17th level Hacker

Smarter, Simpler Social

I already posted this in the linkblog, but I think it deserves another posting. The Smarter, Simpler Social essay is outstanding. Not only does it do a great job of laying down and explaining concepts, connecting them together, and giving literally dozens of pointers to other great reading - there’s also great original editorial commentary in there. Take this quote for example:

Instead of imposing centralised one-size-fits-all software and then using a combination of coercion and marketing to encourage people to use it, we should be building smaller, more modular and adaptable software services around the very people who will use them, and they should be simple to use, ideally transparent to the user. If we are to exploit the potential of online communication to develop social capital in networks and organisations, then these online applications should aim to augment our social interaction and support our connections with others rather than replace them. In addition to building large, structured online environments where people come together to work, share knowledge and communicate, we need to equip users with the tools required to interact on their own terms, and allow the emergent properties of highly-connected social networks to come into play.

I naturally turn this comment toward mobile computing, cause that’s an area of pretty high interest for me. We’ve heard statements like that before. What’s unique about the essay is that it goes on to explain some existing technologies that seem to be working in the right directions, project management considerations, and design movements that seem promising. Extremely enlightening. If you haven’t already, go read it now. Then take a quick break to grab a snack and a drink, and read it again.