Network

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Networks, networks, networks. It's a hot topic. And it's so natural. It's so biological. And we're starting to get the habit of it. The world is getting smaller. The world is flat. Crowdsourcing, folksonomies, social networks, community ownership, Google, the web, The Network Is The Computer™…

The Big Network Picture—a summary:

  • It started in Information and Communication Technology, with Peter Deutsch's Eight Fallacies of Distributed Computing.
  • The distribution of power, open communication, radical transparency and community-owned endeavors into uncharted territory, calling out for a A New Logic.
  • One's waste is another's food in Living Networks—live it and base your services and products on this natural law.
  • Information Brokers keep turn information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom.
  • Central Connectors care about who they know while Peripheral Specialists care about what they know—mix them to catalyze unprecedented growth.
  • Create a web of webs by spotting and nurturing Boundary Spanners.
  • Pamper your network beyond the Tipping Point since significance precedes momentum.
  • Accept and become familiar with the Network Power Law—those that have shall get.
  • All this creates a new Augmented Social Fabric where relationships and reputation become the new monetary units.
  • Dreaming of Armillaria—a fully distristributed social reputation system, illustrated by the Wizard Rabbit Treasurer for care-free reputation-based distributed massive data storage.


Wired just posted A Brief History of the Superorganism, Part One—on how a population of creatures can be viewed as a high-level organism unto itself rather than a collection of disparate individuals.

Six Varieties of Knowledge Networks

From Karen Stephenson's Quantum Theory of Trust.

  1. The Work Network—With whom do you exchange information as part of your daily work?. The resting pulse of a culture.
  2. The Social Network—With whom do you "check in", inside and oustide the office, to find out what's going on? Acts as an indicator of trust within a culture.
  3. The Innovation Network—With whom do you colaborate or kick around new ideas? Guilelessness and childlike wondermetn. Open dialog about perceptions, ideas and experiments. May clash with keepers of corporate lore and expertise, dismissing them as relics.
  4. The Expert Knowledge Network—To whom do you turn for expertise or advice? Core networks with key members holding critical and established, yet tacit, knowledge of the enterprise. Often threatened by innovation; they're likely to clash with innovators and think of them as 'undisciplined'.
  5. The Career Guidance or Strategic Network—Whom do you go to for advice about the future? Indication of a high level of trust here. This network often directly influences corporate strategy, descisions about careers and strategic moves.
  6. The Learning Network—Whom do you work woth to improve existing processes or methods? Key people in this network act as bridges between hubs in the expert and innovation networks, translating between the old guard and the new. May clash with the expert knowledge network when trying to elicit tacit knowledge and transforming it into explicit knowledge since some may have adopted the "knowledge is power" attitude.
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