Friday, October 24, 2008

Collaborative Web

The essence of the Web is about linking, sharing and collaboration. Productivity and value creation is driven by cooperation. Gerry McGovern

The last few days we have been playing with the Geni site for building family trees. This site has been a big hit with the students. I have been impressed with the thoughtful reviews you have provided. Continue to refine your reviews. Does it tell a story? Is it directed to an audience?

My review:

Last night I invited several family members to join Geni. At around 9:00pm there were six family members "Online now" and working on the site. This was very powerful. How does this change the nature of work? How does this change the final product?

I accept as a truism that "Isolation is the enemy of improvement". So if many hands work on the document it will almost certainly improve. Oddly, we as a family never talked on the phone about this, or sent instructions, it just happened. That is the power of the collaborative web.

Notice that this site models one of our central understandings. Modern websites are used, not read.

Think of the knowledge that has been routinely lost. Try to find out where your great-grandfather went to high school, for example. Or how tall were your grandparents? How many kids did they have? Tools such as genie can preserve this information, creating a rich tapestry of data for future generations. What information from your life would you want preserved in this "time capsule"? Now you might have some of that power.

Use this power and archive this knowledge before it is lost. It will be a great gift for your family.

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