Collaborative circles

Chris Anderson (TED Curator) has a great article at Wired on Crowd Accelerated Innovation.  His focus is on the importance of video sharing on the internet, which is a great point, but I also really enjoyed his insights into communities and what makes them work (don’t miss the great graphic on collaborative circles as well).

A crowd is simply a community, any group of people with a shared interest. It can be narrow (unicycling, Greek archaeology) or broad (science, world peace), small (my village) or large (humanity). The community needs to contain at least a few people capable of innovation. But not everyone in the community need be. There are plenty of other necessary roles:

– The trend-spotter, who finds a promising innovation early.
– The evangelist, who passionately makes the case for idea X or person Y.
– The superspreader, who broadcasts innovations to a larger group.
– The skeptic, who keeps the conversation honest.
– General participants, who show up, comment honestly, and learn.
A couple of other great points:
Light. All members of the community need to be visible; each needs to be aware of what others, particularly the most talented members, are up to. If the community is the university alumni association, the fact that one member has the world’s most breathtaking idea matters not if it never makes it into the annual newsletter.
Desire. Active learning is hard work. And in most cases, what drives all that work, whether we will admit it or not, is the prospect of recognition for what we’ve done.
It’s a great article and includes a lot of other really important takeaways about communities.

No backup for you

As the single lone post on my site may indicate, I’ve recently lost all of my site content that I’ve been writing and storing since 2005-ish (I know, ouch).  Turns out, user error was to blame (mine – shock).  About two years ago I switched from Joomla to WordPress, at which point I must have tinkered unnecessarily with my backup settings.  Fast forward to last month, in the process of upgrading to the latest version of WordPress I managed to completely delete everything.  Oops.  Like I say after every visit to IKEA – maybe I’ll read the instructions next time.


But, the good news is this will allow me to refocus.  I’ve made the mistake before of trying to predict what I’ll write about, but my intentions never manage to mesh up exactly with whatever it is that I find interesting or inspiring at the time.  So, without being too prescriptive, I’ve tended to write about knowledge management, communities of practice, learning, collaboration and social media in the past.  I’ll likely continue to do so, but I may broaden what I discuss here a bit more than that.  Time will tell.


All in all, looking forward to sharing again.

Boom Crash Thud

If you’re coming to my site and seeing things are rather blank, it appears as if both my site and backup tools have experienced a fatal error of some kind.  I’m working with my host to see if there is any way to restore my content.  In the meantime, apologies if you’ve come here via a now broken link.