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Structured or Dynamic Creation of Collaboration Workspaces?

written by jglenn on Monday November 29, 2010
This month, I attended the KMWorld Conference which focuses on knowledge management solutions and practices.  There were multiple sessions where I heard of the internal processes organizations are creating to manage the requests of collaboration spaces.  Some of these processes require employees to fill out lengthy forms describing the collaboration space they needed and then required lengthy approval processes.  Once approved, typically a system administrator was needed in order to create the workspace for an organization.  It seems when this model was described, it was often in reference to creating workspaces with Microsoft Sharepoint. 
In KARL, any employee can create a workspace without a system administrator's assistance.
KARL takes quite a different approach to creating workspaces.  In KARL, any employee can create a workspace without a system administrator's assistance. KARL refers to these collaboration workspaces as communities.  These communities can be created to collaborate with other employees or outside individuals at any time quickly and instantly by members when a need arises.  
When discussing community creation while providing demos of KARL, I am asked a couple of questions:
Wouldn't there be too many communities created? 
I would propose that is not a major issue.  If communities are created when needs arise, there is a better chance that the spaces needed for collaboration are created to match the requirements.  KARL focuses on maximizing collaboration for its users.  As a hosting provider for KARL, Six Feet Up follows this model by not structuring our pricing model for KARL hosting around the number of communities or users. 
What about duplicate communities?  
If more than one community is created that need to be combined, a KARL Administrator can merge content from one community to another.  
I think an organization needs to evaluate what "type" of delivery of information they need to provide to their employees.  A more structured solution might be a better fit for content that needs to be pushed to members, while a more dynamic solution, such as KARL Communities, might be a better fit for organizations that are looking for a collaboration environment for their employees.
What do you think?  Do you think it is important to require an approval process for collaborative workspaces? What techniques does your organization use to provide workspaces for their intranet?
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