Chaos, control and balance – much work still to do
During the last two days, two bloggers I respect have posted on the overwhelming nature of social tools.
First Scoble (California, US) …
… begged me to join Facebook. I still haven’t, cause I need fewer things in my life, not more. Twitter dramatically took down my productivity (I’ve been spending less time there trying to get things done) and until I have no emails in my inbox I can’t join new things. But I can stand back and admit my awe of what they’ve done in the marketplace.
Then Laurent (Geneva, Switzerland) reflecting on the nature of social networks, and their usefulness.
… users should not be left to themselves, but be forced to respect by a set of rules. Control is in their interest again
Somebody who has carved violins all his life should have more editing power than me on Wikipedia’s Stradivarius page.
Finally today, I saw this piece on the overwhelming changes in information quantity, that I posted on earlier.
This presentation is full of those kinds of stats that drive home not just the amount of information, and change, but the rapid increase in the pace of change that we are experiencing.
Presentation on Slideshare – ShiftHappens.
Which brings me to my day, today … we were discussing groups, forums, communities, and their role in a web application.
At one extreme you can have an open architecture and framework that allows users to set the tone, direction, and content of their group, or people just join and aren’t sure what to do, now that they are members. FaceBook networks suffer this dilemma, as does Linkedin. At the other end, there would be a highly moderated, and controlled forum.
The reality is that most people lurk or search for what they need, and move on, rather than actively post, so tools must support that perfectly normal behaviour. Refer the 1% rule, and the Dunbar number.
Somewhere in between there is room to provide direction, context and relevance so that those who come know what to expect, and can more easily pick the areas that matter. Some selection process becomes essential when presented much information. Referring to ShiftHappens above –
… a weeks worth of the New York Times contains more information than an entire lifetime in the 18th Century
Its just not possible to absorb everything. Methods and support are required. Fortunately some of the building blocks exist, RSS, Permalinks, XML.
Relevance to Bankwatch:
Banks are ideally suited to development of communities of interest that clients and prospects alike could use to learn, interact, and follow. But it will require getting out of the old product centric mindset.