is my gloss this morning, as I absorb the Riddells fire and our Sunday discussion in the coastal scrub south-west of Wonthaggi.

Close to the heart is about speaking from the heart, as you make your way through changes. Since most things are changing, that might as well read “as you make your way.”

The project’s interest is moments on the trajectory of change: moments where you realise you’re bound by assumptions that restrict you, that you might be able to step beyond; moments where you relax into the chaos and happy accident of events; the moments where you feel the call of what is waiting to emerge and step into it, unprepared. We each find ourselves at our own points on the roller-coaster of change.

In working on our design, I’m considering how digital tools can allow for me and you and us. I’m used to facilitating face-to-face interaction: what evokes and supports these three positions in digital space?  We’re imagining cycles of story-telling and reflection on stories, weaving digital interaction with face-to-face workshopping to carve themes out of the stories gathered, feeding this back into the stir of stories.

I’ve had the astounding (to me at least) observation that a yammer conversation can hold the documentation that provides the living material for reflection and then for the making of artefacts around the themes: film, stills, text and audio that draw together threads and feed this back into the story-telling.

Of course, in the first instance, yammer is a way to building shared understandings and move work along – what I’ve only just seen is how yammer conveniently holds documentation of the inquiry. Another ‘of course’: the value of the documentation depends entirely on the quality of the conversation – its honesty, poetics and precision.