Social by Social

Andy Gibson has pulled together a great list of 45 propositions for those interested in getting involved in social computing. They are all good but my particular favourites are below:

# Empowerment is unconditional. Telling people what they can and can’t do with your platform is like an electricity company restricting what its power can be used for.

# You can’t learn to fly by watching the pilot. If you want to understand new technologies, start using them. Dive in.

# Don’t centralise, aggregate. Do you really need data centralisation? Well do you? Use lots of different, disconnected tools and then pull the content together into a central location.

# Your users own the platform. If they feel own it, they will trust it, help sustain it, and find ways to use and improve the tools; if they aren’t interested, no amount of pushing will help.

Social Nervous System

I had a great, long, chat on Skype last night with Joshua-Michele Ross who recently wrote an interesting post, The Rise Of The Social Nervous System, on Forbes. Smart bloke and well worth reading the rest of the article.

Given the complexity and precarious position of the modern world, getting people to genuinely reach out and touch their neighbors is a good thing but it will come at the price of reshaping our identities as part of a larger, interconnected whole.

Steve Lawson on Twitter

... if you’re the kind of incommunicative academic-to-the-point-of-being-incoherent buffoon who thinks Twitter is narcissistic, I’d say YOU most definitely have a problem with your sense of identity. Either that, of you’re so utterly self-obsessed, that you just don’t have any friends you’re interested in. Either way, I’d rather be where I am than where you are.

More here

Vander Wal on Sharepoint

If your IT department has not yet deployed Sharepoint get them to read this post from Thomas Vanderwal which includes the following telling quote:

“We went from 5 silos in our organization to hundreds in a month after deploying SharePoint”. They continue, “There is great information being shared and flowing into the system, but we don’t know it exists, nor can we easily share it, nor do much of anything with that information.”

Thomas' post reflects accurately the sort of stories I have been consistently hearing over the last year or so.

Make sure you are sitting down before you read this.

I know I have been critical of Sharepoint in the past but the highlight so far for me of FASTForward '09 has been getting to know Christian Finn, director for SharePoint product management at Microsoft. Christian is a really nice guy who has been going out of his way to spend time with the bloggers from the FASTForward blog and myself getting his head around the social computing world we all get so excited about.

Who Sharepoint enables, and why, and how are still big, non-tivial issues facing both Microsoft and a lot of the companies I work for but all I know is these conversations have felt good in a way I didn't expect.