The most effective local leaders seem to be those who learn to "live in two worlds" -- the world of their innovative subculture and the world of the mainstream culture of the larger organisation. They realise that innovative practices need "incubators" to develop and that, to some degree, these new practices must be protected. But they also value the knowledge developed through experience that resides in the mainstream culture. They seek to cultivate both, and they do so by developing their own abilities to be effective in both environments.
In a sense they become "bicultural", just like someone who lives in two countries with very different cultures. They become adept at crossing the numerous, often subtle, cultural divides between the two worlds. [...] Perhaps most important, they continually develop their awareness of the boundaries between these different worlds, knowing when they are in which domain and what it requires of them.
Ross has threegoodposts about a social network mapping project he's doing jointly with Valdis Krebs. By now surely my readers have all heard about it - he got blogged to death. Two more thoughts: some people link more consistently to others, which indicates closer relationships. The strength of ties could be reflected in the visualization, perhaps using node proximity or thickness of lines. And a better blog map might be built out of the blogging ecosystem dataset, which I believe is available for download. What do you think?  links to this post 2:51:10 AM
This blog collects knowledge on the world of non-government organizations (NGOs). Specific themes: to improve the world by mapping the NGO world. This is a knowledge mapping and sharing endeavour. By Olaf Brugman.
Mapping. What a great idea. Though I'm still unsure I get exactly what a NGO is. This page says that "NGOs = Citizens' action groups for mutual interests and objectives." Action seems to be the key word here. It's getting easier and easier to get people to speak out. Getting them out of their chair is another thing. (But words are also deeds, aren't they?)
It's hard, Hard when you're here all alone And everyone else has gone home; Harder to know right from wrong When all objectivity is gone And it's gone But you still carry on 'Cause you, You are the only one left And you've got to clean up this mess, You know you'll end up like the rest, Bitter, twisted unless You stay strong And you carry on.
The thing Iím going to tell you canít be said with words (doh!) Itís that Lao Tzu thing happening. But Iíll try anyway. Go look for yourself. See that tree over there. Now look at that other one. Ok, now look at that little scrubby one. So whatís the same about any of these trees? Not one thing, there all completely different. Different atoms, different bark, different textures, different species maybe. Yet they are both tree. Tree is Tree! But what makes tree equal tree?
The Web has several thousand well-known, explicitly defined communities ĖĖ groups of individuals who share a common interest, together with the Web pages most popular amongst them. [...] implicitly defined communities often focus on a level of detail that is typically far too fine to attract the current interest (and resources) of large portals to develop long lists of resource pages for them. Viewed another way, the methods developed below identify Web communities at a far more nascent stage than do systematic and institutionalized ontological efforts.
[...] such communities sometimes emerge in the Web even before the individual participants become aware of their existence. The question is the following: can we automatically recognize and identify communities that will clearly pass under the radar screen of any human ontological effort?
Interesting goal - people with common interests need to be more aware of one another. The algorithm seems a little complicated, though. But sometimes in order to publish it is better to avoid doing things too simply. I wonder if the algorithm has been turned into a resource somewhere on the web... seems not... I'd love to know what implicit communities I belong to.
I'm not sure I understand why the professors are so concerned with this. Why not let students choose what to do with their time, as long as they don't disrupt others' attention? And the more adventurous might even try clasroom chat experiments like that Social Software Summit thing.
Trust is a central ingredient in community building. Steve Gillmor explains its role in blogspace in a few well-chosen words:
blogs have nurtured a growing circle of trust, the mulch for building directories of digital identity based on expertise, communication skills, and critical intangibles -- sense of humor, ethical infrastructure, shared values, and contributed resources.
I've written about trust in blogspace, here and there. Continuous relationships of the kind we see in blogs sometimes make it feel like a village and this seems to help build (generalized) trust. One thing I'm wondering about is whether we'll see our circles of empathy grow along with our circles of trust. That could have long-ranging effects.