Technology Stewards

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There’s an excellent commentary by Barb Brown on the role of Technology Stewards.

Being a technology steward has very little to do with being an experttechnology user, instead it’s much more about understanding theconnections and interactions of human networks.

In The Full Circle Online Interaction Blog, Nancy White along with Etienne Wenger and John Smith define Technology stewards as: “peoplewith enough experience of the workings of a community to understand itstechnology needs, and enough experience with technology to takeleadership in addressing those needs.”

I think this hits it squarely on the head.  I would only add that it also requires a lot of ‘soft’ skills, such as  patience and diplomacy. Based on my own experience with the Improvement and Development Agency’s communities of practice, I spend more time explaining to current and potential users why we shouldn’t be embarking on some particular technical enhancement – which  may meet the needs of one or two users at the expense of aggravating several hundred others – than getting on with ensuring the overall environment is fit for purpose. A recent request was to enable postings by ‘proxy users’ – i.e. for someone to submit a blog or a forum entry in someone else’s name. Quite where this would have left us legally if the ‘real’ person had disagreed with the content being published in his or her name by the proxy is anyone guess. Thus I think the ‘stewarding’ is probably more important than the ‘technical’ part of the job title!

About Post Author

Stephen Dale

I’m a life-long learner with an insatiable curiosity about life. I love travel, good food, and good company. I’m happy to share what I know with others….even the interesting stuff! My outlook on life is pretty well captured in this quote from a book about the legend of King Arthur: “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” ― T.H. White, The Once and Future King So much to learn, so little time!
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