Social Project Management at Enterprise 2.0

I’m at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston at the moment and hopped up bright and early to give a presentation at 8am this morning. I was talking about Social Project Management, but those who’ve seen or read the washing machine presentation will probably find a fair few similarities between this presentation and that old soap box.

As a general overview though, the point of this presentation is that there are other ways to manage projects than ye olde fashioned waterfall methodology. Not to say that waterfall doesn’t have it’s place, but even within that structure, we can be more creative about the way that work within that structure.

In particular, I’m really interested in ways that we can break down monster projects into micro projects and be more iterative in the way that we work, and to work more collaboratively with teams that are made up of multiple disciplines.

As always – would love to hear your thoughts and let me know if there’s a slide needs some more explanation!

thoughts on the less intentional profile

So, something that I’ve always been quite fascinated with, is the way that people ‘perform’ themselves in virtual space… consciously or not. It all started by reading some Sherry Turkle while I was at university and has simmered away ever since.

In the ‘olden days’ of social technologies, creating your ‘self’ online involved a fair amount of work. You had to craft your identity out of the lines of text that you shared with others online, on your website or in a MUDs and other places.

These days, however, your online identity is as much about what you *don’t* share, as what you do. There are so many ways and means to communicate your identity with others, that it’s almost simpler to censor those things you don’t *really* want to share. Like, only Twittering when you’re doing something cool or being somewhere exotic. Or only declaring certain favourite books or music or films.

Maybe this is not so different to what we were doing before. It just feels a whole lot easier and, somehow, codified.

What is perhaps a little different are the less intentional profiles we create. I was thinking about this in terms of the attention data that we generate and share – say through sites like Last.FM (I’m sure there are others tho none are springing to mind at this late hour).

So, one minute I’m just listening away to my music and the next I discover that Robbie Williams is my second most listened to artist and I have a quandary… I’m not going to dispute the correctness of the data, but at the same time… the impression that is created by presenting this data to my social network is not one that, to me, gives an accurate portrayal of the kind of music I like to listen to. (I’m *way* cooler than that… really?!)

Trust me? Well… I’m not sure that I would either.

After all, which is more correct – what I tell you I like, or what the statistics say?

Which is more appropriate to the creation of a ‘profile’ or a virtual self?

Guy Parsons also got me thinking about a whole other stream of data that on the surface seems kind of irrelevant – like the groups you leave on Facebook – and how this data is actually really interesting in develop a sense of how your profile is changing over time – not to mention tracking memes as they flow in and out of popularity.

Fascinating stuff, I think. The profile we create when we don’t really mean to at all.

What do you make of it?

Quoteable quotes from Reboot 9.0

Before I file away (or accidentally lose) my Reboot notebook I thought I’d transcribe a few of the handwritten notes I took whilst listening to some of the presentations I attended. Some of them are my paraphrasing… I’ll put quote marks around those that I’m fairly confident are verbatim quotes.

(Note that the number of notes taken… or whether in fact any notes were taken at all, is not proportional to the interestingness of the talk. I didn’t take any notes on Matt Webb’s talk and very few on Johnny Moore’s and they were both particularly interesting :)

Further note – these people said many more interesting things than what I noted down… in fact… it’s quite possible that some of the most interesting ones didn’t get noted down because I was too busy listening to what they were saying :)

Opening talk – Tor Nørretranders

We should be more interested in artificial emotion than artificial intelligence

Emotion is governed by meaning and value, which makes it more efficient than a computer (less heat coming off the tops of our heads!)

Emotions are more efficient than intelligence

People will accept losing money to ensure fairness. We don’t want to lose money to a computer tho’, as we know it is not vulnerable to the idea of fairness.

The gift economy is about to dominate the market economy [I wrote this down and put a big question marke next to it because Tor didn’t go on to explain where this gift economy was coming from… have I been missing out on an avalanche of gifts lately or something? Anyone know more about this?]

Roszak 1979 Person/Planet – the needs of the planet are the same as the needs of the individual. If one is in crisis, so is the other.

Flow – we are like flames, or riveres, or flows of things. We are not ‘things’. We are a system.

90% of the atoms in your body are replaced every year

Permanent reincarnation – the matter changes all the time but we retain our identity. (Like digital media – never lose the information).

Dare, Share, Care —> Attention —> Sex, Jobs, Recognition

‘Sex is the origin of all that is noble’

The killer app for Civilization 2.0 is links.

Albert Einstein – ‘Remember your humanity and forget the rest’

Trusted Space – Robert Paterson

A legion of men may look like a machine, but it is built on an intense social unit (a tent of 8 men who live together for about 20 years) and nodal leadership (the centurians).

We are most hapy in a group of approximately 7 or 8.

Twitter is like being ‘in the tent’

Kids who do well are kids who learn 300 words by 2yrs old. They learn via conversation and need to have heard 50 million words by 2 yrears. They need to hear conversation to get an ideal development trajectory.

While we wait for the BabelFish – Stephanie Booth

Mario Wandruszka ‘Being human among humans means living in a state of ever incomplete multilingualism’

People who are ‘somewhat multilingual’ are in the majority

We need more than binary on/off choices when it comes to language

The internet is a space cruncher – access isn’t the problem any more, language is. The really strong borders are the linguistic ones.

Some multilingual people act as bridges – how can we design tools to better support them in this task?

Linguistic groups are more relevant than countries – misconception: country does not equal language.
Currently, the internet encourages mono-lingual silos

Code-switching – switching between languages to choose the best expression from the languages available to you

Contact: Fuck off, come closer – Johnnie Moore

Experiment where you have a baby and a mother, and you put them in two different rooms with a video link. The mother does what mothers do… mirrors the baby’s talk and actions back – baby is fine. Add in a 2 second time delay. Baby freaks out.

The Uncanny Valet – Tom Armitage

What we’re building on the web today is defining the manners of the web for the future

Agents make people diminish themselves ‘anthropological representations destroy [users] sense of accomplishment (eg. MS Clippy)

Computers as social agents – we treat them like people

The illusion of control (which we want to create) is esp. hard to convey to new users

The principle of least astonishment – avoid surprises in the interaction, avoid ‘breaking frame’ etc.

Desktop manners are inappropriate on the web [anyone want to discuss this? I think this is related to the whole ‘design uncanny valley’ which I think is far too broad a generalisation… ]

Forgot to write down who said this…. anyone remember?

Not trusting is inhumane. It paralyses you.

‘Trust is a reducer of social complexity’ [who said this?]

Ewan McIntosh – Citizens of the Future

(note to my elearning friends, if you’re still out there – you *definitely* want to know about this guy if you don’t already!)

Kids are used to having large audiences

Kids are ‘genius level’ at creativity when they enter school. Only 2% remain at this level when they leave school.

Kids want authentic goals – why do we have to do this? They need to have an authentic purpose

Some *great* examples of using existing platforms to support learning activities eg. Flickr for art appreciation, Choose your own adventure games built using Flickr and links.

At the moment, the mobile phone is the most powerful technology we have in schools – why don’t we use them more?!

Lee Bryant – A town called

‘for a period of time these websites *where* the town’

power of virtual communities to reclaim and rebuild physical communities.

Marko Ahtisaari – Blyk

what young people use their mobile phones for (in order of use) – a) clock, b) TXT c) calling

Stowe Boyd – Flow – A New Consciousness for a Web of Traffic

I wrote a bunch of stuff based on what Stowe said earlier. Also:

Time is a shared space

Productivity is second to connectivity

Don’t worry if you miss something the first time – the network will repeat it. You don’t have to be a slave to the flow of traffic.

Food for thought. A couple of days well spent. :)

The Non-Zero-Sum Game of Social Networking

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m an enthusiast of online social networking (well, ok… offline social networking too, but I find online particularly interesting). It’s something that I’ve invested probably hundreds of hours of time in, just participating – creating profiles, making friends, maintaining contacts, sharing information.

But, why do this?

I’ve always found online social networking to be both emotionally and intellectually rewarding, but I’ve never quite understand my compulsion to stay connected in this way, and *why* it felt so valuable. Traditionally, the behaviours associated with building and maintaining a social network online would be considered frivolous and unproductive. Something you do when you probably should be doing *real* work.

In the last few weeks I’ve come to understand that it is a whole lot more than that.

Last week at Reboot, Stowe Boyd was sharing his ideas about ‘Flow – a new consciousness for a web of traffic’. Stowe was talking about your time being a shared resource. He said ‘It’s important for your network that the network as a whole makes progress’. This is why we should be available and responsive to our network. As such, time that we invest in building our networks and sharing resources within our network is not unproductive time. We are as strong and as knowledgeable and as connected as our networks are. Our networks actually allow us to be more effective, and more productive than we would be if we were more traditionally productive in an isolated way.

‘Productivity is second to connectivity’ as Stowe said.

I’ve just started reading The Play Ethic by Pat Kane where I’ve found Pat using Game Theory to illustrate the same idea. He cites Robert Wright and his book Non-Zero. Wright says that there are two kind of games: zero-sum games (win/lose, like tennis) and non-zero-sum, which are more like an economic exchange or a vibrant community. ‘Non-zero-sum games increase the rewards for all those who commit to participate in the exchange over a long period’.

When I think about social networking in these terms it makes a lot more sense to me, and takes on a whole new level of validity. I participate in social networking online because I reap rewards from it, as do others within my networks. The thing I like about online social networks is that being involved with them is so pleasurable that it’s taken me this long to become consciously aware of this effect.

Compare that to traditional ‘networking’ (I’m picturing a room full of people I don’t know with whom I’m supposed to swap chit chat and business cards in the hope that they’ll call the company I work for and give us work) … I’ll take online any day.

And, from now on, I’ll feel less guilty about time spent Twittering, Flickring blogging, and accepting FaceBook friends. It’s just a new way of being productive.

Related reading at Anne 2.1