Active Agenda: Module of the Month

Beginning with the February issue, Occupational Hazards will present one module from the Active Agenda collaboration project each month.

By Dan Zahlis

Active Agenda is a global project designed to reduce workplace risk through global collaborative development and free distribution of open technologies and ideas. The project is open to everyone and the products and ideas are free for you to download, use and share.

This first article describes some of the project's collaborative technologies and how you can participate in helping to reduce occupational hazards around the globe. This article also describes how you can influence which module topic is covered each month.

Contribute

The term "wiki" may be new to you, but it is revolutionizing the way people collaborate around the world. The most famous example of a wiki is Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia written by the people of planet Earth.

The Active Agenda project uses the same technology to write support documentation and additional content to help companies manage risk in their organizations (e.g., written programs). Anyone can contribute to the wiki by signing up for an account and contributing their knowledge and experience for everyone's benefit. Think about the wiki as a game of "leap frog," where everyone can contribute their perspectives so that we all may benefit from our combined experience and progress.

Each module of Active Agenda connects to its respective wiki article. This method is used to expedite support for the application and improve the quality of ideas. Sign up, log in and start sharing at www.activeagenda.net/documentation.

Opine

Every module of Active Agenda links to a respective discussion forum topic of the same name. This approach allows Active Agenda users to access the support and ideas of the world.

For instance, a person working on a reported hazard within the Hazard Reporting module can click the forum icon and be expedited to the corresponding forum, where a world of resources are standing by to offer guidance. If you are an experienced professional, and you think you can help, stay tuned to the forums and pitch in when you can at www.activeagenda.net/discussions.

Meet

The founders of Active Agenda encourage local meeting groups where people gather to discuss the module topic of the month. These "meet-ups" can be used to talk about each monthly topic, how the task is being managed in their organization and how Active Agenda can provide practical methods for process improvement. In other words, meeting groups share ideas and experiences for reducing workplace risk and they let the module of the month serve as their Active Agenda. Go to www.meetup.com to start a local Active Agenda meeting group. Each module of the month will include handouts that can be used during local "meet-ups," along with the latest copy of Occupational Hazards, of course.

Evolve

Active Agenda presently consists of 80 modules designed to help companies reduce and manage risk. Eighty seems like a lot unless you're faced with a problem the project hasn't tackled.

Fear not, the project is here to help. If you're wrestling with an issue that you would like to see addressed by the project, feel free to enter a "feature request" into the project's "Tracker." This is where project participants meet to discuss and assign tasks associated with the project.

Sign up and request a feature or module that would help you manage risk in your organization or enter a "support request" if you want to expedite a particular aspect of the documentation. If you find a bug, let the project participants know by visiting www.activeagenda.net/evolve.

First Topic: Hazard Reporting

Occupational Hazards has selected the "Hazard Reporting" module as the first topic for the February issue. It seemed like an obvious choice. However, we need your help in choosing the next modules to address. You can do so for now by emailing editor Sandy Smith at [email protected] Soon, you will be able to log into the Occupational Hazards Active Agenda Reader Forum to discuss the module topics and/or cast your vote for next month's topic.

Each topic selected will result in a module of the month article, a downloadable video demonstration file, enhancement of the module's support documentation page, posting of a corresponding written program within the project wiki and a short presentation file containing meet-up materials, all free. We will publish the schedule of topics, as it becomes known, so the readers and project participants can contribute to next month's resources. In other words, readers pick the topic and the community will go to work building the content of the next month's support materials!

A full list of the existing modules can be found on the project wiki at www.activeagenda.net/modules.

Social problems require social solutions. We can reduce workplace risk by working together in an open and collaborative environment - the Internet - while sharing the product of our collaboration with everyone.

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