What five metronomes, two soda cans and a piece of wood can teach us about intranets.

I really liked this video – there’s something very satisfying about watching something self organise. (spotted on the music thing blog).

For things to work well together you need a framework that loosely connects each part, the framework needs some flexibility: the cans move slightly because of the average of the metronome movement, and it’s that framework movement that syncs them all.

I’ve often said here that the web 2.0 promoters are usually wrong when they say social media self organises, because the overlook the framework, the metronomes won’t sync if there is no connection, no framework.

However neither will a rigid connection work, which reflects the style of governance that dominates intranets (and seems to be enshrined in the increasingly old fashioned looking BSI standard PAS 124).

I’m going to avoid calling the equivalent intranet syncing “governance”, and say its a framework – though it is a governance, the “governance of the crowd” and it needs to be in place (note, I was so pleased with that last phrase I googled it, as far as I can tell nobody else has used it yet!).

More on what I mean by this framework, how it works and what an intranet manager should do about it another time. meanwhile… enjoy the clicking..


4 Responses to What five metronomes, two soda cans and a piece of wood can teach us about intranets.

  1. Excellent video.

    I really like the “Governance of Crowds”
    © I assume? or at least ®

    How much of this will/would be due to a shared culture or are we ascribing this to the performance of generic crowds as Surowiecki suggests?

  2. So, more about this governance. Going to look at /. or digg for reputation/karma – or do we run a wikipedia semi-protected model?

    I can’t wait for your next post on this.

  3. markmorrell says:

    I like your postings – especially the videos which are beyond me to include in my blog (maybe your next posting explains how?). Very engaging and humorous! 🙂

  4. Bill Barnett says:

    This is fabulous! Not only the video, but also the concept. The grass-roots-up, emergent behavior that you see in really active/successful/living wikis is a wonder to behold. This is important not just for the things we normally think of as collaboratively created — look at the total load of crap that most vendors and large organizations implement as SOA governance, for example. To make SOA governance work it has to be lightweight, driven by the folks actually delivering the services, and motivated by clear self-interest and value to current deliveries not just in some vague future that may or may not materialize.

    I also love your blogging approach of linking IT topics to favorite pop songs. I used to run weekly staff meetings based on theme songs… I would start by playing the theme song, leaving the team wondering how the hell I would connect it to work, then follow up with staff meeting content. Worked really well — although I ran out of ideas before I ran out of meetings. 🙂

    Whatever other frustrations I may have with Genius, I’m glad it led to a connection here!

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