Friday, May 05, 2006

Fear and ignorance exposed - It's a good thing!

Those who fear the coming of the Web2.0 Revolution are beginning to respond via the same tools they fear.  When other media outlets begin to pick up the conflict and report it as a story, then you know the revolution has started touching more than just the alpha geeks.


It’s always interesting to see how when grassroots efforts first kick off there are those who find it necessary to crush the effort with negativity, fear and ignorance.  Does anyone remember the days when email first popped in corporations?  Or how about the fight for Internet access for all employees?  The difference with the web2.0 culture is that it breaks down the corporate org structure and perceived value of middle management.  With “other” channels available (blogs, wikis, RSS) to create and foster your circle of influence, the need for many layers within the org chart becomes less relevant.  Those who embrace the new culture rescue themselves from the White Collar Revolution and become Me Inc., the theory put forth by so many business gurus but crossed my path via Tom Peters.


No, things won’t change over night and perhaps some of these points were made back in the early days of email and web access.  But, I do know that the tools are cheap AND useful.  And until Microsoft comes out with its bloatware version of blogs and wikis they will remain that way.  Once the managers start spending millions on the same tools they have could have had for next to nothing, THEN they will get on the bandwagon and start cheering the success of Web2.0 in corporation.  But as long as one guy with a server can fire up an open source app and support the entire company, management will fear the relevance of their existence.


Anonymous said...

Amazingly accurate. As a Course Management Systems admin, I am beginning to see the the difference between a 'Learning System' and a 'Management System'. I am impressed that the Web 2.0 is really gaining some inroads in the educational sphere. One of the things I am researching in Learning 2.0 is the amazing synergy it creates. If you know of some resources I can take advantage please feel free to let me know.

Excellent blog! I enjoyed every word.

Josh Bancroft said...

Great post. I loved the line "But as long as one guy with a server can fire up an open source app and support the entire company, management will fear the relevance of their existence."

The funny thing is, we "revolutionaries" aren't aiming to take down middle management. We just like to find cool, useful, elegant solutions, and use them to do our work.

Any other revolutionary outcome, I think, is a byproduct. :-)

bschlenker said...

RC, thanks for the kind words. There are lots of great folks out there blogging about learning2.0 and one good place to start is with the Ottergroup website.
I will post soon with a list of some the good stuff out there.

Josh, you are a true revolutionary of the rarist form...the kind that actually can get the work done and make things happen. It is sad to me that so many talented revolutionaries reside within corporate walls and consistently get squashed by the systems and drones that can do no more than the statis quo. My point is that the byproduct of your efforts is often born of the "perception" that middle management will no longer be necessary. The reality, for those who embrace it, will become better, more effective middle managers assisting you in doing even greater, and more productive things. The beauty of this type of collaborative informal networking is in the snowball effect. Things get communicated and "go big" very quickly. It's viral marketing being put to good use within the corporate structures.
Keep up the GREAT work!