Two recent postings from Jon Udell in InfoWorld, the first attracting warm praise from Judith Meskill ...
The Social Enterprise:
We are social animals for whom networked software is creating a new kind of habitat. Social software can be defined as whatever supports our actual human interaction as we colonize the virtual realm. The category includes familiar things such as groupware and knowledge management, and extends to the new breed of relationship power tools that have brought the venture capitalists out of hibernation. Computer-mediated communication is the lifeblood of social software. When we use e-mail, instant messaging, Weblogs, and wikis, we’re potentially free to interact with anyone, anywhere, anytime. But there’s a trade off. Our social protocols map poorly to TCP/IP. Whether the goal is to help individuals create and share knowledge or to enrich the relationship networks that support sales, collaboration, and recruiting, the various kinds of enterprise social software aim to restore some of the context that’s lost when we move our interaction into the virtual realm. In networked environments, everything we do can be monitored. Absent the natural cues that establish social context — it’s hard to see groups form at the water cooler or hear voices in the hallway through e-mail or IM — social software systems ask us to strike a bargain. If individuals agree to work transparently, they (and their employers) can know more, do more, and sell more. ...
Building group memory and team awareness has always been the goal of KM (knowledge management), of course. “But most people,” Nuzum says, “have never had the benefit of mechanized institutional memory.” One reason for this limitation is that KM systems have tended to ask people to dump knowledge into databases without regard for social incentives, habits, or consequences. These are central concerns for social software in all its various forms. Think about how people behave in a face-to-face meeting. Now consider this report from Ethan Schoonover, Asian e-business director at Lowe + Draft, about his use of Groove workspaces to manage meetings online. “It’s not enough to know that 100 other anonymous intranet users are logged in,” he says. “I want to know who is present in the space, who is online but lingering outside the space, able to be called in by ‘hollering into the hallway,’ who is sending nonverbal cues by rummaging through papers.” ...
Can transparency and privacy coexist? Tacit’s Gilmour argues by analogy that they can. We have a reasonable expectation that our phones aren’t bugged, he says. If our voice mailboxes fill up and we become unresponsive, though, that becomes an issue that will be noticed and dealt with. The enterprise has a legitimate interest in finding bottlenecks. “Privacy privileges are constructive when applied to who-knows-what and who-knows-whom,” he says. “But we don’t think you’re entitled to privacy about whether you’re available for interaction.” Are we entering a brave new world or is cyberspace catching up to the way things work in meatspace? The answer to both questions is yes.
Judith Meskill adds links to three other interesting articles/postings about privacy, transparency and trust:
Privacy in the age of transparency | CNET News.com
Transparency & Trust Bloom Great Ideas | Fast Company Now
Trust, Technology and Privacy | University of Aberdeen
To these can now be added this by Ross Mayfield: Noise Society or Network Society? (Many2Many)
Jon Udell's other recent posting which caught my eye is this one, which begins:
Something wonderful died with Napster: the collaborative discovery and sharing of a wide diversity of music. Lucas Gonze is on a crusade to bring that experience back, legally. On his site, webjay.org, users share playlists — i.e., lists of URLs that point to MP3s that are posted on artists' websites, or that are otherwise authorized for distribution on the Web.