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TRIZ Talk: Three Communication Networks

| On 04, Jul 2004

editor@triz-journal.com
There are three communications networks active in the English-speaking TRIZ community right now, and all host interesting discussions, and invite new participants of every level of TRIZ—new beginner through advanced expert. I have asked the hosts of each system to give us a short introduction so that people looking for on-line dialog will know where to go and what to do.

TRIZ@topica is an e-mail discussion list that can be accessed via http://lists.topica.com/lists/triz. This list is meant to foster free discussions among people involved with TRIZ and related methodologies. It was created by Marco de Carvalho in May 1999, after noting that the TRIZ community was growing and had no such service. There was only a web based “TRIZ / TIPS Forum”, with the disadvantage that one had to access the website frequently to know what discussions were going on. The email list idea seemed like a closer to ideal solution, because the information was automatically sent to subscribers’ mailboxes.

The list was originally hosted by www.listbot.com. Due to Listbot’s marketing strategy changes, the list had to be moved to a new server in August 2001. The new home of TRIZ list is http://www.topica.com.

In its 5 years of age, TRIZ@listbot + TRIZ@topica list has reached 240 subscribers from all continents and more than 600 messages, with a global average of 2 messages per week. TRIZ@topica subscribers have diverse backgrounds and interests. Some subscribers are widely known experts. Others are new to the TRIZ community. Some have a strong interest in so-called “hard” TRIZ (TRIZ for technological uses), others in “soft” TRIZ (TRIZ for pedagogy, arts, management, advertising and other uses). Some are interested in more philosophical discussions and in the advancement of TRIZ, others in immediate benefits and results. Diversity of subscribers’ backgrounds has resulted in diversity of discussions. Most common message subjects have been: TRIZ conceptual base (contradictions, ideality etc.), “soft” TRIZ or how to use TRIZ outside technology, calls for references concerning a particular aspect of TRIZ and promotion of events (conferences, seminars, courses, etc.). The list archives are accessible (by subscribers only) through http://lists.topica.com/lists/triz/read.

New subscribers are welcome – just go to http://lists.topica.com/lists/triz, and sign up or send a blank message to triz-subscribe@topica.com.
TRIZUK – moderated by Brian Campbell campbellbri@yahoo.co.uk
Aims of the discussion group: Provides a forum and contact point for people interested in or wanting to learn more about TRIZ.

How it works:
Subscribe: TRIZUK-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk
Post message: TRIZUK@yahoogroups.co.uk
(This message is then sent to all members of the group).
Unsubscribe: TRIZUK-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk

The archives are readily accessable to members and might be useful for a new member to find out who is who within the group.

You can opt at any point to read messages from the website only if you found the number of messages became tiresome- not really an issue so far though occasionally one message posted tends to lead to a flurry of replies which may or may not be of interest.

History
Moderated by Brian Campbell campbellbri@yahoo.co.uk – a UK based TRIZ practitioner. It was started in July 2002 and currently has 76 members. The list started with my personal contacts and has grown on an intermittent basis – new TRIZ contacts outside the group and occasional subscriptions via my articles in The TRIZ Journal. There have been 175 messages so far – 8 per month on average with a peak of 29 in one month. Topics range from general requests for information, details of courses etc. I welcome any TRIZ related messages – no restriction on advertising although it would have to be low key – link to a website (say).

Despite the name of the list, there are many non-UK members.
It is an ideal way to quickly find advice and to make new contacts in the TRIZ field.
TRIZBOARD The newest communication forum is www.trizboard.org, sponsored by the Altshuller Institute and started by member Mike Lopez and executive director Richard Langevin after some member discussions at TRIZCON2004. Just go to the website, read any message that looks interesting, write your own message, or reply to one that is already there.