How do ants know what to do?

I was sent an email yesterday , which i didn’t get around to looking at until today, i looked at my twitter feed and noticed Dave Briggs had posted some links and one of them focused on a response to Ads on local council websites. The exact email i had been sent…..An interesting concept but something I don’t agree with, if they are purely commercial. Unless we can control what and who i don’t think we will be embarking on this journey sometime soon.

Paul Canning has an interesting perspective on this topic, which is worth a read…

There are some implications to brand and reputation which will need to be managed or at least acknowledged going down this route. BUT and i guess this contradicts myself here if we could support local businesses or even regional businesses then it maybe something we could consider, but is isn’t something to get me excited about this month.

I was reading a bit more Clay Shirky, “Here comes everybody – The power of organising without organisations”. It got me thinking about “How do ants know what to do” this is an interesting overlap in that ants organise themselves without organisations and each one knows exactly what to do….maybe an ant version of CB radio or sms exists which we can’t measure, after all they have some great antenna, they must be used for something!

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Save the cheerleader save the world

save the cheerleader save the world

Last week, they (the chair fixing specialists) had to take my office chair which had broken on me whilst i was sitting back trying to ponder some new plan to save world, yes i actually do believe that…..i am also a big fan of heroes.

Anyway, at first i didn’t think losing my chair for approximately 2 weeks would be big deal, but i must tell you that my bottom is now missing the years of moulding it had created. The temporary chair for which i am grateful does not offer no where near enough comfort and i must confess i am feeling the strain.

I noticed this this morning whilst i was waiting for my laptop to boot up and connect to the network here, i decided to take a sneak peak at the book i purchased after the web 2 event last week (Here comes everybody, by Clay Shirkybuy it now from Amazon). After about the 5th page i was very uncomfortable and found it difficult to continue, so i stopped. How can i change the world in this chair!! I will continue at home later this evening.

I had intended on doing all the things i had put aside from Monday and Tuesday, as i was distracted by the social networking meeting which has actually got me thinking about a wide range of issues. But i was distracted today as well, i decided to download flock a social web browser, as a colleague (Martin) recommended it as a way to get around not be able to install adobe air on my laptop. I am very impressed with it, it pretty much does all i need a browser to do, but it could do with some other links to more formal sites like “istock”. but i can’t complain. I recommend it, if you find yourself moving around different applications to keep in touch (twitter, blogs, you tube, flickr etc). So thank you to martin who helped point me in the right direction.

I then spent a few hours going through web 2.0 and social media with a colleague and found myself, not out of character, going off topic. But i think i succeeded in spreading the message and passing on some knowledge.

The interesting thing about web 2.0 and social media is the concepts and approaches are important for us to share with other people as they can help shape local government in the future.

Now i am not sure where i heard or read this so do point it out if you know as it has stuck with me.

There are three rules of open source:
  1. 1.Nobody owns it.
  2. 2.Everybody uses it.
  3. 3.Anyone can improve it.
Our future thinking must view government more like a giant open source community. So far government ticks boxes one and two, no one person owns it and everybody uses it. Our task is to crack the elusive third point, ensure that every citizen has the ability to improve it.
It also got me thinking about how we spread the message, a communications exercise. Earlier this year i ran a small workshop inside my council entitled “blue sky discovery session – web 2.0 and social media” The aim of which was to get a small group of key business people in a room and talk to them about web 2.0 and social media and then open up discussion about what are there key issues and challenges. How could these new approaches (not technologies) help us think differently moving forward. It went well and i now have some great support for opening up social networking sites for all staff. But it still needs to be formally debated at our ICT programme review board. but i am very positive.
The success i think of the group was that it contained a mix of people who think differently about change and new ideas. This diagram will help show what i mean.
Where are you?
It is important i believe to ensure that we get a good representation of these types of people (be honest you all know some in each area). But they are critical to the success of projects and innovations.
One last thought, is Social Networking and sites like Twitter, the death of email? or do we see this like a postcode or address, a way in which we can obtain other things. Will we be encouraged to only have one email address to make things easier…