31 March 2006

Visual Modeling

When I work with people, I generally use a large marker pad for visualizing the content and connections emerging from the dialogue. Everyone can then see what they're discussing and very quickly identify what is different from what they had intended. It helps everyone get the picture.

Finding great resources for visual modeling is rare. Marshall Clemens from Idiagram seems to have the gift. Just run your cursor over the the list under the "Art of Complex Problem Solving". Several different graphics will appear to explain the topic.

His talent seems to be embedding the content in a simple and elegant design so that the graphics reveal the story you're trying to tell.

29 March 2006

The Solar Eclipse 29 March 2006

Since childhood, I've been fascinated by eclipses. My father filled a pail with water and then poked a hole in a piece of cardboard for us to watch our first one.

You can follow the path of the sun and moon by watching this animation from NASA.

According to NASA, "The special coverage is part of Sun-Earth Day, celebrated every year to help everyone better understand how our sun interacts with the Earth and other planets in the solar system. This year's theme, 'Eclipse: In a Different Light' shows how eclipses have inspired people to observe and understand the Sun-Earth-Moon system.

The eclipse coverage also has a historic first. NASA and Libyan scientists are conducting joint scientific activities to observe and study the event. NASA is contacting scientists in Libya to share their comments on their activities as well as their observations."

A total solar eclipse is very rare. In a total eclipse like this one, the entire central portion of the Sun is blocked out and the sky darkens. It did get a bit darker here in The Netherlands, but not like in Libya or Turkey.

Will this solar eclipse portend a rash of events through natural forces, like earthquakes, as feared in Turkey?

28 March 2006

Debate Europe - online public debate

The European Commission has launched a website - Debate Europe - to engage us in an online discussion platform about the future of Europe.

"This debate on the internet is part of our 'Plan D' – where D stands for Dialogue, Debate and Democracy. Plan D is the Commission's contribution to the 'period of reflection' on the future of the EU, which was called for by Heads of State and Government of the EU in June 2005 following the rejection of the proposed Constitutional Treaty by voters in France and The Netherlands."

Considering the student riots throughout France, this comes at an opportune moment. It's time to stop complaining and start joining a wider discussion with others. Unless we let our voices be heard, no one will know what we want to accomplish together. The Debate Europe site offers a choice of 20 different languages.

22 March 2006

Visualize your Email Conversations

A team of three students in the Sociable Media Group at the MIT Media Laboratory - Fernanda Viégas, Scott Golder, and Shreyes Seshasai - have built an application called "Themail" to visualize the contents of an email archive.

"Themail" helps you see the words that keep popping up in your conversations. It also helps you to see how your conversations with one person may differ from the rest.

I liked the visualization of the emails over time. If you use Gmail and it's loaded with emails, this gives you a real sense of of the threads of content and people through time.

Give it a try and play with clicking on key words to see their connections.

17 March 2006

Keotag - Tag Search across Multiple Engines

Keotag is a new way to search your tags across multiple engines and tag generators.

Keotag was developed by Netwizz Jungle Blog, a French blog on concept development and applicaiton of social media tools.

I'm playing with it to see if it allows me to have a one-stop search link. Anyone out there have any feedback on it yet?

12 March 2006

Future Paradigm: Evolutionary value-based relationships

Value-based relationships and the communities they create are becoming the evolutionary communication paradigm for the future.

People are better informed, expect more, have more choices. And, more importantly, they are now affordably technology-enabled to interact and network in a much more organic way.
Organizations are slowly beginning to listen and conform to their customer and employee needs as well as their behavior.

Whose responsibility is it?
More and more, organizations realize that they have to deliver on their brand promise or that they will have to face the eventualities and consequences of the gap between their promise and their delivery to customers.
The business of evolving into a real customer-facing organization is coming to the forefront as businesses wake up to the call of the collective voice from their employees and customers.

By adapting organiztional behavior to benefit from the collective intelligence of their employees and customers - and this means system wide - organizations gradually evolve into using a different communication paradigm. This new communication paradigm feeds the individual, communities, the processes, the channels and the whole network.
Businesses will focus on network development as an expertise.

By segmenting the business according to platforms of interest or communities of practice, a company can consistently deliver customer value in those segments while building network value dynamically.
This builds a new logic - a dynamic customer-integrated network logic.
"We do it because it works for the customer and the community" replaces "We do it because it works for us".

How will this happen? What will support this?
Organizational behavior needs to follow the lead of the evolutionary edge of human interaction and communication practices. The content of these platforms and the context of the individual and community as media create dynamic environments for value-based relationships.

These value-based relationships are dynamic and only measurable through more algorithmic accounting practices that are capable of capturing their true value. This requires changing from antiquated accounting practices - that only account for the past financial transactions - into innovating new systems that harness the present or the existing potential for future value.

The identifiable process
-- Dynamic technology for networking and tracking behavior and performance of individuals, channels, concepts, and everything else defined as key to value creation.
-- New script for organization to behave in a way to deliver on its brand promise
-- Building brand through true identity from inside out
-- New communication strategy and briefs - internally and externally
-- New design & relationship strategies - tied to organizational behavior and involved in brand equity value
-- New relationship value measurement strategy as foundation for new and dynamic accounting practices
-- Temporary by-pass to bring on-line non-invasively
-- Key network developments for future growth
-- Being organic is the endgame

Industry impact
Value based relationships are the new currency and require new definition. The knowledge of how we identify them, codify them, validate them and measure them will immediately redefine how companies organize themselves and communicate. This process will put organizational learning at the core of the business, moving finance into a full support role in partnership with creativity and knowledge ecology. The power of the brand will be in how it can continually finely tune its organization - building, developing and sustaining these value-based relationships, internally and externally.

The knowledge ecology of how to identify and organize value-based relationships will carry more weight than just simply knowing how to carry out a traditional merger and acquisition. Knowing how to design a value based relationship network will extend from direct customers and channel customers through to employee relationships, partnerships and investor relationships - and acceptance that brand communities may exist outside the organization.

In the past decade, companies have brought knowledge management into the organization, but much of it lies in the hands of people without a sense or understanding of network behavior on a human interaction and communication level. Currently, management relegates creativity to suppliers and agencies outside their organization and outside the core strategic matrix. The next step is to bring the management of creativity back into the organization and use the powerful combination of knowledge ecology, creativity and new financial practices to fuel organizational learning in order to deliver value-based relationships and network thinking. One day very soon, a Chief Creative Officer and a Chief Knowledge Officer will sit alongside the Chief Financial Officer on the Board of major corporations. They will be responsible for maintaining corporate value based on relationships and the communities they build - and this new field of expertise will require understanding network development.

How are you participating in technology-enabled evolutionary human interaction and communication practices?

9 March 2006

Who Owns the Wisdom of Crowds?

Can anyone really own an idea? Until an idea evolves into a conceptual framework, we cannot connect the value relationships.

The wisdom of crowds is not in an idea - it's in the sharing of knowledge and context creation. It's about relationships between the people, the ideas, the formats, the channels, the message. It’s how those relationships connect to create a value concept larger than any one person's contribution or simple participation. This idea evolves and develops through dialogue.

These value relationships can also happen automatically and emerge from an organic outgrowth. Many contradictions will also emerge since there have been no agreements on how to act on what gets created.

We can also negotiate with one another to agree upon each of our roles in the value streams that generate from application of the concept into value creation contexts. This is how complex conceptual networks capture value for all to see and share. The key is to agree on participation, contribution, application, distribution, and so on. If so, then we need to establish a formula that will deliver a virtuous value stream for all participants who serve a purpose in the concept.

For many thinkers and creative types, the personal, social and conceptual capital is enough. But, is it? For most shareholders of a concept, the transactional capital is enough. But, is it?

The real value - in today's currency capital - is in the application of a concept. So, how we package our relationships, the content, and the wisdom that comes from sharing, will determine how we generate value as this package finds its value in the outside world. It has to serve a purpose for someone or for some group...much like it has served a purpose for those developing it. Who benefits from that?

This purpose is what enslaves people in the concept - whether it is to participate, contribute, apply it, buy it, whatever. Defining this purpose for each group along the way is what clarifies the value it creates. Real value gets generated through a discovery process that creates meaning and defines purpose through that meaning. But, when we apply that idea-now-evolved-into-a-value-concept and earn money with it, is that acceptable? This is the world where the Creative Commons is trying to make sense.

So, with that said. What value is this line of thinking and sharing creating for you? Share that as well as your knowledge and ideas - and let's see what that looks like when we begin to package it for the outside world, where it has the possibility to connect to the transactional value and build a virtuous value stream for all concerned.

After all, what is security really? It's a core value that drives behavior to make certain choices that will deliver that sense of security. Doesn't a transparent and clarified “virtuous value stream” generate security?

Who owns the wisdom of crowds? This is an open discussion that I hope will lead to some enlightening dialogue. There are so many issues tied to this.

7 March 2006

International Women's Day - March 8th

March 8th is International Women's Day. It was established in 1977 by the United Nations, for the purpose of celebrating the progress made to advancing equality for women and assessing the challenges that still remain. During the many celebrations around the world, we have the opportunity to decide on how to further the reality of equality for women - in all our diversity.

Celebrate what we have reached, and come up with innovative ideas for the challenges that still face us.

4 March 2006

Useful Distinctions in Social Software

Dion Hinchcliffe has a very informative blog on Web 2.0. His latest posting on Useful Distinctions in Social Software breaks social software into categories of use and application.

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite reads because he consolidates ideas, trends, research and current application into realistic postings that help us see what's going on in social media.

This time he shows us how we are using social software for social interaction.

Read his blog!

2 March 2006

What Is Gaming?

Yesterday, several of us got together at Pentascope in Amsterdam to explore what gaming means to us. Matthijs van Zutphen from Crossing Signals had organized the afternoon as birthday present to himself, and had invited 9 very different people from different fields and a range of ages and expertise to discuss the concept of gaming.

Juriaan van Rijswijk was the only person there who has any realtime experience with gaming as a fulltime business. He's consultant - Game Entertainment Europe, and he's got game - WZZRD Game Cafes. At any given moment in time there are a minimum of 2.8 million gamers in play on Lineage, the top online game site worldwide. They need Internet access with serious speed and no glitches. One second slip and they've lost.

Complete social communities come alive through these gaming platforms - life imitates art and vice versa. People find one another and pool their talents together to compete and play.

Gaming is shaping the internet service infrastructure choices. Questions like what gives us the fastest connection - Digital subscriber lines or fiber optic? What formats and channels provide the best access for that little device most used for gaming, the mobile phone?

By the end of this sessionm, we were wiser and have decided to see what value we can create by pooling some of our talents together to play with ideas for new applications that engage people through games. Stay posted.