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Business Operations Using Web Culture

Another important question. How would a business operate differently if its culture matched that of the Web? If businesses should be leading by example, how should these businesses that are trying to promote blogging consulting services be operating themselves? Are these businesses pushing blogging consulting for other businesses really practicing what they preach?

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The Web is the Culture of the World

I’ve been doing some thinking about what I said in my post below about the BBC interview with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, where I said “The Web is the culture of the world.” I immediately started wondering if the Web truly was our culture, what are its values then? Even more so, I started wondering if one could define these cultural values could people start using them to get more in synch with the changes that are happening in the world. In effect, my greatest question was if a business started following these cultural values, what would happen? Would it fail miserably or would it become incredibly successful? And of course if it became successful then wouldn’t it be the perfect example and role model for other businesses to follow who also want to change with the times. This is extremely important because the only way other businesses will get on board is if they can actually see the beneficial results that other companies are having. In other words, lead by example.

Thinking about Business Logs and other similar ventures trying to show businesses how blogging can help them, I thought I’d find the answer there about these cultural values. I didn’t. More than anything I kept hearing more about how the technology of blogs could help a business without much emphasis on the cultural change needed for blogging to actually work. There were hints about culture but they didn’t come up as much as I wanted them to.

Finally, I remembered about my talks with David Weinberger some years back and that reminded me of The Cluetrain Manifesto. Were these cultural values of the Web defined within it? After rereading some key chapters I discovered that, yes, they were but…not as evidently as I wanted them to be. I think the closest thing I found to a list of cultural values was a list in Chapter Five: The Hyperlinked Organization (pg 125) entitled The Character of the Web.

The Character of the Web

  • Hyperlinked
  • Decentralized
  • Hypertime
  • Open, direct access
  • Rich data
  • Broken
  • Borderless

While these are definitely not what I would call the character traits of an individual, I still think they can lead to discovering and defining these cultural values that the Web is helping us to remember. That’s right. I honestly believe, as it was mentioned in The Cluetrain Manifesto, that these cultural values are nothing new. If anything, they have existed with us for thousands of years until only recently and with the proliferation of the Web we are once again rediscovering these values from our past. As I mentioned before, cultures influence people just as much people influence cultures. We are doing this on the Web by sharing stories and having conversations. In doing so we are not only passing on what is important to us individually but also what is important to us as a culture and people. It is cultural information that can influence and guide us into this future of change.

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the Humanity of the Web

BBC News interviews Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the Web, about the Web today.

I feel that we need to individually work on putting good things on it, finding ways to protect ourselves from accidentally finding the bad stuff, and that at the end of the day, a lot of the problems of bad information out there, things that you don’t like, are problems with humanity.

This is humanity which is communicating over the web, just as it’s communicating over so many other different media. I think it’s a more complicated question we have to; first of all, make it a universal medium, and secondly we have to work to make sure that that it supports the sort of society that we want to build on top of it.

The Web is the culture of the world. Cultures not only influence the people within them but people in turn influence the culture themselves. The Web is what we have made it to be and it can be whatever we wish it to be. We are connecting to it everyday more than just electronically. In fact, over time we’ll realize more and more that everything around us, including each one of us, is connected more than we know.

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Tribes Learning Communities

The Tribes process is aimed at educators to help them transform their school environments so that students have a more enjoyable learning experience in discovering what their talents are through group collaboration.

My deep conviction after a lifetime of work in education, youth development and systems change is that rather than focusing on “fixing kids” we need to fix the environments that impact their lives every day. Six or more hours in school each day in a strong and caring community culture are enough to help children discover a love of learning, self and social responsibility for their lives.

Imagine a world where every community, organization, or nation put more emphasis on fixing its culture and environment instead of blaming the people within it?

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Richard Koch’s Living The 80/20 Way

Richard Koch has an interesting website that talks about using the 80/20 principle (or Pareto Principle) to live your life. Along these lines, how about the following?

  • Don’t save time, savour it.
  • Don’t have habits, have rituals.