David Weinberger Made Me Commit Orkut

I got a bit of actual work done today and decided to allow myself the liberty of traveling across campus to hear David Weinberger talk about the book he's writing, or thinking about writing. The incomparable Lili Cheng was our hostess with the mostest. Afterwards, I ran into Lenn, who introduced me to Shawn Morrissey (nice to meet you, Shawn). Lenn shared some interesting news about the Channel9 wikis. Apparently, the Internet Explorer wiki is expanding by leaps and bounds based on a rumor that the IE team is reconstituting, or some such crazy thing. The big question that Lenn is wrestling with is this: what do you do with all that customer feedback?

In an interesting roundabout, this problem is exactly what David spoke about this afternoon.  Some very rough notes from his presentation:

writing book
doesn't know what it's about yet
will discuss information...how we organize information...value it
and by extension
how our perception of self is being changed by the way we organize information

!!Reification of Knowledge
   *idea behind KM is that we're not getting enough knowledge out of the resources at our disposal.
   *if we can mine more gems from the gravel quickly, we can get rich more quickly.
in today's age
knowledge is skin deep
breeds intellectual anorexia ... like my notes.

!Value of Blogs and Web Forums
Individuals are more trustworthy than corporate sites because they write like humans and they don't sound like a marketing feed.  Uses the Kenmore site as an example.  No human presence.  That's for sure.

!!<gravel><gem>When metadata becomes too explicit, people get confused.</gem></gravel>

!Implicit vs Explicit Social Contracts
Groups grow by internalizing rules and organizational structure. It's the unspoken that makes a group a group. But services like Friendster and Orkut make these unspokens explicit.

During the remainder of his talk, David talked about Friendster.  I took few notes as I decided to accept an outstanding invitation to join Orkut.

The Orkut application leaves me feeling ever so slightly soiled. Before running home to take a shower, I decide to return to Outlook to discover that three complete strangers have already asked me to join their groups of friends. I'm certainly glad I was clear about my marital status.

I guess it's only a matter of time until Marc Canter orkuts me, huh? When he does, I'll be ready to respond that I'm as honored to accept his invitation to Orkut as David Weinberger was to accept his invitation to join Friendster.

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