Intro to Networked Collaboration

Comments on Long-tail and Cluetrain

I really enjoyed reading these again.

Long-tail is really an inspiration, and I am working with publishers and other content people to help them understand the concepts and figure out how to use Google Book Search, or Live Book Search and semantic tagging to reach that untapped market that is doing searches for obscure topics online. I know from my publishing days that the back-list carries the House and getting just another one of those almost out of print and completely amortized books sold can really stack up new revenues with like 80% margin!

It is also a big hope of mine that lots of Americans will learn how to tap into the long-tail to develop their own quirky niche product businesses to free themselves from ‘dependency’ on corporate jobs.  I love that, we used to be ‘dependent’ on the welfare state or some such, but now we need to fix our dependency on corporate jobs which is really unhealthy for family life and lots of other life related factors! We really have to get over that as a nation, and take back capitalism for the citizens!

Web, search and the long-tail really eliminate the reasons for growth of corporations in the first place. Distribution networks, supply chains, vertical and horizontal integration, capital risk, etc etc.  Now, we can find each other, source components, work collaboratively and virtually with no overheads, ship our stuff around without needing a big company behind us to buy a lot of capital intensive stuff.  Use the LLC or the LLP, or the cooperative legal forms for ourselves.  We can truly capitalize on our ideas, Intellectual Property, talent for discovering and meeting unmet needs, marketing, etc. to make little businesses for ourselves and the ones we love (or love to work with!). YEAH! This cuts into the stuff Cluetrain covers on de-skilling. I am all for ‘re-skilling’ and getting the value-add pay-off back to the producer, creator and innovator, not the financial engineer who has frankly blown it (but he had a good century plus run)!

Cluetrain was one of our inspirations at work back in like 2000!  I always enjoyed it and looked forward to the day when it is real.  I knew back then that eventually businesses would become like publishers and start to give lots of content to their customers and also eventually network people together to simulate what happens at conferences, and change the way selling and service happens. This is a real way to facilitate a market place.

My favorite part are references to ‘convivial communities’ or ‘knowledge ecologies’ and how we can get collaborative technologies to facilitate those. That is what I am waiting for and want to be a part of. This kind of thing is already transforming new product development and innovation with great results for smart companies.

I totally like Cluetrain, although some of the historic references like to industrial revolution, or the whole history of spice trades, caravans, etc to be a bit simplistic and not very well informed.

There were dozens of models of ‘horseless carriages’ before the Model T ever came on the market.  By then, Ford knew that three wheeled cars with rudders steering them from the back were not going to work, or that stainless steel was not the right material to use, or that windscreens were needed to keep mud off the passengers. A whole lot was figured out by the time Ford made is four wheel, four door with steering on the left hand side, windshield in the front, etc.  The big point was it was cheap, so if wasn’t differentiated because they were moving up the curve to later adopters. The early adopters had played around with these cars for years, and it was the crossing the chasm part that Ford got right. Those principles still hold true today in software or any other technology product.

The references to Marx are just too glib. Marx was way before Taylor and Ford, and the ‘distrust’ between workers and managment was already a big deal way back in Victorian times. Charles Dickens stories and the lives of the kids in David Copperfield, debtors prisons, orphanages, work houses, etc are a great illustration of this. Those conflicts were way in place already in Europe when Marx wrote his books.  There were already dehumanising and debilitating fabrics mills in France, England, Holland when the Pilgrims came here in the early 1600s. My ancestors were weaving linen in workshops already in France and Germany by the late 1500s.  Marx wrote to respond to those conflicts which had spread all around Europe in lots more industries by 1800s when he wrote.  Taylor and Ford came way later in the US in the 20th Century.

But, it is certainly true that today, we have a lot more tools and capabilities for differentiation and mass customization, and opportunities for us to be more productive and satisfied, and engaged in meaningful creative work with the rewards accruing directly to us.  That is the promise of the future for us. Long-tail and search, and maybe some of the collaborative networking stuff emerging will help us realize that promise. Can’t wait.

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


I know this goes back…but I did not really expirement with Twitter much…but it just hit me…it reminds me of Facebook’s “what are you doing?”

The end.

October 28, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment


This is the second time this has happened where I write a post and press publish and voila, nothing appears on the blog and everything is lost.  Really boring!

Anyway, Kelley and I did our Skype meeting. It was pretty tedious getting started cause Kelley’s invitation was somehow blocked on my acct. I tried and tried to look her up etc etc and it said she didn’t exist. She did exist, she had just been blocked. So, the message was not quite accurate. That is a long story, but eventually I figured it out.

We talked about Rhizome and also about the need to check multiple networks to hear from everyone. We also tried Twiddla whiteboard. I would like to learn how to upload docs. I admire and was envious of Berry and Erin’s screen shots, and all the stuff they did on Skype, but I know my learning style and know I would never be able to figure that out in the privacy of my own home!

Anyway, the video is fun. I like watching people’s facial expressions and it opens up all kinds of new threads for conversations that don’t happen on the phone. In business though, I would rather have the privacy of the phone since I often pull faces and make gestures etc etc when people are talking to slow or saying silly or mean things. Anyway, more later. Wrote a lot this afternoon, but can’t repeat it now.

October 27, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


I did a video skype meeting with Stacey.  It was fun. We had some initial trouble getting Skype to work, but then it was all smooth from there.  We also had a little delay being on the same page due to time zones (6 hour difference), but from my perspective, that’s no different from using the telephone.  We showed each other our physical environment, discussed the school, & all these new social processes, talked about some of the readings, the future of these processes.  I learned about the “capture screen” function on my computer. We discussed the level of self-consciousness that the process engenders–it’s like having a conversation with someone in the physical, but watching yourself in a mirror at the same time.  

We also discussed the concept of privacy and how it relates to these kinds of communicating.  Another friend of mine later pointed out  that, similar to what Rheingold pointed out in the early readings, these technologies are being driven by a teenage population, who feel secure exchanging information with strangers from a physical environment that they really don’t control (their parent’s house), and finding control in their “independence”  in these social networking environments.

I enjoyed the video chatting process and will do it again.  The hardest part is convincing  your friends to download skype!  Using Skype is more like using the telephone, whereas Seesmic operates more like email, which is nonintrusive and and a message can be left and received at any given time in the future.  Skype is also a pure joy, because, here is something social you can do across the seas for free!  Not many technologies can boast that!  

October 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Skype – Erin & Berry

Berry and I had a great Skype session this afternoon. I’ve inserted some screen shots above (they should enlarge and maybe even be readable if you click them!) Berry had made an agenda for us using Google Docs, which you can see on the left hand side of the first screen shot. I’ll touch on a few things that we talked about and Berry may want to mention some more.

We began by sharing a little about ourselves and then moved into a discussion of various online networking sites. We weighed the merits of Myspace and Facebook and agreed that Facebook is much more functional/user-friendly. We discussed Twitter and Delicious, and Berry shared an article about the U.S. government’s concern that Twitter could be used as a means for terrorists to communicate (see screen shot #2 with the article on the left hand side of the screen), which is somewhat alarming… does the government want to monitor things like Twitter?! Big Brother and 1984, here we come. I had been particularly interested in the reading “A Travel Guide to Collaboration” (Alice Dragoon) because it addresses a lot of issues that I’m dealing with at one of my jobs. (I work at a large company that is in the process of merging with another large company, and many of the two companies’ electronic files are incompatible. As much as we would like to collaborate and share resources, we are often stymied because of the sheer technological difficulties.) I shared a link to Exostar, a third party provider that offers neutral workspaces for companies that want to collaborate (mentioned in Dragoon’s article). See screen shot #3. Berry shared a link to a similar collaboration site called Basecamp (screen shot #4).

A great conversation! Thanks, Berry!

October 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments


One startling thing about the skype conference with Stephanie was the immediate feeling of the energy flow. How a simple thought would create another; questions that ask for real time / immediate answer would provoke more questions, thoughts, ideas. Being forced to be spontaneous can be pretty energyzing (my experience).

I’m re-reading the Oosterhuis: Hyperbodies text, and I’m surprised how often I find REAL TIME mentioned there. Organization of input into the data base, seeing as action in real time; a building that wants to be experienced real time, like a constant flow of constantly changing information, a sensorial being that cannot be analyzed through a static picture …

I think (and we talked about this in the skype conference) that the ‘newer’ social networking software tools, like twitter or facebook, ask for real time use (like text on the phone – you can’t write back 2 days later), whereas blogging, almost an old-fashioned tool now, is slowing down, or delaying a communication process that has the appearance of being immediate.

I’m often getting excited about class readings (like those on The Participatory Challenge by Trebor Scholz, or the Muggles) – but I realize that blogging – posting AND commenting – doesn’t create the same excitement and exchange that I had in the conference when we discussed the texts. And I love to blog.

I’m trying to find a way that creates the most possible immediacy, and I have fun experimenting with the new tools that we’re tought right now (even if I’m slow using them, personally). It’s like a playground …

October 25, 2008 Posted by | communication process, Skype | Leave a comment


So Andrea and I did the whole skype thing the other night. I for one am still REALLY not into the whole talking via video. I never know what to say. Then again I am not really one for talking a lot ither so I sometimes ponder why I even own a cell phone. HA.

So anyways…we did the whole skype chat and talked about some of the readings the ones we liked the things we liked about it and what knot. The whole expirence was still really weird to me. Again not really one for talking a lot.

After trying to figure out why I could not see Andrea she had discovered the problem was that her photobooth on her mac was open and it was using the camera.

There is something about video chatting that makes me feel weird. I dont know if it is because I feel awkard doing it when my roommates are around, or that there is no privicy unless you put headphones on, but the whole thing is REALLY weird.

On the plus side we had both found out that we have this intrest for art and photogrpahy which was really cool…and I got to see her baby and hes REALLY cute.

But yes the whole thing was a bit weird only because I don’t like to video chat and I don’t like to talk.

October 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Rohit and I discussed politics in a networked world, particularly touching on the effects or influences it has had on most recent elections. We also discussed the ‘texting tribe’ and the generational & cultural gaps developing through the enlargening of the ’smart mob’; such as the changing definitions of common courtesy based on these new technologies that keep us connected at all times.

It was very interesting to me to discuss politics in the US considering I live in Norway now… and of course that led to a discussion of how amazing it is that we now have this ability to see one another in real time and talk for free across the world. I look forward to our discussion on Sunday! And I have posted two pictures on Flicker of our conversation… it’s funny cause you can see that I was on facebook at the same time! :o)

October 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Reading: The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

This was an interesting and thought-provoking read. It truly makes you aware of the new power that the consumer has to access movies, songs and entertainment that was not so easily accessible to us before. The way Amazon recommends items similar to what you chose certainly is revolutionary – from the consumer’s perspective as well as from a marketing perspective.

While in the past, we watched blockbuster movies that made the cut with critics and the box office because that was all we were exposed to, we can now look for remote directors in different parts of the world, not just Hollywood. A few weeks ago, I rented the entire Wonder Woman series starring Lynda Carter from Netflix. I watched it when I was very young and wanted to watch it again and typed it in thinking I woudn’t find it but there it was.

In music technology, the revolutionary Pandora is my mainstay. For those that don’t use it, go to It’s called the music genome project. You can log on and create your own radio channel by typing in a song you like. Pandora then chooses a range of songs and artists to go with that genre and starts streaming it for you. So while you are listening to songs you like and know, you’re also listening to songs you are likely to love because they are similar to what you like already. If you like the song, you can click on it for more information and even buy it. I have created 4 different channels so I can click on each one according to the mood I’m in and it just plays. You can also download Pandora to your i-Phone.

October 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Smell the Future?

I came across an article in Adbusters Magazine that stated the Got Milk Campaign sponsored adds at bus stops in San Fransisco that released the smell of chocolate chip cookies to attract people’s attention. I guess they also had aroma adds for the film Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.

Has anyone seen these?

This got me to thinking about ways in which smell could be incorporated with technology communications. I always imagine when I was younger that I’d live in a time where someone could share smells through a television or computer (good aromas- like the sweet smell of cactus in  Arizona when it rains, or a bomb cheeseburger!). Although this was childhood daydreaming, it is interesting to see what is successfully being done to incorporate increased involvement of human-senses that have been left behind during this technological surge.

I experienced my first “4D” encounter in California Adventures, the amusement park. On one ride they had things move against the seat to simulate critters scattering about in the 3D film. Also, there was a ride where people were suspended in front of a large video screen and California landscapes passed by. When fluttering over the orange orchards they released the smell of citrus on the ride.

It was especially interesting to me to hear about these adds that were using smell to project their product to massive groups. Challenging ways to relay information to large groups through communication.

Anyone hear of other ways touch, hearing, or smell have been used either in mass com or technological projects/gadgets?

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 1 Comment