Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Path a way from Linked In

I am a great advocate of Social Media and its power to unleash what I refer to as Social Knowledge. I am also constantly reminded of how you can count on its emergent properties to evolve ever new, rapid and exciting developments, even if it road there can be a bit bumpy sometimes. A fantastic example of that has come to my attention just today with the news of a new service called Path a service that sounds like it might go some way to overcoming the limitations of some of the SM tools that have grown out of their usefulness for some specific purposes.

I also thought Linked In would be as good. I loved it at first, thinking that the way people to open their key networks up for sharing seemed a superb tool. Technology was underpinning and expanding a well used tried and tested idea of personal recommendation. Personal recommendation works on the basis of trust tagging – that is to say if you trust the person that is making the recommendation a bit of that trust is handed on to the person they are recommending. There is judgement there is a knowledge activity involved.

Great ideas. But for me Linked In was scuppered as a knowledge tools when it became apparent that some felt that a public demonstration of huge numbers of links was a metric of success thereby launching a to my mind ridiculous expansion where people linked to pretty much anyone they met meaning that their ability to judge trust and tag was useless. Similarly the mutual recommendation became viral and so, from a knowledge perspective, in the way I imagined it to be used, Linked In became useless. A number of SM tools have gone this way where their success means that there is too much noise for them to be useful in the way I originally envisioned them. However must I confess that meeting the highly insightful Adam Gordon of Winning Work really was an eye opener where he demonstrated tremendous knowledge value from Linked in – but in a quiet different application of the tool from the way ion which I had originally welcomed it.

But for my original wants it remained useless and I argues that Linked In needed to introduce a new service that reflected Dunbar's Numbers and allowed you to express a real trusted core of links that was constrained and validated.

As is the way with Social Media – wait a little while and something comes along and Path it is. Sounds brilliant, not least because it is based on Dunbar’s thinking. Only problem is it requires an iphone, something I don’t have or want. Ah well wait a while and an Android equivalent will come along – it’s just the way of things! You can read more about it here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lets unleash the power of market forces

It is so entertaining to hear that banks are in “secret talks” about reigning in bonuses from £7bn to £4bn amid concerns that any precipitate action might drive “star performers overseas” as if this is some kind of crisis and that we should be concerned about it. The usual media campaign to try to convince us the City is somehow populated by “special” people.

I say – Let em go! There are plenty more to replace them!

If the financial crisis that befell us a couple of years ago taught us anything at all it taught us that this cosy club of financial “star performers” are not quite as stellar as they think. For those of us who have had the dubious pleasure of mixing with these types it rapidly becomes obvious that, far from being special or particularly gifted, they are in fact a bunch of lucky Joes who by chance, privileged, happenstance, greed (select as appropriate, multiple selection permitted) who found themselves in the fortunate position to enter into their self delusion because it is financially beneficial for to them to do so. Eventually they do actually start believing their own publicity and the emperor changes clothes regularly.

I have always felt that whilst Gorden Geko got most of the best lines in Wall Street the absolute cracker was that of Carl Fox – as played by Martin Sheen when he said “What you see is a guy who never measured a man's success by the size of his wallet!” a guide to life we should all adopt.

In much the same way the Beeb needs to happily wave bye bye to presenters with high opinions of themselves and exaggerated salary demands because the actual truth is they ain’t that special and frankly there are plenty of people queuing up to do the same thing for a lot less.

So to these advocates of the free market and market forces generally I say this – Go! Move along. I am confident that plenty of others will fill your space thereby flooding the market with so called “star performers” and, by your own logic, this will drive down the price you can command. In the words of software geeks let the banks “eat their own dog food.”

Think of it, lines of fund managers lining up at the bank gates to be picked for day work every morning, having boot polished their frayed cuffs to look presentable. Now there is a thought.