21 June 2005

Off to USA on a 5 week journey

My postings may be a bit scattered over the next 5 weeks. I have an intense travel schedule that will take me from Houston to New York to St. Louis, back to Houston, then home to visit my family in New Mexico, and then back to Houston for a couple of weeks before returning home to Amsterdam.

My focus is to create some working partnerships for our newly formed Institute for Collaboration, Creativity & Culture. We need a few solid research contracts to get us off the ground. Just the year-long journey to get here has been an adventure of discovery. We are living proof of emerging networks in action.

Because of our unique methodologies using social media and documenting research through video dialogues that capture the buzz, I have a feeling that this trip will open up dynamic partnerships for the Institute that are in complete alignment with our core. The timing is right.

So, wish me luck. I'll keep you posted.

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

Cory Doctorow's new book - Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town - is available for download.

It's a science fiction tale of of archetypal characters playing out their roles in a weird cyber-world, which is at the same time funny and hip and full of street smarts. The hero sense of idealism leads him into adventures that Cory has crafted into intriguing scenarios. Could there be a film script coming?

Published under a Creative Commons license, Cory is offering people who live in developing countries the opportunity to download, print and sell his book.

You may recognize Cory from his blogging contributions to Boing Boing. He is also the European Affairs coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The Truth About Hillary

Edward Klein has written a rather scathing book about Hillary Clinton - The Truth About Hillary : What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President.

The conservative political movement in the USA are using this recently released book as a device to discredit Hillary Cinton. American conservatives in the Republican party are known for acting out their fears through protectionism. This time they may find that their strategy to debase Hillary may backfire. Contrary to the anti-Hillary campaign they expect to generate, they may actually galvanize a public sentiment into "better the devil we know than the one we don't". If they think that this book informs the public about "everything", then she may become the perfect candidate for the next Presidential election because she will have nothing left to hide.

I never would have expected this kind of mud-slinging from Edward Klein. He was the former editor in chief of the New York Times Magazine and former foreign editor of Newsweek magazine. He has also been a frequent contributor to Vanity Fair - and Vanity Fair plans to run an excerpt from the book.

This smacks of gonzo politics and "fear and loathing on the campaign trail". Perhaps it's time to get back to the issues and look for real statesmanship in a candidate.

If you read it, please let me know what you think.

Why people are struggling with the EU constitution

The problems surrounding people's relationship with the EU Constitution have more to do with presentation than its content. The recent EU communication campaign (which must have cost millions) is proof that copywriters and old-fashioned ad campaigns are no longer appropriate. They gloss over the surface in their pamphlets, earn a pretty penny for their highly profiled campaign, and leave the public even more baffled about the content of the constitution and what it could mean for people.

People are in their roles as citizens here, not consumers. People need a comprehensive explanation of the constitution and it's role for people and their countries put into a structure that makes it easy to follow and understand the value it can create. This requires good journalism, not copywriting.

Social media and in-depth dialogue about social issues has changed people's expectations. They no longer accept this ad campaign glossing over the issues with sound bites and short headlines.

Citizens in each European country are struggling to understand the meaning of their citizenship in a new union context that's growing annually - and there is no common language, let alone a sense of common cause. They are distracted from the core of the constitution - and how it will be put into practice - by the conflicts between their country and ideology cultures.

What we need now more than ever are those gifted writers from decades ago who crafted detailed "how-to" manuals that even the most simple minds could follow. Any volunteers?

I did find a rather informative explanation in English from the BBC.

18 June 2005

Make Tibet a Global State of Mind

Ottmar Liebert proposes that we "Make the world Tibetan".

He posted a blog on IntegralNaked and suggested that the exiled Tibetan government sell Tibetan passports to anyone who wanted to become a symbolic Tibetan. This way, they could raise money and have millions of symbolic Tibetans roaming the globe.

This would bring the spirit of Tibet alive in a way that would create the culture as a state of mind. With all these symbolic Tibetans raoming around, it may persuade China to change its mind.

Wouldn't you also want to become a symbolic Tibetan? We could all be spiritual children of Tibet by carrying a Tibetan passport as support for their fight to return home.

17 June 2005

The Physics of Measuring Relationship Assets in a Network Society

What are the physics of measuring our relationship assets in a networked society?

Just like in physics, the things are not the only things that are important. The relationships between things and other things play such an important role in life. These relationships enslave things into concepts.

As we begin to work more and more with dynamic networks - people, things, channels, messages and media - we need new measurement systems to account for the value of these relationships.

Since the new economic models are evolving from only counting transactions, we need tools to measure the value of our relationships with others. Where do we start?

I've been exploring and experimenting with how to define the paramenters for identifying and organizing the value criteria for networked relationships. I started with what I would lose if certain relationships were no longer in place. (Since I recently lost a working partner, the evidence of this loss was very clear to me on all 4 levels of capital: human, social, creative and financial.) It became clear to me that several factors play a role in determining the value of particular relationships between people, things, channels, formats, timing, and communication. For instance, there is an attraction factor. And, just like in physics, each factor has its own set of behavior principles, like the enslavement principle for concepts.

I've also been playing with the notion that our relationships with the people controlling the flow of capital are sometimes more important than the capital itself. What would that factor be?

I want to build a working formula and play with the factors to see what shows up. If I can really work this out, I could build an algorithm to track value as relationships evolves, which would lead to a dynamic accounting model that could capture value on all 4 capital levels.

If you have any ideas to contribute here, please share!

Legal Guide for Bloggers from EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation EFF has produced a Legal Guide for Bloggers. Of course, this is not The Law. It is presented as a guide, and it addresses the issues that bloggers may face and what recourse they may have if they run into problems.

If you read through all the FAQ's, you'll find a very comprehensive overview about guidelines and how to avoid stepping into legal puddles.

Have any of you had to face any legal battles with statements you've made in your blogs so far?

13 June 2005

The European Blogosphere

Loic LeMeur from SixApart has set up a SocialtextWiki - The European Blogosphere to capture the activity of blogging in Europe.

You can also find the blogosphere of your country - The Dutch Blogosphere for instance.

If you are blogging, please visit this Loic's wiki and add your blog and any other information pertinent to blogging.

10 June 2005

The New, Improved Technorati

Check it out! Technorati has a new Beta version portal into the world of blogs.

According to Dave Sifry, this is a beta because they want active feedback. Just start clicking and see it in action.

Here are some of the highlights Dave points out:
-- We've improved the user experience, making Technorati accessible to more people and, specifically, people who are new to blogging. We've tried to make it very simple to understand what Technorati is all about, and make it easy to understand how we're different from other search engines.
-- We've learned from the incredible success of tags, and brought some of the those same features into search, as well as expanding tag functionality. Now, if your search matches a tag, we bring in photos and links from flickr, furl, delicious, and now buzznet as well.
-- We now have more powerful advanced search features. You can now click the "Options" link beside any search box for power searching options.
-- We've added more personalization. Sign in, and you'll see your current set of watchlists, claimed blogs, and profile info, right on the homepage, giving you quick access to the stuff you want as quickly as possible.
-- New Watchlist capabilities have been added. For example, you no longer need a RSS reader to watch your favorite searches. Now you can view all of your favorite searches on one page. Of course, you can still get your watchlists via RSS, and it is even easier to create new watchlists. You can also get RSS feeds for tagged posts, just check the bottom of each page of tag results!

Your old password works here, so just sign in and go to you acount. In one overview, you have the big picture on your blogs, their links, pinging and profiles. Fun!

The Physics of Tsunamis and Earthquakes

Even if you are mathematically challenged, you still might enjoy David Stephenson's June 2005 article from Physics Today - Tsunamis and Earthquakes: What Physics is Interesting?

He explains the dynamics involved in earthquakes and tsunamis. He also explains why the tsunami is better understood than the earthquake itself.

It's great to read an physics article so clearly written that I can share it with my friends who lack a scientific knowledge. People want to learn more right now about these natural events and what causes them.

Quick Guide to Human Capital Management Ratings

Denis Barnard sent me an article to read about Human Capital Management. This immediately caught my eye - "The ‘Newbury Index Rating’ (NIR) for human capital value, which is based on a similar system to Standard & Poor’s credit ratings, is the first universal framework for measuring the value of staff, according to its developers."

It wasn't until I read Denis' email again that I realized this was his team who had established a standard for measuring human capital. Working in collaboration, Denis Barnard, Paul Kearns and Tracy Cartland-Ward have put together a rating system that indicates how well an organization is capitalizing on the value of its people.

In their A Quick Guide to Human Capital Management Ratings, you will find a clear explanation of The Newbury Index Ratings (NIR’s). You will also find its distinguishing strategic value in the comparison between HCM and traditional HRM (Human Resource Management).

Now I would like to follow the companies that adopt this rating system and see how they use it to strategic advantage. Again, we face the BIG questions inside organizations "Are we building markets or communities?" and "Is our organizational performance tied more to capturing the value of unique personal performance than product performance?"

9 June 2005

Brand Wikification

Nick Wreden has opened up a pertinent discussion with his blog on FusionBrand: How To Wikify Your Brand.

In his blog, he reflects on the changing midset of the NewBoardRoom mentality. For decades, the focus has been on growing market share through product positioning, a practice that leveraged mass markets and mass media. Now, the internet paradigm is fragmenting those mass markets into masses of small communities. This is throwning the balance of power back into the hands of the customers. Brands are now defined by their customers, and those customers want to participate in how they want to experience the brand.

Wikification - taking its name from wikis - according to Nick "represents good news and even better news for marketers. The good news is that it incorporates two elements that no boardroom can ignore – measurement and knowledge of what customers value. The even better news is that wikification forces everyone in marketing to value metrics more than “mind share,” “creativity” or any other eye-of-the-beholder concept. It also leads to greater marketing involvement in databases and operational issues that deliver customer value."

It will be interesting to track where these perspectives begin to show up at Board Room altitude. Wikis, blogs, and all this dynamic network behavior is certaining shaping our relationships with brands. Whether the corporate organizations managing them can evolve their business models quickly enough to capture the value of this new behavior is something we're all watching and waiting to see.

Anyway, I really like this term he has coined -
wikification. Keep your eyes open and please share anything you notice along these lines.

Reboot 7.0 in Copenhagen this weekend

Just spoke with Ton Zijlstra. He and Elmine Wijnia are driving up to Reboot 7.0 in Copenhagen this weekend.

They'll join the other bloggeratti in exploring the impact of social media and its tools on our many worlds. We're looking forward to hearing about their adventure next week.

Among the cast - Jonnie Moore, Doc Searls, Robert Scoble, Jimbo Wales Cory Doctorow, David Weinberger, Loic Le Meur, Dina Mehta

Information Overload & Strategies for This

We're living in a time when we are inundated by media throughout most of our waking hours. We grapple with getting our minds to regular points of rest and focus.

Then we sit in front of our computers and stare at the files and think "Now, where did I file that great quote?", or "Which files have that info about this subject?"

What we need to do is develop personal information management strategies - PIMS. We each need a strategy that guides how we organize and file and store information so that we can access it and assemble it in our own way of thinking and working. This needs to be based on how we think, how we want to use that information, how we apply information, - and ultimately how we package that information into knowledge concepts. It's important to address issues like no online access when you spend hours on trains or planes.

Ton Zilstra uses a wiki offline that he can sync online. Great way to package your thoughts and a way to capture the bits of info that fall into those threads of thinking that you just haven't built into anything yet. A constructive path. I'm going to explore this with him because he seems to be a whiz at this.

7 June 2005

Societies Shaped by their Media

Marshall McLuhan (1911 - 1980) claimed that societies were shaped by their media. The book was the organizing factor in one era. And, let's not forget the impact of the TV.

Today, the IDEA - or brand concept - is an organizing principle. Media today is about sharing ideas. Sharing ideas is shaping our world and evolving the economic business model.

Thomas Samuel Kahn (1922 - 1996) claimed that intellectual revolutions bring on paradigm shifts, replacing entire conceptual networks through which we view the world.

What happens when we look at social media as the organizing principle for a paradigm shift? What do you see then as the distinctive signs of this new culture?

Could INTERNET be the definitive paradigm for shaping our current culture and that of the future?

4 June 2005

Vanenburg Forum on Collaboration & Learning

This past Wednesday, I attended a forum on collaboration and learning at the newly opened Kasteel de Vanenburg in Putten in The Netherlands. This effort was effectively put together by Crossing Signals and The Global Learning Group - and was graciously hosted by Cordys.

We were there to share knowledge and insights about the issues we face in finding the right platforms that address learning, managing and sharing knowledge, and interactive communication. This was the first in a series of forums to discover the right keys to support an integrated platform that would wholely support social connectivity, learning, project management, and co-creative collaboration. Understanding how people engage and finding the right interface complete with built-in tools will be key. Tall order…we’ll see what transpires in the months ahead.

The pictures tell the story of that day much better than I can. The discussion is now activated and we’re looking forward to the feedback, which should find its place on a new blog that will be forthcoming and hosted by Rudy Hoeboer from Crossing Signals.