All entries for Wednesday 21 November 2007

November 21, 2007

Why no hate in Web2.0?

I’ve been recording sessions from the What’s IT all about day today and was very interested in the presentation by Roo Reynolds on metaverses and 3d worlds. All good stuff but I was struck by the relationship diagram that he put up which was a fairly standard affair showing you >> your immediate friends >> your colleagues >> everybody else in concentric circles of connection.

In fact – here it is:

Relationship diagram

Slide is taken from Roo Reynolds’ presentation so be nice to it.

Now, i’ve seen this sort of slide many many times and the following thought struck me:

When talking about Web 2.0 and social media within enterprises presenters only ever map positive relationships – your friends, colleagues and customers.

Nobody ever (to my knowledge) maps negative relationships – enemies, people you don’t like, blockers and naysayers.

And that got me thinking – many advocates and evangelists for this technology map models where workplaces are essentially positive, collaborative and co-operative spaces and I would hazard a guess that many many organisations and teams are just not like that. So, therefore, what is the implication and impact of negative relationships on the dynamic of social networking tools in both the workplace and between organisations and customers.

For example, how does the fact that I don’t get on with X affect my relationship with Y, and does this situation create a tension when trying to achieve objective A and is this tension negated or amplified by the presence of social media tools.

I am trying to work out whether this positive view is something inherent in a certain sort of IT company / silicon valley start up and it’s just not the done thing to plan for bad relationships or whether there is a method of mapping these into the model that allows for the creative management of such tensions.

Anyway, the upshot is that I would be interested to know whether anyone has had a go at expanding this essentially positive view to accommodate the opposing experience.

Hopefully we will have Roo’s presentation up as a podcast shortly – it’s a good listen.


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