Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Of silos and serendipity

Silos are no friend to serendipity.
They make excellent recommendation engines - peer to peer in the likes of Facebook and twitter.
But in order to be discoverable within those silos someone within the silo must make the discovery outside of it, 'like' it (Facebook) or share the link (Twitter etc).
Then, if the thing is relevant and useful, peer-to-peer distribution through networks of trust does the rest.
And that delivers us a filter based on those we follow and friend. Which is excellent. The best combined crap detector and relevancy generator I've ever known.
With a little wisdom, we choose to add a sprinkling of folk with whom we may not agree, whose interests do not match our own. This is us acknowledging the value of serendipity. A sprinkling of it.
Twitter is relatively well placed for this. Facebook, because it's more closed and far from easy to connect with those you don't have huge amounts in common with, is not. Its resolution of the serendipity issue is to provide a search of the web alongside its internal search (powered by Bing - shareholder Microsoft's search engine).
The fact it is there at all acknowledges a simple truth - one that is true of all silos, no matter how adhoc or fuzzy edged (yes, Twitter too): Not everything you need to know is available here. Not every connection awaits you here.
The future is without silos. And that cannot be reached if we entrench within silos and wait to be fed.
Do your bit. Go discover something beyond. Add to the network.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone so I may have to tidy it up later ;-)

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?