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Life is an exploration

Jul. 1st, 2006 10:49 am choice: divergence or convergence?

Ha - I just got stuck in the machinery we call human. Something was really bothering me and looking to empty my head.  This I've been doing for the past 4 hours! :-o

I brushed my teeth and was pretty much posessed to write a private entry to myself and then I decided to post to the community so dearest to my heart, dancelabs!

I thought about a msg I got from good ole Bill Gates this past week (no, I'm not buddy buddy with him - it's a mass email) sharing his vision for "The Unified Communications Revolution." While I thought the email was a bit wordy [not to mention salesy towards the end], he makes an important point - we are in the process of transformation, transforming the way we communicate - a "communications revolution." A growing number of are scattered across different devices, spaces, and vehicles on and offline and we are looking to integrate them.   I personally think Google is way ahead of the ball - I continue to reap the benefits of the Google Mail and Google Talk integration!

"Communications divergence" is not anything new - ever since email and the Internet became popular - it's been on everybody's mind! It's just been over a 15 year journey for many of us. We are all looking for ways to communicate effectively - it is our access to life!

Not choosing to communicate often is a powerful choice for me - a chance to go to my cave, appreciate computer technology for its basics. When I first got my Tandy Color Computer 3 (go coco3!) when I was 8 - there wasn't a network - you made the machine do what you wanted it to do and there was no driving force making it do anything you didn't choose for it to do!    Reconnected with long time middle school friends, Manish and George, and it was good reminisce in the good ole days and realize how far we've all come!

So I'm now doing my best to share how the "communication explosion" looks to me. I have the following seemingly divergent ways of communicating with everyone:

  1. personal journal (chinarut) - I can choose to share publicly or just with friends
  2. I can talk to anyone who is the room (if anyone)
  3. someone may very well knock on my door
  4. It's a given there is email waiting in my inbox
  5. I may have missed calls or voicemail waiting
  6. I may think of people to call ((home phone, cell phone, VoIP)
  7. a community journal I've brought to the forefront ( dancelabs)
  8. social networking sites (friendster, myspace, hi5, tribe.net) (until I see a hint of collaboration, I will rarely spend time in these spaces)
  9. a new Dance Labs Omidyar.net workspace (discussions)
  10. I can join a chatroom (IOSN, Burning Man, and yes - there is a Dance Labs room!)
  11. I go knock on my neighbor's door
  12. various online discussion groups, some of which I help moderate (Getting Things Done, cmcrossroads, tigris, a few Yahoo! and Google Groups here and there)
  13. Second Life
  14. I can go play with a wiki and share knowledge with you
  15. Ad Naseam! it is exhausting getting present to it all - I don't even have a blackberry, PDA, or pager like some of you do!
Then there are way to be with myself (focused on a communication/writing front):
  1. personal journal (chinarut) - wrote a private entry this morning in fact
  2. I could dance!
  3. I could meditate and be with myself
  4. I have this thing called a GTD Binder
  5. I can go to my wiki of choice and shape a bit of knowledge or create a new gem
  6. I have various written (ie. paper) journals with different contexts (whirlwind, education, asia-commons, home, dream)
  7. ring notebooks (Dance Labs in particular)
  8. Sometimes I'll grab loose leaf paper (ie. no association - like creating from nothing) - I can choose to let it go or process it.
What is really subtle is the wiki is in both places and the power of the wiki to integrate communications.

Question is the wiki (as you see on wikipedia.org) a self-contained communiation tool or does it necessarily have to integrate with the rest of the world?

I found some insight into this question....

I had an extraordinary conversation with Mark Dilley earlier this week and he mentioned Social Text - I've spent all of 1 minute looking at the page but what captures my attention is their desire to integrate blogs and email.   they are onto something and it presents a fundamental diverengce in philosophy - one must choose to either give up "old world" paradigms for communication and live in the wiki world or embrace these "bridge technologies" which in the end - can clutter up the vision for the wiki or may very well be the future - I am not the one to judge!

Please do share if you have experience with Social Text - it'll save us some time evaluating the tool and by all means, if it looks interesting to you, try it and please come back and share!

In the meantime, us hackers wonder what we can do to transform this gem called the MediaWiki of wikipedia fame ;-)

ok - time to take a lunch break!

Current Location: Thonburi
Current Mood: humored
Current Music: rooster jam

3 comments - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Flag Next Entry


Date:July 1st, 2006 06:04 am (UTC)

Social Text is open source!

I was mislead by the "30-day trial" bit and happy to see this wiki page (assume it's in social text!) and this table clarifies what's going on - they provide additional support as a paid model.

I just joined my first open source project and we just started our wiki - fortunately it's brand spankin new and it might be nice to recommend this technology to help manage our project before we go too deep defining our requirements!

Date:December 1st, 2006 05:19 am (UTC)


my mission to find an open source project that resonates with continues. Social Text is not the type of wiki I'm finding inspiring at this time. TiddlyWiki has taken the cake - it looks to be the most malleable and promising of many platforms I've evaluated. there are clearly some drawbacks of a single-page implementation but from my perspective, it gets back to basics - the days of BASIC programming for example.

stay tuned and watch our Dance Chalat TiddlyWiki continue to transform!

Date:July 3rd, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC)

from Ross Mayfield...

Just read this:

"The use of multiple modes takes some adjustment, in dealing with interruptions, multi-tasking and loci of attention"..."younger generations who grow up with IM may not have this problem."

The last statement I can totally attest to after watching one of my little brother's friends manage 10 individual IM windows at once a few years ago - it was quite impressive!

This reminds me of my recent experience with the Asia Commons:

"Wiki pages provide persistent focus for conversations. Often times ad hoc groups form around an issue and gather to communicate. Talk is cheap and transforming it into action is one of the greatest challenges. Transforming a social network conversation into a creative network action is best supported by a wiki pledge page for collaboration. Individuals can easily refactor and organize personal views of creative and social network resources for their own productivity."

You bet your *ss it's challenging to steward communities just starting to embrace the wiki paradigm!