ToC Correspondence

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Tools of Communication


16.6.06 Craig

Okay, get ready for a stream of emails over the next few weeks.

1. Everyone who is contactable has agreed to a telephone conference meeting on the morning of Tuesday, July 11. We will schedule it from 10 to 11 am. This will have to be very tightly agenda-ed.

2. Two key people are not contactable, and they are key in various ways. They are Mark Freestone, who is in prison, and Ian Milne, who is in Europe. The face-to-face meeting, which was part of the setting-up agreement of ATC-CWG, was proposed for the week of July 10-16 precisely because it was a very rare window both when Ian would be in the country, and Mark would be out of prison. I would not be surprised to find they have strong views on all this once they get back to email. My view is that those of us who can, should make both the phone meeting at the beginning of the week, and a face-to-face meeting at the end of the week.

3. Different modes of communication are better for different tasks.

4. Different people have a preference for different modes of communication.

5. Those two don't always go together. But you can not force people working voluntarily to use specific modes of communication. For example: Because I do not have a secretary, work at odd hours and from different places, and like to think about things before I respond to them, email suits me. It creates a document trail, which telephone and face-to-face don't, so that you can go back and confirm what has or has not been said, shared and agreed. It hangs in your in-tray, as a visible reminder, and is part of a work-management system. RadioTC and TC-OF exist only because of email. But Sheila Gatiss on the Executive Committee does not use it, Chris Newrith has only limited access to it, and John Cross (who is a member of the Admin team, and will be at the telephone conference) strongly prefers other modes of communication. We have agreed, for example, that if I send him an email at work it is best if I also give him a print copy; and though I know he has strong views about the issues we have been raising here, and concerns about the way we are tackling them, he can't be expected to use email as a means of communicating them. I also know he shares doubts about the efficacy of telephone conferencing for the kinds of discussions we need to have; but did not know this until yesterday, when we shared a brief presence in space and time; which illustrates one of the strengths of face to face, but also one of its limits.

6 (and last). There are two sets of over-lapping concerns here. The Admin Team have been promised a face-to-face meeting on-site with the Officers more or less since the current Admin arrangement was made. They have a lot of talking they need to do among themselves, and we could easily spend the entire telephone conference just on that. It needs to be part of the telephone conference; but the conference has to have a far more wide-arching concern. We will agenda it in; but in fairness to Mark and Ian and those of use who are not Officers or on the Admin Team, they need, as a matter of some urgency, to arrange something separate as well.


Much of this could be done or prepared for by email. But those of us who do have ready access to it and use it with some alacrity need to take on board that it can not operate as a complete medium, any more than the wiki web-site can. This is a quiet heartbreak, because we know what amazing things have been accomplished in the worlds of business and academics, and how well it should serve an under-resourced and time-pressed voluntary enterprise, like hand and glove. Addressing these realities, and accepting the things we can not change, as well as recognising the consequences, is essential to making ATC's communication achieve what it is capable of achieving for itself and for the field; or, to say it otherwise, ultimately for the clients, which is what I'm about.



16.06.06 Mark

Dear All,

Various conversations over the past few months have suggested to me that the redesign of the ATC Website is becoming an increasingly pressing priority. The creation of the TC Open Forum has somewhat eased this pressure, but the nature of the Wiki is to provide a forum for the free exchange of information, rather than an 'attractive' presence that will encourage a perception of TC work as dynamic and contemporary treatment model. Whilst Craig's site has served well for many years, I think it is now time to address this latter concern.

For some years I have been a partner in a web-design firm that offers consultancy and implementation work based around a dynamic content model similar to that employed by the wiki. This means that the websites we create are updated and maintained not on an ad-hoc basis by contracted designers, but rather using specially-designed forms that are useable by untrained admin staff with no knowledge of HTML or the WWW, effectively making them future-proof as a future redesign will not necessitate another round of data input.

We have worked with a variety of clients mainly in the IT and music industries, some examples of which are:

It would be possible to use the current webspace at which TC-OF is held to contain the new ATC Website, meaning no further expenditure on hosting would be necessary.

I am attaching a quote for the redesign of the site, including a section devoted to the TC journal: I am also enclosing a draft logo that might work as a more contemporary replacement for the current graphic. I realise that cost and/or conflict of interest may be an issue and the ATC may indeed wish to seek further quotations from other developers using our quotation as a guide.

However, I think that any other firm would struggle to produce a competitive quotation; not because of relative pricing structures, but because without a working knowledge of the TC field the majority of any other developer's time would be spent trying to process the information already on the existing site coherently. Paying IT professionals to structure unfamiliar information is bread-and-butter to the IT industry and hence quite costly.

In any case, I hope this will stimulate further debate over the website issue. All questions, comments, etc are very welcome.

Best Wishes,


--Mark Freestone

19.06.06 Craig

Why don't we do the ATC Executive meetings by conference call?

We have an hour on July 11th. I suggest a basic agenda as follows:

5 mins: Hellos and late arrivals 15 minutes: Communication with Members 15 minutes: Communication with the Outside World 15 minutes: Communication with Ourselves 10 minutes: Closure



19.06.06 Mark

Could we please also add the ATC website redesign as a specific agenda item?


27.06.06 Craig

In the brief time before our meeting, feel free to dream. What could we do if...

...We really got our act together and used the digital tools that are out there and on the way...

29.06.06 Craig

To help to put our discussion on the 11th into wider context, I have added other "Tools of Communication" which impinge on ATC or are there to be used or could be used or seen as collateral tools. These are headed "non-ATC" in the menu, and are in an orangish rather than blue box.

Also, the ATC Executive Committee has asked to Working Group to discuss and decide how ATC wishes to be branded in CofC promotional material. The minute reads:

"KF item 4.1 (v) Promotional material - Sarah said the Centre for Quality Improvements )CQI) has just been launched and Paul Lelliot wants all CRU material to share a corporate identity. Community of Communities therefore wants to know how the ATC wants to be branded.

Action Point: Communications Working Group needs to convene to discuss this and decide; Sheila reminded the Committee the information provided needs to include the new three-group organisation and that the journal has a new format."


10.07.06 Craig

Mark was hoping that we could get into the specifics of his proposal for the ATC web-site. My own feeling is that tomorrow's meeting - partly because of the lack of prior work - won't be able to work to that kind of detail, although we can address the principle, and plumb Maureen and Jo's experience. However, it does raise a specific outcome that I personally would like to see, viz., the creation of a Web-site Editorial Group, which becomes imbedded in the work of the ATC at least to the level of the journal editorial group, and could take the decision about Mark's proposal.

I am hoping we can find web-site usage statistics before tomorrow, but we know, from past experience, that the web-site is the ATC's number one point of contact for the outside world. Knowing that, for it not to be actively managed by the Executive doesn't, to me, make sense.

It isn't too late to add to the web-page, or share thoughts and information by email. But the longer it is left, the harder it will be to assimilate for the meeting itself. As if everyone in this group didn't already suck eggs till the cows come in.



10.07.06 Craig

Members of the ATC Executive Committee were recently circulated with the following email from the Cambrodge Young People's Service, , which originally went to the ATC office:

Dear Colleagues,

We are a non-residential TC for 16-25 age group. In the last round of NHS cuts we came under the chop. We are doing everything we can to save our service. I am sending you information and we would be grateful for any support you could give us by forwarding the information to your membership.

Yours sincerely, Sue Greenland

There isn't an ATC-members email list, of course, and I would guess the cost of a special posting would be beyond the ATC budget. But then how do we enlist one another's help and support?


Tools of Communication

Personal tools
radioTC international
what else is here?