Softening the edges

Spookily - just as I was about to write a post about why I prefer the phrase Social Computing to Knowledge Management Judith Meskill over at The Social Software Weblog makes that very point.

‘Social Software’ is a fairly benign term when compared to the more arrogant ‘Knowledge Management’. Imagine managing knowledge? Yours, let alone someone else’s?

[snip]

Some see social software, and social networking services, as bricks, if not mortar, in the next evolutionary steps in this search to soften the impact of “increasingly discontinuous environmental change”. Are we evolving towards more meaningful social interactions via these social software services?

Yep - I reckon - although "bricks and mortar" seem far too solid a metaphor for the subtle changes that are taking place in how we see each other and the world around us.

I always understood the networked world we are increasingly inhabiting in much more organic terms - choosing images from nature such as root systems, the nervous system or cris-crossed footpaths as images to convey what is going on rather than angular, clean cut images.

Even in corporate environments this stuff is messy and rightly so. It is all about relationship and connection between individuals and it resists attempts to put it into neat safe business boxes.