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2010-07-27 We Are The Network: Does “Instant Access to Everything” Cause Polarization of Opinions?

July 25th, 2010 No comments

Does “Instant Access to Everything” Cause Polarization of Opinions?

Please join our global discussion group
every Tuesday at 12pm noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm Eastern time

This Tuesday, July 27th at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Wells/97/56/27

This Week’s Topic

Does “Instant Access to Everything” Cause Polarization of Opinions?

I’ve often heard the comment that the Internet exposes people of all types to more diverse opinions, with more facts and background, than ever before, that this is inherently good for discourse, and good for the generation of better ultimate decisions – whether in terms of political process or other decisions. Phrase in another way, this is “wisdom of the crowds” at global scale. On a gut level, this makes sense. More people and opinions ought to create a more balanced view, and although there will be some with extreme opinions, it is generally thought that the wisdom of the crowd will corrall them in workable fashion.

The Boston Globe ran an article this week titled “How Facts Backfire” (listed in the reading links below as well) that really got me thinking. The article pointed to work done at the University of Michigan (the published paper is also linked below for reference) that indicated a tendency for people to take more extreme positions in the face of corrective facts. This seems to fly in the face of the basis of an informed electorate providing the best case for a reasoned choice, and seems to call in to question the idea of wisdom of the crowds.

From a different perspective, the explosion of people posting raw information, sometimes carefully edited or not fact-checked, on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and many other social media systems, has created the appearance of a deluge of (maybe) factual information that is so vast we have no hope of ever understanding it all. The politicized, highly public debate about Shirley Shirrod’s at-first edited words, and then the publication of the full video, provide one view in to how our society handles the new hyper-speed, influence-driven environment in which we now find ourselves living. I’ve included a link to one blog post about this incident, in particular because it has both versions of the now-infamous speech on one page. You can find plenty more with a few clicks if you’d like!

The indexing of the web has generated an apparent global fact overload, available in seconds from a simple search engine query. Does this fact overload trigger the polarization reflex revealed int he University of Michigan study? Does it lead to moderation? How can our propensity for instant gratification, and lessened chance of correcting factual mistakes, lead us to the land of better, more informed discourse, given both what we have seen to date and this new research?

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm U.S. Eastern time for an interactive discussion, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

If you do not have a Second Life account and would like a quick start to attend the session, please contact me for more information.

Best regards,

Joel

Reading links below – have fun and see you soon! Read more…

2010-07-20 We Are The Network: Virtual World Success and Failure Factors – Past, Present and Future

July 18th, 2010 No comments

2010-07-19 Added reference link to blog post by returning Second Life CEO Philip Linden “Update on Strategy”

Virtual World Success and Failure Factors – Past, Present and Future

Please join our global discussion group
every Tuesday at 12pm noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm Eastern time

This Tuesday, July 20th at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Wells/97/56/27

This Week’s Topic

Virtual World Success and Failure Factors – Past, Present and Future

Virtual worlds grabbed the attention of marketers, companies and educational institutions several years ago, in no small part driven by the fast growth of Second Life™ and offerings for younger children such as Disney’s Club Penguin and many others. Some predicted that virtual worlds would “replace the 2D web.” Over the course of several years many competitors appeared on the marketplace. Today it is far less clear whether this evolutionary replacement will occur in the mid-term, if ever.

In this discussion we will analyze three phases of virtual world development, using the Second Life environment as a model for discussion (since it is the one that most participants in this group know the best).

We will look at Second Life’s initial strong growth phase, discussing which factors seem to have driven and limited growth even during that fast adoption period.

A second phase appeared, in which more targeted uses of virtual worlds appeared, although also through this period usage growth appeared to have stalled, and in many ways retrenched (from public data, it would appear that concurrency has fallen to levels roughly comparable to two years ago after a peak in early 2009). Although on a typical day about 10,000 new registrations are logged, only about 2% of these registrations result in active users (from data presented in a public forum around the launch of Viewer 2).

The third phase has yet to unfold, as we go forward to some form of global financial recovery (with or without jobs, a related but separate topic). Will this third phase look like continued decline for virtual world use, or growth, and what drivers will determine its shape?

We will discuss the corporate model, technical, community, marketing and external cultural and business/financial drivers for the growth or lack of growth through these phases. Is there a path that would result in strong future growth for virtual world technologies, has the market splintered in a fashion that reflects strong but less visible growth, and under what conditions would a system such as Second Life return to strong growth, or has it reached its ultimate size based on the number of people who are interested in its philosophy and concept base? Will virtual world concepts become dramatically widespread, but in some other form than a single-vendor connected system? Are there drivers that indicate that the concepts must evolve to be of interest to a dramatically larger audience?

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm U.S. Eastern time for an interactive discussion, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

If you do not have a Second Life account and would like a quick start to attend the session, please contact me for more information.

Best regards,

Joel

Reading links below – have fun and see you soon! Read more…

2010-07-06 We Are The Network: Can an Organization have a Personality Disorder?

July 5th, 2010 No comments

July 6, 2010 1:54pm Added “The Neurotic Organization: Diagnosing and Changing Counterproductive Styles of Management” to the reference links section. Thanks to John Jainschigg for pointing out this title.

Can an Organization have a Personality Disorder?

Please join our global discussion group
every Tuesday at 12pm noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm Eastern time

This Tuesday, July 6 at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Wells/97/56/27

This Week’s Topic

Can an Organization have a Personality Disorder?

Organizations talk about internal culture and market it as a selling point, both to customers and to potential staff. organizational culture reflects a concept of shared personality, often described in flashy, positive terms.

If organizations have an organization-level personality, can organizations (collection of many people) have collective personality disorders? Do organizational personality disorders map directly to individual personality disorders defined by mental health professionals?

How can organizational personality disorders be resolved? Are such resolutions possible?

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm U.S. Eastern time for an interactive discussion, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

If you do not have a Second Life account and would like a quick start to attend the session, please contact me for more information.

Best regards,

Joel

Reading links below – have fun and see you soon! Read more…