Following the thread of entries in my blog over the past few weeks, this diagram comes from a presentation on LukeW’s Functioning Form blog – (linked courtesy of Tom Smith’s The Other Blog) There’s a downloadable PDF version of the presentation available on Luke’s blog entry.
I really like Luke’s analysis of the notion of community here – illustrating very well how our ideas about community are now very different from what they may have been just five years ago. Luke uses the example of Flickr to illustrate this (as in the diagram above) – revealing the ways in which a community is established around the simple act of sharing photographs.
All of this thinking is further discussed in today’s issue of NewsWeek, in an article titled The New Wisdom of the Web by Steven Levy and Brad Stone. They use the examples of Flickr and MySpace to illustrate how current innovators are “making hay out of the Internet’s ability to empower citizens and enrich those who help with the empowerment.”
Levy and Stone list a number of characteristics of what they identify in their article as the “Living Web”, including a couple that particularly resonate with me:
- The smartest guy in the room is everybody – this is the thing I’ve often referred to as the “power of the collective”, or as others refer to the idea of “harnessing collective intelligence” – ref. Wikipedia as a key example.
- It’s not an audience, it’s a community” – the whole idea of moving from regarding the web as a place to access other people’s information (like a TV or newspaper) to where everyone is a content contributor as well as consumer.
If yoou’re unfamiliar with the thinking around Web2.0 this article is a good introduction.