Email to Andy Dearden

Hi Andy

This email is a progress report about organising our online academic-practitioners forum. I am publishing this email on my personal space at, as well as sending you a personal email, so I will briefly go over old ground before moving on.

This email is a follow up to the discussions we were having publicly during Interact 2009, and subsequently through emails and google docs, regarding collaboration between academics and practitioners. I found our one-to-one discussion interesting, and thought some others might too, so I suggested making it more visible, through dadamac. (I had in mind the kind of discusson that Vijay and I were starting to do through Open Letters). Then you suggested a fixed-time discussion like the hotseat ones that PRADSA used to do, which is a great idea.

I have discussed it with Andy B, who, with Ryan, is helping me to develop our online space at dadamac. When Andy B was here last Thursday he showed me some possible ways for us to do it, and he will ask Ryan about installing the appropriate Drupal modules. What he showed me did in fact look very like the hotseat, which makes sense, as I think that was running on Drupal too. Anyhow, once that installation is done we can run the discussion any time that suits you.

As you know dadamac is keen to connect with academics. We want to enable better collaboration between academics and practitioners. It would be beautifully appropriate if our first formal discussion at is one that involves academics who really do want to connect more with practitioners.

Obviously you wont want to make any firm plans until you know the discussion forum module is safely up and running, but we can start thinking about how long you would want the discussion to run, who we might invite, and if it should be before or after Christmas.

You can reply to me with a personal email like you usually do (which I will only publish if you tell me I should) or you can use the comments section related to my own space at

The comments section in not a very friendly interface yet, but it will be. This is because we are only just starting to move our community activities over to We started off  by getting some "website information" in place first, to help people who are newcomers to dadamac.

Looking forward to the next stage of our academic-practitioner collaboration.