social software

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pages: 244 words: 76,192

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy


Albert Einstein, business process, complexity theory, Iridium satellite, Long Term Capital Management, NetJets, shareholder value, six sigma, social software, Socratic dialogue, supply-chain management

The key word here is “seems,” because, in fact, leaders create a culture of indecisiveness, and leaders can break it. The primary instrument at their disposal is the social software of the organization. Like a computer, a corporation has both hardware and software. We call the software of the corporation “social software” because any organization of two or more human beings is a social system. The hardware includes such things as organizational structure, design of rewards, compensation and sanctions, design of financial reports and their flow. Communication systems are part of the hardware. So is a hierarchical distribution of power, where such things as assignment of tasks and budget-level approvals are visible, hardwired, and formal. The social software includes the values, beliefs, and norms of behavior, along with everything else that isn’t hardware.

They don’t take the important step of helping people to master the new required behaviors. They don’t coach. They don’t teach people to break a major concept down into smaller critical tasks that can be executed in the short term, which is difficult for some people. They don’t conduct the dialogues that surface realities, teach people how to think, or bring issues to closure. The missing part of the equation lies in what we call the social software of execution. THE SOCIAL SOFTWARE OF EXECUTION RAM: How many meetings have you attended where everyone seemed to agree at the end about what actions would be taken but nothing much actually happened as a result? These are the meetings where there’s no robust debate and therefore nobody states their misgivings. Instead, they simply let the project they didn’t like die a quiet death over time. In my career as an adviser to large organizations and their leaders, I have witnessed many occasions even at the highest levels when silent lies and a lack of closure lead to false decisions.

Let’s listen to everybody and then make our choice,” you’ll get much better responses. LEADERS GET THE BEHAVIOR THEY EXHIBIT AND TOLERATE Once you understand social software, it becomes plain that no leader who’s disengaged from the daily life of the business can possibly change or sustain its culture. As Dick Brown puts it, “The culture of a company is the behavior of its leaders. Leaders get the behavior they exhibit and tolerate. You change the culture of a company by changing the behavior of its leaders. You measure the change in culture by measuring the change in the personal behavior of its leaders and the performance of the business.” To build an execution organization, the leader has to be present to create and reinforce the social software with the desired behaviors and the robust dialogue. She has to practice them and drill them relentlessly in the social operating mechanisms.


pages: 292 words: 81,699

More Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky


barriers to entry, Black Swan, Build a better mousetrap, business process, call centre, Danny Hillis, failed state, Firefox, George Gilder, low cost carrier, Mars Rover, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, place-making, price discrimination, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Oldenburg, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, The Great Good Place, type inference, unpaid internship, wage slave, web application, Y Combinator

But it’s not as popular in some circles as this awkward system where you break your thumbs typing huge strings of numbers just to say “Damn you’re hot,” because that string of numbers gets you a date, and you would never have the guts to say “Damn you’re hot” using your larynx. Another social software success is eBay. When I first heard about eBay, I said, “Nonsense! That will never work. Nobody’s going to send money to some random person they encountered on the Internet in hopes that person will, out of the goodness of their hearts, actually ship them some merchandise.” A lot of people thought this. We were all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. eBay made a big bet on the cultural anthropology of human beings and won. The great thing about eBay is that it was a huge success precisely because it seemed like a terrible idea at the time, and so nobody else tried it, until eBay locked in the network effects and first-mover advantage. In addition to absolute success and failures in social software, there are also social software side effects. The way social software behaves determines a huge amount about the type of community that develops.

(By the way, the political bloggers, newcomers to the Internet, have reinvented this technique, thinking they were discovering something fun and new, and called it fisking, for reasons I won’t go into. Don’t worry, it’s not dirty.) Even though human beings had been debating for centuries, a tiny feature of a software product produced a whole new style of debating. Small changes in software can make big differences in the way that software supports, or fails to support, its social goals. Danah Boyd has a great critique of social software networks, “Autistic Social Software” (, blasting the current generation of this software for forcing people to behave autistically: Consider, for a moment, the recent surge of interest in articulated social networks such as Friendster, Tribe, LinkedIn, Orkut, and the like. These technologies attempt to formalize how people should construct and manage their relationships.

Do we really want a social life that encourages autistic interactions? When software implements social interfaces while disregarding cultural anthropology, it’s creepy and awkward and doesn’t really work. 108 More from Joel on Software Designing social software L et me give you an example of social interface design. Suppose your user does something they shouldn’t have done. Good usability design says that you should tell them what they did wrong and tell them how to correct it. Usability consultants are marketing this under the brand name “Defensive Design.” When you’re working on social software, this is too naive. Maybe the thing that they did wrong was to post an advertisement for Viagra on a discussion group. Now you tell them, “Sorry, Viagra is not a suitable topic. Your post has been rejected.” Guess what they’ll do?


pages: 678 words: 216,204

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler


affirmative action, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, clean water, dark matter, desegregation, East Village, fear of failure, Firefox, game design, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, market bubble, market clearing, Marshall McLuhan, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, random walk, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software patent, spectrum auction, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs

Keeping the comments there is, however, useful to the group--as a source of experience about the individual or part of the group's collective memory about mistakes made in the past that should not be repeated by someone else. Again, the needs of the group as a group often differ from those of the individual participant. Thinking of the platform as social software entails designing it with characteristics [pg 374] that have a certain social-science or psychological model of the interactions of a group, and building the platform's affordances in order to enhance the survivability and efficacy of the group, even if it sometimes comes at the expense of the individual user's ease of use or comfort. 662 This emergence of social software--like blogs with opportunities to comment, Wikis, as well as social-norm-mediated Listservs or uses of the "cc" line in e-mail--underscores the nondeterministic nature of the claim about the relationship between the Internet and social relations.

Index A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A AT&T, 346, 348-351 Abilene, Texas, 717 Access, 11, 35, 281, 295, 296, 298, 355, 366, 434, 463, 559, 609, 702, 704, 705 broadband services, concentration of, 434-435 cable providers, regulation of, 704-708, 705-708 human development and justice, 11-13, 35-38 influence exaction, 295-296, 298-300 large-audience programming, 355, 366-375, 463-464 limited by mass media, 355-358 systematically blocked by policy routers, 281-284, 296, 355-358, 702 to medicine, 609-623 to raw data, 559-560 Accreditation, 34, 135, 151-161, 152, 153, 154, 155, 204, 297, 314-322, 317, 337, 338, 355, 358, 359, 397, 423, 429 Amazon, 152-153 Google, 153 Open Directory Project (ODP), 154 Slashdot, 155-161, 204-205 as distributed system, 317-318 as public good, 34 capacity for, by mass media, 358 concentration of mass-media power, 297, 397-402, 423-424, 429-436 of mass media owners, 355 power of mass media owners, 359-365, 397-402 Ackerman, Bruce, 338, 508, 545-548 Active vs. passive consumers, 249-250, 262-263 Ad hoc mesh networks, 179 Adamic, Lada, 443, 446-447, 461 Adams, Scott, 265 Advertiser-supported media, 348-351, 355, 358-365, 364, 366, 464 denominator programming, 355, 366-375 lowest-common-denominator programming, 464 reflection of consumer preference, 364 Aggregate effect of individual action, 18 Agnostic giving, 170 Agricultural innovation, commons-based, 586-608 Albert, Reka, 443, 446, 451 Alertness, undermined by commercialism, 355, 366-375 Alienation, 637-639 Allocating excess capacity, 166-181, 221-224, 297, 620-622 Alstott, Anne, 545 Altruism, 169-170 Amazon, 152-153 Anticircumvention provisions, DMCA, 730-734 Antidevice provisions, DMCA, 731 Antidilutation Act of 1995, 522, 671, 784-786 Appropriation strategies, 101-103, 580-581 Arbitrage, domain names, 757 Archiving of scientific publications, 580-581 Arrow, Kenneth, 79, 186 Asymmetric commons, 121-122 Atrios (blogger Duncan Black), 470 Attention fragmentation, 41, 421, 430-431, 459-460, 818-819 Authoring of scientific publications, 578-580 Authoritarian control, 426, 473 working around, 473-480 Autonomy, 26-29, 51-56, 203, 258-322, 269, 278, 279, 309, 506, 815-819 culture and, 506-508 formal conception of, 269-272 independence of Web sites, 203 information environment, structure of, 278, 279-303 mass media and, 309-310 B B92 radio, 475 BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), 345 BIOS initiative, 606-608 Babel objection, 31, 34, 314-323, 419, 424, 429-436, 818-819 Backbone Web sites, 448-450 Background knowledge, 543 see culture bad luck, justice and, 543-545 Bagdikian, Ben, 367 Baker, Edwin, 310, 364 Balkin, Jack, 40, 459, 498, 513, 527, 529 Barabasi, Albert-László, 443-444, 446, 451 Barbie (doll), culture of, 500, 516-520 Barlow, John Perry, 94 Beebe, Jack, 371 Behavior, 21, 183, 223, 286, 316, 659 enforced with social software, 659-663 motivation to produce, 21-23, 183-194, 223-224 number and variety of options, 286-288, 316 Benabou, Ronald, 187 Benefit maximization, 89 Beniger, James, 343 Bennett, James Gorden, 343 Berlusconi effect, 361, 365, 397-402 BioForge, 607 BioMed Central, 579 Bioinfomatics, 621 Biomedical research, commons-based, 609-623 Biotechnology, 590-597 Blocked access, 281, 295, 296, 298, 316, 355, 366, 426, 464, 473, 702 authoritarian control, 426, 473-480 autonomy and, 281-288, 316-317 influence exaction, 295-296, 298-299 large-audience programming, 355, 366, 464 mass media and, 355-358 policy routers, 281-284, 296, 355-358, 702 Blogs, 388-391, 396, 454, 470, 659 Sinclair Broadcasting case study, 396-402 as social software, 659-663 small-worlds effects, 454 watchdog functionality, 470 Blood donation, 186 Boradband networks, 62 Bow tie structure of Web, 448-450 Bower, Chris, 398 Boycott of Sinclair Broadcasting, 396-402 site, 398-399, 402 Boyd, Dana, 653 Boyle, James, 63, 732, 783 Branding, 522, 754, 782 domain names and, 754-758 trademark dilutation, 522, 782-786 Bridging social relationships, 653 Bristol, Virginia, 716-717 Broadband networks, 290, 434, 704, 709, 715 cable as commons, 704-708 concentration in access services, 434-435 market structure of, 290 municipal initiatives, 715-717 open wireless networks, 709-714 regulation of, 704-708 Broadcast flag regulation, 722 Broadcasting, radio.

Using Networked Communication to Work Around Authoritarian Control Toward a Networked Public Sphere Chapter 8 - Cultural Freedom: A Culture Both Plastic and Critical Cultural Freedom in Liberal Political Theory The Transparency of Internet Culture The Plasticity of Internet Culture: the Future of High-Production-Value Folk Culture A Participatory Culture: Toward Policy Chapter 9 - Justice and Development Liberal Theories of Justice and the Networked Information Economy Commons-Based Strategies for Human Welfare and Development Information-Embedded Goods and Tools, Information, and Knowledge Industrial Organization of Hdi-Related Information Industries Toward Adopting Commons-Based Strategies for Development Software Scientific Publication Commons-Based Research for Food and Medicines Food Security: Commons-Based Agricultural Innovation Access to Medicines: Commons-Based Strategies for Biomedical Research Commons-Based Strategies for Development: Conclusion Chapter 10 - Social Ties: Networking Together From "Virtual Communities" to Fear of Disintegration A More Positive Picture Emerges over Time Users Increase Their Connections with Preexisting Relations Networked Individuals The Internet As a Platform for Human Connection The Emergence of Social Software The Internet and Human Community Part Three - Policies of Freedom at a Moment of Transformation Introduction Chapter 11 - The Battle Over the Institutional Ecology of the Digital Environment Institutional Ecology and Path Dependence A Framework for Mapping the Institutional Ecology The Physical Layer Transport: Wires and Wireless Devices The Logical Layer The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 The Battle over Peer-to-Peer Networks The Domain Name System: From Public Trust to the Fetishism of Mnemonics The Browser Wars Free Software Software Patents The Content Layer Copyright Contractual Enclosure: Click-Wrap Licenses and the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) Trademark Dilution Database Protection Linking and Trespass to Chattels: New Forms of Information Exclusivity International "Harmonization" Countervailing Forces The Problem of Security Chapter 12 - Conclusion: The Stakes of Information Law and Policy Blurb Endnotes Index Copyright © 2006 Yochai Benkler.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend


1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, patent troll, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

Peering out from the cover of Forbes in 2011, CEO Peter Löscher of Siemens summed up the hopes of corporate leaders everywhere as he gushed at the prospect of supplying infrastructure for the cities of the developing world, “This is a huge, huge opportunity.”30 By the 1970s, the construction of urban expressways in the United States had ground to a halt, stopped by a grassroots rebellion that held very different views of the role of cars, how city planning should be conducted, and even the very nature of the city itself. The first signs of a similar backlash to corporate visions of smart cities are now coming to light, as a radically different vision of how we might design and build them bubbles up from the street. Unlike the mainframes of IBM’s heyday, computing is no longer solely in the hands of big companies and governments. The raw material and the means of producing the smart city—smartphones, social software, open-source hardware, and cheap bandwidth—are widely democratized and inexpensive. Combining and recombining them in endless variations is cheap, easy, and fun. All over the world, a motley assortment of activists, entrepreneurs, and civic hackers are tinkering their ways toward a different kind of utopia. They eschew efficiency, instead seeking to amplify and accelerate the natural sociability of city life.

A block north, the ghost of punk godfather Joey Ramone still haunts the tenth-floor apartment where he lived out the last days of his life. In the building that once housed the Electric Circus, the nightclub where the Velvet Underground held court in the late 1960s, now resides a chain Mexican joint. In 2003, across the street in the men’s room of the St. Mark’s Ale House, I had my first encounter with mobile social software. The wall space above urinals is essential meme circulation infrastructure for Manhattan’s downtown set. With a captive audience, promoters pile sticker upon sticker, which accumulate in a kind of postmodern sediment. On the underside of the toilet, a placement even more clever and impossible to ignore, a sticker reads “ . . . when NYC is your playground . . . now available on the wireless web!”

Conversely, the service helped pave the way for the app market by showing the wireless industry the huge demand for new software on mobiles. For nascent social networks, it highlighted how important and tricky location would be, but also proposed some creative solutions to the problems that cropped up, including the dreaded “ex-girlfriend problem” (which should be self-explanatory). Dodgeball showed how social software could be with us everywhere, and be fun without being annoying. Crowley himself is an archetype for smart-city hackers everywhere. Urban economists believe that cities thrive because they create opportunities for people to interact for commerce, learning, and entertainment. But it takes someone who intuitively understands cities to create a new way of doing that for the whole world to use.


pages: 313 words: 95,077

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky


Andrew Keen, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle,, crowdsourcing,, hiring and firing, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Kuiper Belt, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Merlin Mann, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, Picturephone, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, prediction markets, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Yogi Berra

Page 222: Howard Dean’s presidential campaign The Howard Dean campaign in 2003-2004 was the high-water mark of the use of the internet in national politics, and a number of us were watching it closely (and generally enthusiastically) during that time. Dean’s actual performance, once he faced real voters, was so catastrophic that understanding what had happened became a critical task. I wrote two essays on the electoral implosion of the Dean campaign in early 2004: “Is Social Software Bad for the Dean Campaign?” ( ) and “Exiting Deanspace,” a reference to a social tool used by the campaign ( ). Page 224: bonding and bridging social capital Robert D. Putnam followed up his 2000 book Bowling Alone with Better Together: Restoring the American Community, which he cowrote with Lewis Feldstein and Donald J.

—The Seattle Times “A terrific new book.” —Kansas City Star “Shirky . . . has a novel response to the question of quality control: we will have to move to a publish-then-filter model, the opposite of today’s ‘gatekeeper’ structure.” —Columbia Journalism Review “I don’t think you’ll find a smarter, more articulate writer on the topic of internet community than Clay Shirky. . . . If you’re developing social software of any kind, this book should be required reading.” —D: All Things Digital “Meat and potatoes anecdotes about communication tools.” — “Seriously, Clay Shirky’s new book is really good. (For once, no irony or snark: it’s just very well done.) Each time someone as insightful as Clay Shirky starts writing for the Web, the internet will get 1 percent better. Send 99 more Shirkys.”

All the technologies we see in the story of Ivanna’s phone, the phones and computers, the e-mail and instant messages, and the webpages, are manifestations of a more fundamental shift. We now have communications tools that are flexible enough to match our social capabilities, and we are witnessing the rise of new ways of coordinating action that take advantage of that change. These communications tools have been given many names, all variations on a theme: “social software,” “social media,” “social computing,” and so on. Though there are some distinctions between these labels, the core idea is the same: we are living in the middle of a remarkable increase in our ability to share, to cooperate with one another, and to take collective action, all outside the framework of traditional institutions and organizations. Though many of these social tools were first adopted by computer scientists and workers in high-tech industries, they have spread beyond academic and corporate settings.


pages: 25 words: 5,789

Data for the Public Good by Alex Howard


23andMe, Atul Gawande, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Hernando de Soto, Internet of things, Network effects, openstreetmap, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, social web, web application

His work there focused on how regulations affect IT operations, including issues of data protection, privacy, security and enterprise IT strategy. Before moving the focus of his coverage to cybersecurity, online privacy and compliance, Howard was the associate editor of, an online IT encyclopedia. In that role, he researched and wrote about nearly every aspect of enterprise IT, including the impact of social software on business and the media. In his spare time, he practiced writing about himself in the third person, with mixed results. Howard’s work experience also includes working in operations for an e-business consultancy, as a knowledge broker for a management consulting firm, as a middle school teacher, as a master home builder and, very briefly, as a garden manager at an outstanding Italian restaurant.


pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis


23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar

So though I do fret about the unread books on my shelves and the virgin New Yorker magazines on my desk—as well as a constant stock of unread tabs in my browser—I also know that I learn volumes online every day. Is what I do now better or worse? I’m not sure that judgment is meaningful. I learn differently, discuss differently, see differently, think differently. Thinking differently is the key product and skill of the Google age. It has been said that young people today may take on new behavioral norms and mores and political outlooks from games and social software—and I don’t mean sex and violence, but subtler worldviews. “Social software is political science in executable form,” NYU professor Clay Shirky said in one essay. “Social norms in game worlds have the effect of governance,” he said in another. Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig famously declared that code is law: “This code, or architecture, sets the terms on which life in cyberspace is experienced. It determines how easy it is to protect privacy, or how easy it is to censor speech.

They contribute out of generosity and ego and because they believe they own it. Note that to make the gift economy work, a project doesn’t need its entire community to contribute. Only about 1 percent of those who use Wikipedia create Wikipedia—that is Wikipedia’s 1 percent rule. Indeed, if that were doubled, it probably would create chaos. In Here Comes Everybody, NYU professor Clay Shirky, who studies social software, calculated the output of the authors of one article: “[O]f the 129 contributors on the subject of asphalt, a hundred of them contributed only one edit each, while the half-dozen most active editors contributed nearly fifty edits among them, almost a quarter of the total.” The most active contributor was 10 times more active than the least active. Wikipedia is not-for-profit. It has spawned a for-profit search service called Wikia, where users are creating even the algorithms that power it.


pages: 153 words: 52,175

Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload by Mark Hurst

Amazon:, Firefox, Google Earth, mail merge, pre–internet, profit motive, social software, software patent, web application

Only a minority of users will be very concerned about their privacy online. Most users would prefer to eliminate the frustrations and complexity of technology, even with a loss in privacy. Bit overload, not privacy, will be their primary concern. As bits increase, new kinds of tools will become more important. Information visualization software will promise to display large data sets for easy scanning, and “social software” like blogs and wikis will offer users new ways to collaborate online. A few instances of these tools will succeed, but many more will fail.51 Ultimately, though, tools will play only a supporting role. The pertinent question is whether individual users will commit to learning and practicing bit literacy. Bit literacy in offices, companies, governments Bit literacy will greatly affect the office.

(“Breaking the Myth of Megapixels,” the New York Times, February 8, 2007.) 49 “The phone of the future,” The Economist, December 2, 2006. 50 One organization that fights corporate abuse of copyright law is the EFF, or Electronic Frontier Foundation, at 51 In the December 3, 2006 New York Times Magazine article “Open Source Spying,” by Clive Thompson, NYU professor Clay Shirky put it best: “The normal case for social software is failure.” 52 The “paperless office” may also be within reach, at last, for some companies. As employees become more effective with bits, they will have less need to print out e-mails, documents, and other files. Paper will always be useful in some situations, but bit-literate users will avoid it when possible. 53 “Open Source Spying,” by Clive Thompson, the New York Times Magazine, December 3, 2006. 54 Popup text from Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac, version 11.0. 55 The SANS Internet Storm Center monitors the average "survival time" of a Windows PC at 56 The name was coined by Helen Moriarty, mother of my business partner Phil Terry, back in 1999. 57 Here's most of what we add: QuicKeys for one-touch access to applications and the team contacts file; Default Folder for one-touch folder access; Typinator or TypeIt4Me as the bit lever; TextWrangler as the text editor; AppleWorks as the word processor and wireframing tool; FileMaker for databases; Now Up-to-Date for the calendar; Firefox or Safari as the Web browser; a account for the todo list; Mailsmith for the e-mail program; Microsoft Office for compatibility to client files; and for really dedicated learners, the Dvorak keymap for the keyboard.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld


Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Continuous partial attention differs from multitasking in that the individual “wants to be a LIVE node in the network . . . [to] be busy, to be connected, to be alive, to be recognized, and to matter.”25 Recent developments in the Web coupled with the broadening of social networking encourage us to invert Stone’s coinage and move from attention to production. The growth of Web logs, or blogs, considered in tandem with Flickr, Digg, and other social softwares that enable posting and tagging accounts, creates an environment that I categorize as 34 STICK Y “continuous partial production.” As 99 percent of everything ever made is either purely for personal consumption, largely forgettable, or just plain junk, continuous partial production is not a huge problem. What does become problematic is when the new affordances make the old content untenable in the emerging environments.

Assessing these factors is always important, but it becomes even more so as the Web and networks evolve 79 CHAPTER 4 as social media, with vastly larger groups of people posting material and creating viable communities online. Accounting for Web n.0 as an ever-escalating series of developments and redevelopments, this chapter offers a series of linked impact reports on the culture machine’s electronic environments. Taxonomics No matter the name, systems theorists have characterized the emergent Web as displaying robust architectures of participation, having evolved into a truly social software, with a myriad of new ways to link people together. The characteristic usage of the Web in the 1990s was surfing from one static Web page to another. The contemporary Web offers a more dynamic experience in which the users themselves contribute to the environment. Wikis, blogs, and networking sites create affordances for an ever-expanding number of people to share their experiences, perceptions, and productions.


pages: 302 words: 73,581

Platform Scale: How an Emerging Business Model Helps Startups Build Large Empires With Minimum Investment by Sangeet Paul Choudary


3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, frictionless, game design, hive mind, Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social software, software as a service, software is eating the world, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, TaskRabbit, the payments system, too big to fail, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Wave and Pay

Machines embedded with sensors constantly stream activity data into a platform that helps each machine learn from other machines and provides network-wide intelligence. These machines benefit from implicit network effects, and every machine learns from the community of machines it is connected to. • Enterprise 2.0. Andrew McAfee highlights the rise of social software in the enterprise and how it’s replacing traditional enterprise systems. Enterprise-wide social software needs an underlying data platform to aggregate the many workflows and knowledge exchanges within an organization. The streaming and aggregation of data from multiple input points and the subsequent provision of services to multiple stakeholders is an outcome of a central data platform. • Omnichannel Customer Journeys. Retailers like Burberry and Target use an underlying data platform to unify customer journeys across the store and other remote touchpoints.


pages: 398 words: 86,023

The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih


Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill,, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian,, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott:, jimmy wales, Marshall McLuhan, Network effects, optical character recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K

Quality matters, and a thoughtful community has emerged around that ideal. I have a philosophy about the design of social software. Imagine that you’re going to design a restaurant. Just think about the problem of design for a restaurant. In this restaurant we’re going to be serving steak. Since we’re going to be serving steak, we’re going to have steak knives. And since we’re going to have steak knives, people might stab each other. So how do we solve this problem? What we could do is build cages and keep everybody in cages to make sure no one stabs anyone. Well, this makes for a bad society. We reject this kind of thinking in restaurant design, and yet this is the predominant paradigm for social software design. Traditionally when we sit down to design a Web site, we think of all of the bad things people might do, and make sure that we have controls and permissions, everything to prevent people from doing the bad things.


pages: 387 words: 105,250

The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling


carbon footprint, clean water, failed state, impulse control, new economy, nuclear winter, semantic web, social software, stem cell, supervolcano, urban renewal, Whole Earth Review

Men stuck inside camps had a much harder time fending off their despair. Men felt dishonored, deprived of all sense and meaning, when culture collapsed. Refugee men trapped in camp thought in bitter terms of escape and vengeance. “Fight or flight.” Women in a camp would search for female allies, for any means and methods to manage the day. “Tend and befriend.” So: In a proper modern camp like this one, the social software was designed to exploit those realities. First, the women had to be protected from desperate male violence until a community emerged. The women were grouped and trained with hand tools. The second wave of camp acculturation was designed for the men. It involved danger, difficulty, raw challenge, respect, and honor, in a bitter competition over power tools. It acted on men like a tonic. Like any other commons-based peer-production method, an Acquis attention camp improved steadily with human usage.

Vera thought that Herbert had done that, while Herbert had always said that she had inspired it. Now, sitting years later in the sagging deck chair in an old boat with the island sinking into darkness, Vera knew that no single person had ever done that. Mljet was a web of emerging technologies, around which people accreted. Nothing much had been “invented” on Mljet. The brain scanners, the attention tracking, the neural software, the social software inside the camps, the sensors, the everyware, the communal property, even the heavy-duty exoskeletons—they all had years of development behind them, somewhere else. The one innovation was the way they’d been brought to life by people willing to believe in them, wanting to believe in them. Herbert had always claimed that she, Vera, had “inspired” his efforts. Maybe. There was no way for any woman to deny that she had “inspired” a man.


pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy


23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

But was owned by an opera company that wouldn’t sell its domain name. The owners of and were similarly unaccommodating. Finally, the product manager and Mayer thought of naming it after its creator. “” belonged to Buyukkokten himself. Google convinced him, and its social networking service was called Orkut. Was it a sign of the company’s distrust of the insufficiently algorithmic nature of social software that the product was not branded with the Google name? “We wanted to see if it could stand on its own two feet,” says Mayer, a stricture not required from such Google services as Gmail and Google Maps. In fact, Orkut almost immediately stood tall. Even though the software was available only by invitation—the first users were Googlers who invited their own friends—hundreds of thousands of people signed up in the first month alone.

In 2004, Google had 2,000 employees, around 800 of them engineers, dispersed in roughly a hundred teams of three to twelve each. Skimming twenty engineers each from a separate team meant that you would be losing an average of 15 percent of the manpower in those teams. As it was, twenty people had to be temporarily recruited that August to fix Orkut’s lingering problems. “I do think we made the right trade-off and the right balance,” Mayer would later argue. Considering how important social software would become, it was hard to agree. Orkut was far from the only opportunity in the social sphere that Google missed. In May 2005, Google bought a small company in the promising area known as mobile social. Founded by Dennis Crowley and Alex Rainert, Dodgeball was a pioneering service that let mobile phone users turn their city into a giant hide-and-seek game where they could discover (or avoid) nearby friends.

In Silicon Valley, people assumed that delays in Google’s “Facebook killer” hinted at another failed effort in social networking, a harbinger perhaps of a fall from primacy for Google itself. Still, Gundotra and Horowitz were energized by what they felt were significant innovations in the initiative, and believed that Emerald Sea would finally establish itself as a primary player in the crucial area of social software. “This is the next generation of Google—it’s Google plus one,” said Gundotra. In its forays into other areas, like phones, videos, maps, applications, and operating systems, Google had not acted in response to competition. If it had a good idea, it simply pursued it, no matter who was occupying the space. This project was more strategic, even conventional. “It’s a good thing that Google is putting its weight behind social networking, but it’s reactive self-interest, not from a place of idealism,” said one key team member.


pages: 455 words: 133,322

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick


Andy Kessler, Burning Man, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, Peter Thiel, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Whole Earth Review, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

During the first months of Harvard’s fall 2003 semester, Zuckerberg began making waves with ad hoc bad-boy applications that were intrinsically social—first Course Match, then Facemash. Narendra and the Winkelvosses read about him in the Crimson’s coverage of the Facemash episode. They got in touch and arranged a meeting. He agreed to help out, but says now he thought of it as just another of his many social software “projects.” Zuckerberg worked off and on writing code for Harvard Connection. After a few weeks he appears to have lost interest, though he apparently didn’t make that clear to the Winkelvosses and Narendra. They began to complain that he was taking too long. At one point Zuckerberg apologized for a delay, explaining he had forgotten to bring the charger for his laptop home with him for the Thanksgiving holidays.

During the time he was working for Harvard Connection, Zuckerberg may have become uneasy about the fact that he was already working on his own social network. He certainly should have alerted the Winkelvoss brothers and Narendra earlier about what to expect. He was rude. He became very uncooperative. But long before he met the Winkelvosses and Divya Narendra he already was thinking about what kind of social software was possible on the Internet. That’s why the Harvard Connection project interested him in the first place. The civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the three alleges behavior considerably worse than rudeness: “copyright infringement, breach of actual or implied contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, unfair business practices, intentional interference with prospective business advantage, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, and breach of confidence.”


pages: 422 words: 131,666

Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff


affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, car-free, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, global village, Google Earth, greed is good, Howard Rheingold, income per capita, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, market bubble, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, peak oil, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social software, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Victor Gruen, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, young professional

Rather, it is corporatism itself: a logic we have internalized into our very being, a lens through which we view the world around us, and an ethos with which we justify our behaviors. Making matters worse, we accept its dominance over us as preexisting—as a given circumstance of the human condition. It just is. But it isn’t. Corporatism didn’t evolve naturally. The landscape on which we are living—the operating system on which we are now running our social software—was invented by people, sold to us as a better way of life, supported by myths, and ultimately allowed to develop into a self-sustaining reality. It is a map that has replaced the territory. Its basic laws were set in motion as far back as the Renaissance; it was accelerated by the Industrial Age; and it was sold to us as a better way of life by a determined generation of corporate leaders who believed they had our best interests at heart and who ultimately succeeded in their dream of controlling the masses from above.

This is not an inherent behavior of markets, only for markets designed to revolve around artificially scarce currencies. Different currencies incentivize different behaviors and, hence, yield different economies. Information Age economies will replace commercial markets with more efficient, high-trust, self-organizing social networks that immediately channel appropriate resources where they are needed. Just as factories and finance were high-leverage tools of the Industrial Age, social software and reputation currencies that fuel these new social markets are the tools of the new economy. And yes, these markets move real value. It is already happening with software (open source), accommodations (couchsurfing), knowledge (MIT open courseware), and many domains. There is a family of projects fostering these new economies and wielding currencies as something more powerful than money.


pages: 189 words: 57,632

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future by Cory Doctorow


book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man,, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Law of Accelerating Returns, Metcalfe's law, mutually assured destruction, new economy, optical character recognition, patent troll, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Skype, slashdot, social software, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Having watched the rise and fall of SixDegrees, Friendster, and the many other proto-hominids that make up the evolutionary chain leading to Facebook, MySpace, et al, I'm inclined to think that these systems are subject to a Brook's-law parallel: "Adding more users to a social network increases the probability that it will put you in an awkward social circumstance." Perhaps we can call this "boyd's Law" [NOTE TO EDITOR: "boyd" is always lower-case] for danah [TO EDITOR: "danah" too!] boyd, the social scientist who has studied many of these networks from the inside as a keen-eyed net-anthropologist and who has described the many ways in which social software does violence to sociability in a series of sharp papers. Here's one of boyd's examples, a true story: a young woman, an elementary school teacher, joins Friendster after some of her Burning Man buddies send her an invite. All is well until her students sign up and notice that all the friends in her profile are sunburnt, drug-addled techno-pagans whose own profiles are adorned with digital photos of their painted genitals flapping over the Playa.


pages: 197 words: 59,946

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk


Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, business process, call centre, crowdsourcing,, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, new economy, pre–internet, Skype, social software, Tony Hsieh

The national awareness her young business has attracted is a result of two important Thank You Economy truths that I frequently talk about: 1) the earned media value of being first to market is priceless, and 2) the quality of your fans and followers is vastly more important than the quantity. It Takes Just One Customer If Irena Vaksman had not established herself on all of those social media sites, Loïc Le Meur probably would never have mentioned her unless someone he knew asked him to recommend a dentist. But Loïc Le Meur is very interested in social media—he is an internationally known entrepreneur, the developer of the social software app Seesmic, and was ranked by BusinessWeek as one of 2008’s twenty-five most influential people on the Web. So when Le Meur found out that his new dentist had a social media presence, he thought that was worth writing about, and he posted some thoughts about it on his blog. Like most of Dr. Vaksman’s other patients, he was complimentary and pleased with the thorough care he received and with the office’s use of sophisticated, state-of-the-art technology.


pages: 236 words: 66,081

Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky


Andrew Keen, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, citizen journalism, corporate social responsibility, Dean Kamen, experimental economics, experimental subject, fundamental attribution error, invention of movable type, invention of the telegraph, Kevin Kelly, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, social software, Steve Ballmer, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, ultimatum game

Similarly, YouTube was only one of many video-sharing services in 2005, when it was used to share the popular music video “Lazy Sunday.” Whatever YouTube’s technical advantages over its competitors, it became synonymous with video sharing in part because of its lucky break in being the service used to host that video. That input to its success was user-driven and accidental rather than technological and planned. With social software, there are no foolproof recipes for success. (I speak from bitter experience, having participated in the creation of both successful and failed social media.) And yet we’ve learned some things about human interaction in the last few decades. The trick for creating new social media is to use those lessons to weight the odds in your favor, rather than as a set of instructions that guarantees success.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

In the first twenty-four hours of the new service, there were 1 billion Likes—and all of that data flowed back into Facebook’s servers. Bret Taylor, Facebook’s platform lead, announced that users were sharing 25 billion items a month. Google, once the undisputed leader in the push for relevance, seemed worried about the rival a few miles down the road. The two giants are now in hand-to-hand combat: Facebook poaches key executives from Google; Google’s hard at work constructing social software like Facebook. But it’s not totally obvious why the two new-media monoliths should be at war. Google, after all, is built around answering questions; Facebook’s core mission is to help people connect with their friends. But both businesses’ bottom lines depend on the same thing: targeted, highly relevant advertising. The contextual advertisements Google places next to search results and on Web pages are its only significant source of profits.


pages: 270 words: 64,235

Effective Programming: More Than Writing Code by Jeff Atwood


AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, endowment effect, Firefox, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, gravity well, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Merlin Mann, Minecraft, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, price anchoring, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, science of happiness, Skype, social software, Steve Jobs, web application, Y Combinator

I believe it, too; if I learned anything from reading The Great Brain as a child, it’s that the silent treatment is the cruelest punishment of them all. I’ve always associated hellbanning with the Something Awful Forums. Per this amazing MetaFilter discussion, it turns out the roots of hellbanning go much deeper — all the way back to an early Telnet BBS system called Citadel, where the “problem user bit” was introduced around 1986. Like so many other things in social software, it keeps getting reinvented over and over again by clueless software developers who believe they’re the first programmer smart enough to figure out how people work. It’s supported in most popular forum and blog software, as documented in the Drupal Cave module. (There is one additional form of hellbanning that I feel compelled to mention because it is particularly cruel – when hellbanned users can see only themselves and other hellbanned users.


pages: 843 words: 223,858

The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells


Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, British Empire, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, planetary scale, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl

For hundreds of millions of Internet users under 30, on-line communities have become a fundamental dimension of everyday life that keeps growing everywhere, including China and developing countries, and their growth has only been slowed by the limitations of bandwidth and income. With the prospects of expanding infrastructure and declining prices of communication, it is not a prediction but an observation to say that on-line communities are fast developing not as a virtual world, but as a real virtuality integrated with other forms of interaction in an increasingly hybridized everyday life. A new generation of social software programs have made possible the explosion of interactive computer and video games, today a multibillion-dollar global industry. In its first day of release in September 2007, Sony’s Halo 3 earned $170 million, more than the weekend gross of any Hollywood film to date. The largest on-line game community, World of Warcraft (WOW), which accounts for just over half of the Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) industry, reached over 10 million active members (over half of which reside in the Asian continent) in 2008.

The growing interest of corporate media for Internet-based forms of communication recognizes the significance of the rise of a new form of societal communication, the one I have conceptualized as mass self-communication. It is mass communication because it reaches a potentially global audience through p2p networks and Internet connection. It is multimodal, as the digitization of content and advanced social software, often based on open source programs that can be downloaded for free, allows the reformatting of almost any content in almost any form, increasingly distributed via wireless networks. It also is self-generated in content, self-directed in emission, and self-selected in reception by many who communicate with many. This is a new communication realm, and ultimately a new medium, whose backbone is made of computer networks, whose language is digital, and whose senders are globally distributed and globally interactive.


pages: 411 words: 95,852

Britain Etc by Mark Easton


agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, credit crunch, financial independence, garden city movement, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, social software

Ministry of Food, Annual Report of the National Food Survey Committee (HMSO, 1952) 10. B. Fine, The Political Economy of Diet, Health and Food Policy (Routledge, 1998) W is for www 1. R. Kraut, M. Patterson, V. Lundmark, et al., ‘Internet paradox: a social technology that reduces social involvement and psychological well-being?’ American Psychological Association, 53 (1998) 2. W. Davies, You Don’t Know Me, but . . . Social Capital and Social Software (The Work Foundation, 2003), 3. A. Morris, ‘E-literacy and the Grey Digital Divide’, Journal of Information Literacy, 1 (2007) N. Nie and L. Erbring, Internet and Society (Stanford University, 2000) H. Rheingold, The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier (Addison Wesley, 1993) 5. R. D. Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (Simon & Schuster, 2000) 6.


pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Early on, an absence in the Web shows a gap in the Web; only later does an absence begin to suggest a gap in the world itself. I think there’s a better way to detect absences, one that bypasses ad hoc search by creating a public place where knowledge comes into focus. We could benefit immensely from a medium that is as good at representing factual controversies as Wikipedia is at representing factual consensus. What I mean by this is a social software system and community much like Wikipedia—perhaps an organic offshoot—that would operate to draw forth and present what is, roughly speaking, the best evidence on each side of a factual controversy. To function well, it would require a core community that shares many of the Wikipedia norms but would invite advocates to present a far-from-neutral point of view. In an effective system of this sort, competitive pressures would drive competent advocates to participate, and incentives and constraints inherent in the dynamics and structure of the medium would drive advocates to pit their best arguments head-to-head and point by point against the other side’s best arguments.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest


23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk,, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

Starting with non-mission critical data, internal teams begin with file sharing and then conduct live discussions on their workflow. Remember our GitHub case study in Chapter Seven? Looked at through the lens of collaboration, a good question to ask is: Which advanced social technologies within GitHub can corporations implement in a controlled manner? More on the topic of collaboration: VentureBeat reports that more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies have deployed social software such as Yammer. However, according to Altimeter Group’s Charlene Li and Brian Solis, only 34 percent of 700 executives and social strategists surveyed felt their social efforts had an effect on business outcomes. Similarly, Computing magazine recently surveyed one hundred senior IT professionals and found the following: 68 percent said their organization is using some sort of collaboration.


pages: 291 words: 90,200

Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age by Manuel Castells


access to a mobile phone, banking crisis, call centre, centre right, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, disintermediation,, housing crisis, income inequality, microcredit, Mohammed Bouazizi, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Port of Oakland, social software, statistical model, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, young professional

In continuity with this emphasis on autonomy building, the deepest social transformation of the Internet came in the first decade of the twenty-first century, from the shift from individual and corporate interaction on the Internet (the use of email, for instance), to the autonomous construction of social networks controlled and guided by their users. It came from improvements in broadband, and in social software and from the rise of a wide range of distribution systems feeding the Internet networks. Furthermore, wireless communication connects devices, data, people, organizations, everything, with the cloud emerging as the repository of widespread social networking, as a web of communication laid over everything and everybody. Thus, the most important activity on the Internet nowadays goes through social networking sites (SNS), and SNS have become platforms for all kinds of activities, not just for personal friendships or chatting but for marketing, e-commerce, education, cultural creativity, media and entertainment distribution, health applications, and, yes, socio-political activism.


pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, Zipcar

Some Challenges and Opportunities In many ways, this new generation of decentralized peer-to-peer technologies mirrors the P2P vision of Michel Bauwens that we discussed in chapter 1, and promises to create immense economic value over the coming decades. As the venture capitalist Chris Dixon wrote on his blog in 2014, Bitcoin makes activities like international microfinance, markets for computing capacity, incentivized social software, and other micropayments possible—not because we haven’t considered the value of these before, but because the transaction costs were too high.16 There are signs that traditional businesses will embrace many of the new capabilities of decentralized peer-to-peer technologies, much like Facebook actively uses BitTorrent within its privately owned server farms. In spring 2015, NASDAQ announced plans to leverage blockchain technology to support the development of a distributed ledger function for securities trading that will provide enhanced integrity, audit capabilities, governance, and transfer of ownership capabilities.


pages: 394 words: 110,352

The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation by Jono Bacon


barriers to entry, collaborative editing, crowdsourcing, Debian,, Firefox, game design, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jono Bacon, openstreetmap, Richard Stallman, Skype, social software, software as a service, telemarketer, web application

—IRINA SLUTSKY, GEEKENTERTAINMENT.TV “If you listen to open source fans, you might get the idea that the community is elves who come out of the woodwork to fix your broken software while you sleep. In The Art of Community, Jono Bacon explains how reality is a little more complicated, and what the community needs in return. This book will help you get started with the diverse skills required to keep a collaborative community on track, including copywriting, social software selection, conflict resolution, and measuring if it’s all working.” —DON MARTI, CONFERENCE CHAIR, OPENSOURCE WORLD, AND ORGANIZER, WINDOWS REFUND DAY, BURN ALL GIFS DAY, FREE DMITRY, AND FREEDOMHEC Download at Boykma.Com “Who would have known, when I first met a scruffy student from Wolverhampton Uni at a LUG meeting all those years ago, that he would end up being the name on the Internet synonymous with the word ‘community.’


pages: 310 words: 34,482

Makers at Work: Folks Reinventing the World One Object or Idea at a Time by Steven Osborn


3D printing, A Pattern Language, additive manufacturing, air freight, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics,, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dumpster diving,, Firefox, future of work, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mason jar, means of production, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, Oculus Rift, patent troll, popular electronics, Rodney Brooks, Shenzhen was a fishing village, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software as a service, special economic zone, speech recognition, subscription business, telerobotics, urban planning, web application, Y Combinator

Then we see more businesses popping up because they see that it’s possible to get funding and to grow, and to make a lot of great stuff on Kickstarter, for example. The Internet is helping that happen too. They’re here also, by the way. Osborn: What’s that? Stern: Kickstarter is in New York too. Osborn: Well, I guess I can’t say all cool software start-ups are on the West Coast anymore. Stern: Social software start-ups. Osborn: It’s an odd environment when you go to the Silicon Valley, and you’re in a coffee shop and everybody’s having a conversation about his or her company’s valuation. Makers at Work Stern: I know. Osborn: It sounds like there’s a private mailing list maybe for you and some friends who have kept in touch and do new maker things, but what if I’m just average Joe and I don’t know anything about e-textiles or maybe I know just enough to know that I want to get started or build some project, but I’m stuck?


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

He traveled to Thailand, where he went scuba diving and took pictures. He discovered Burning Man, the annual weeklong gathering in the Nevada desert that attracted tens of thousands of the Valley’s digerati. When Gruber’s sabbatical year ended he was ready to build a new company. He knew Reid Hoffman, who had by then started LinkedIn, the business networking company. Because of his experience at Intraspect, Gruber had good insights into “social software.” The two men had a long series of conversations about Gruber joining the start-up, which was on track to become one of Silicon Valley’s early social networking success stories. Gruber wanted to focus on design issues and Hoffman was looking for a new CTO, but in the end the LinkedIn board vetoed the idea because the company was on the verge of a large investment round. Gruber’s year of traveling had left him thinking about the intersection of travel and “collective intelligence” that was coming to life with emergence of “Web 2.0.”


Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia by Dariusz Jemielniak


Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citation needed, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, Debian, deskilling, digital Maoism,, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, moral hazard, online collectivism, pirate software, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons

This online encyclopedia community has been able to generate about 16,500 articles, of which fewer than 200 are expert approved (even though some featured articles from Wikipedia were used as “seed capital”), over its six years of existence so far (“Welcome,” 2013), which does not give hope for creating anything even remotely close to what an encyclopedia should be in the foreseeable future. Apparently, the costs of credentialing and identifying experts in open collaboration exceed the possible benefits (O’Neil, 2010). The social software of Wikipedia makes vandalizing an article more time-consuming than restoring its acceptable version (Lih, 2004), since it dramatically reduces costs of protection against graffiti attacks (Ciffolilli, 2003). Also, as shown in the previous chapter, understanding bureaucratic rules and their cryptic abbreviations leads to status in a community. Therefore, building one’s status through external credibility and expert status could disturb this delicate social system.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott


Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

“I’m excited about the idea that you have a fully distributed mechanism for accounting, for actions, and for digital resources across anything; whether it’s currency, whether it’s social relations and exchange, or whether its an organization.”38 Today, commercial collaboration tools are beginning to change the nature of knowledge work and management inside organizations.39 Products like Jive, IBM Connections, Salesforce Chatter, Cisco Quad, Microsoft Yammer, Google Apps for Work, and Facebook at Work are being used to improve performance and foster innovation. Social software will become a vital tool for transforming virtually every part of business operations, from product development to human resources, marketing, customer service, and sales—in a sense the new operating system for the twenty-first-century organization. But there are clear limitations to today’s suites of tools, and the blockchain takes these technologies to the next level. Existing vendors will either face disruption or embrace blockchain technologies to deliver much deeper capability to their customers.


pages: 468 words: 233,091

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston


8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

They have these pets, which are Tamagotchi-like, and you can buy them presents and give them toys. But what’s interesting is that it has a market and you can trade things with other people in the game. The little area that I cornered the market on was trading JubJub hats. My sister became completely absorbed in it, and we thought, “Wow, there’s something interesting here.” Both of us have backgrounds in web design and development, and I have a focus on social software. Before Ludicorp, I worked on or participated in a bunch of online communities including the WELL, Electric Minds, the Netscape online communities, and various sites I’d started on my own. At Interval Research, I worked on a collaborative animation game, which was a cousin to the Game Neverending idea. Livingston: It was just the two of you? Fake: At the beginning it was me, Stewart, and Jason Classon.