Trackback for Blogger
However I don't think auto-discovery works. I, at least, had to manually enter the trackback url for Kaye's post as an URL to ping.1 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Gabriela Avram Private Blog
Gabriela Avram one of last years excellent contributors (see her ppt presentation) to Blogtalk, has been using blogs for project and other professional settings. Now she has started her own personal weblog, with some reservations:
I'm a bit nervous. This is really going to be my own blog!
I'm not quite a newbie. I started and maintain 6 other blogs by now. But none of them is really mine! They are project weblogs, community weblogs, paper writing weblogs...
Thanks for adding your personal voice to the multitude Gabriela!0 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Tacit Knowledge Transfer through Blogs
Andy Boyd proposes an experiment to see if blogs can be used as a means to transfer tacit knowledge in an apprenticeship situation. His blog readers being the apprentices. Tacit in this case meaning that the readers will learn what Andy would answer to certain KM-related questions. I like the idea.
Reading someones weblog over time gives you good idea of the writer on the aspects covered in the weblog, I think. At least it certainly feels that way. People who have been reading my blog in the last year probably know what my take on KM is. So my hypothesis is that Andy's experiment will show a transfer of tacit knowledge. The question however is, how effective will it be, e.g. compared to face to face time. How much time will be needed for the effect to show up? So Andy will have to ask his readers how often and closely they follow his blog as well.0 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Lynch Mobs and Smart Mobs
Great little quote on individual and moral responsibility in evolving and emerging communities:
Lynch Mobs are just as emergent as Smart Mobs (from lago at errant dot org)1 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Joi Ito comments on Echo-chambers. Basically he reflects my own thoughts on this. The antidote against echo-chambers is not to regard any group-forming and community-building as suspicious, as seems to be implied by others. That would be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
It's trying to aim for the largest possible community-awareness in a given situation (lurkers as bridge-builders again). It's ok being in a small group with loads of strong ties, as long as you are aware of other and larger contexts and do not exclude those contexts from your group's sense of reality. This however presupposes a pro-active stance, with regular excersizes in looking outward. Not an easy thing to do, balancing the feeling of security at the core of the group, with the quest for the unknown on the turmoiled fringes of a group. Making regular excursions outside your own comfortzone is hard, but also one of those human paradoxes we deal with to be able to grow. It's 'optimal unfamiliarity' as I dubbed it earlier in another guise.3 Comments and 2 Trackbacks | Permalink
Lurking and Social Networks
Lurking, although the word seems to imply a negative connotation, has usefull aspects nonetheless. It is a way of determining rules of behaviour for new comers to a group.
The most obvious characteristic of a lurker is that he’s at the fringe of a group, listening and observing. Being at the fringe may seem like a bad place from the core, but in fact is a good position to build bridges to other groups, and be aware of other groups in the vicinity. In a face to face setting like a pub or a meeting of some kind, a lurker is visible, often shortly introduced after which the focus of attention shifts to the established group members again.
In on-line settings things are different. In some fora lurkers are encouraged to introduce themselves and then adviced to lurk, i.e. observe and learn for a while. But at all times there is no way of knowing how many lurkers are there that you are unaware of.
As lurkers are possible bridges to other groups, I as a blogger, would like to know:
Serverlogs can give some clues, and I keep a close watch on them. Dave Winer's RSS-tool also brings new info to light.
Weak and Strong Ties
The importance of lurking lies in the fact that they constitute weak ties. Weak ties are where interesting transactions and exchanges can take place. Strong ties imply that all people involved have access to more or less the same information and opportunities so nothing new comes from them.
Looking at social networks, lurkers are probably two or three nodes away (that's how they found my blog presumeably). Most interesting new commenters (de-lurking lurkers) that pop up on my radar screen/blog are coming from that (social) distance.
network with almost only strong ties
Is this mix of strong and weak ties that forms my micro-blogosphere also a major factor of importance if you suffer from the echo-chamber effect? Where strong ties are the source of resonance, and the absence or presence of weak ties determine wether that cluster of strong ties is closed to input from the outside world?
network with strong ties and numerous weak ties, preventing echo chambers
Meshing of Networks
Another angle on this would be looking at the meshing of networks, a well known IT problem; How many meshing do you need to keep up performance of the network when one or more nodes fail.
There are different levels of meshing one can distinguish.
Echo-chambers, my guess is, form most easily in places (groups of blogs) that have total meshing, and have no 'capacity' left to connect to less meshed 'regions' in a network.
Lurkers are in that case nodes in a sub-optimally meshed network. They're there, but you are not necessarily aware of them.
Taking it one step further, maybe the 'magic numbers' we see in networks of humans relate these meshing concepts to our mental capacity to juggle social data.
If we relate this to blogs and Clay Shirky's power law, teenage diaries blogs are possibly primarily on the 12/total meshing levels, professional content blogs are probably all in the 50 to 150 ranges, with distinct stability levels (my blog went from 0 to 12 inbound blogs then stabilized, then grew to just over fifty inbound blogs and stabilized again.) Above 150 people are more sparsely connected and start looking for beacons or leaders to orient themselves socially. This is the range where the broadcasting type blogs are, the A-listers.
A last and different way to look at Social Networks could be the metaphor of landscapes, with mountains as barriers, and roads and rivers as attractors.
Closely knit groups would be villages, echo-chambers isolated villages with no nearby roads. Larger groups, sub-optimally meshed are towns and cities, where the risk of too little meshing lurks (homeless people, drop outs etc as a consequence). Lurkers might be unnoticed city dwellers, or tourists from other landscapes, that only become visible if they make themselves known as tourists, leave footprints or marks on/in the landscape as it were. (Kilroy was here)
Oh and yeah, we also ate during lunch, not just talked.
The picture below shows my original notes, taken during the lunch :)
UPDATE: Matt starts wondering about tools for lurkers.
Covey on Management
While waiting at the counter of the local pizza take-away for my order to be ready, I found a magazine there with an interview with Stephen Covey (age 71, author of the 7 Habits, currently willing to come speak for you at $65.000 per appearance)
In this interview he declared management of people superfluous. One manages money, stocks, portfolios, and the like, not people. Give people purpose and a course, and then stop interfering with them.
The interview ended with this quote (emphasis mine):
In most organisations there is a lack of trust, and most employees are powerless. In this era of knowledge-workers we still use the industrial model of control, in which we treat people like objects. It is as if we are still practising bloodletting, although we know all about bacteria and how they work.
Hans von Gersdorff, "Feldbuch der Wundarznei", 1517 - Points for blood-letting
When I asked the pizza-guy for pen and paper to write this quote down, he smiled at me and said ain't that a good interview or what?.
So the pizza guy gets it, but the CEO's don't.
But as Covey said in the same interview it's all common sense really, just not common practice.