Kevin Colyer's thoughts and ponderings

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September Newsletter from the YWAM KnowledgeBase

Dear Infonauts,

Welcome to the autumn term after a wild and/or restful summer (maybe both?).

I am very much overdue to write this little newsletter for the KB. It has been an interesting few months recently where we have made some jumps forward and a few leaps backward too.

Arnoud (or Little Eagle) has been doing a superb job of pulling the community side of the KB together. He has organised the recent Cleaning Days and been active on the Facebook group. The Cleaning Days have been good and certainly help me to focus time on the KB, knowing others are hard at work too. One of the great things about working together at the same time is that one sparks off another. Also mutual appreciation flows. After all, it is hard to know if someone values an edit you made to the KB if you don’t get feedback.

Recently I have been having a lot of positive collaboration time with PitPat who has been using a tool I created to evaluate websites. Through evaluating the KnowledgeBase (and it failed 3 out of the 4 tests!) we learnt a lot about what is important in an evaluation and have radically improved the tool. I recommend having a look at Evaluate your YWAM website and then the evaluation of the KB too. Massive thanks to PitPat.

Anyway I have since then implemented a number of improvements we identified that could be quickly achieved (or I alone could do) such as upgrading the MediaWiki software and some server tweaks and administrative procedures to reduce the bus factor (number of people critical to the long term management of the site).

You may notice no difference, or quite a lot of difference as upgrading usually breaks a few custom extensions to the wiki as well as fix the security holes (very important). Please report anything that is troubling you as this is a large project and it is hard to see all the less common faults.

Sharing Knowledge I was following the GLT meetings recently in Switzerland and I noticed the following paragraph in one report about communication:

“Finally, the GLT have had communicators writing their internal minutes, and producing short videos and these written reports for the wider YWAM body. Knowledge is power, and good leadership seeks to empower people through sharing knowledge. Wherever security allows, it is good to communicate appropriately. Many leadership teams have followed the GLT’s example and invite communicators to observe and serve them…”

I was thrilled that GLT members see this value that the KB has been striving to achieve! Now, where you can play your part is getting those who lead you to take this word from the GLT and start applying it to the KB. Surprisingly there is only ONE GLT leader who has made any direct contribution, and that is Steve Goode. Others have material on the KB (put there often by me). Very few leaders at National or Base level have contributed either. Anyway, it is time to remind them of their responsibility to train and develop others and to maximise that contribution via the KnowledgeBase! So please pester your leaders, ask them what they could contribute, and teach them how to do it! That we all might grow! They may prefer face to face encounters but let’s remember the Apostles Paul, Peter and John (et al!) all thought the written word an appropriate way to develop and nurture those they were responsible for!