Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the category “Writing”

Are We Getting Better at Thinking?…and Innovating?

For all the talk of the evils of the web in terms of driving us to attention deficit/ dispersal, a few areas I’ve been reading have glued together in my head which may make a case for the opposition:

First, in a fantastic book on writing powerfully for business: We, Me, Them & It,  John Simmons makes a point, ‘For as long as I can remember I’ve used writing to sort out my thinking’

I’ve been toying round with a way of prioritising my time – personally and at work – around 5Cs: Create, Connect and Collaborate, Communicate and Consume. So in that order, I try and allocate any time I have to ensure I’m not just consuming or communicating. Since I restarted writing and refocusing on creativity nearly sixteen months ago, I’ve probably never been happier. I’ve argued to others that it makes my brain feel fresher and more flexible. The act of creation is satisfying, and I feel that I think better as a result of forcing myself to articulate things better – even when I play with words or ‘dump’ thoughts without much structure. I find this unblocks my thinking. Read more…

The Social and Information Web Drug III

An observation from Slate.com that adds item 12. to my splurge on the above topic (see these posts from

Money Symbols Abstract 4 - svilen001

Money Symbols Abstract 4 - svilen001

earlier in the week on the Social and Information Web Drug):

12. Social media is the new provider of social currency

Defining social currency as ‘The phrase, which comes from sociology, is often used to describe the information we acquire and then trade—or give away—to start, maintain, and nurture relationships with our fellow humans’

Christopher Carfi has a great post on social currency that expands further

So, particularly the tools of social media that aggregate/ channel/ filter and weight information are providing multiple opportunities to socially interact by trading ever more pertinent, timely and (to the individual hoping to interact) valuable information.

Those face to face ‘watercooler moments’ are being replaced by snipping content, feeding, streaming and adding to comments…..

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The Social and Information Web Drug II

So, continuing my splurge:

7. Is there an element of voyeurism? Particularly when you consider things like the FriendFeed stream to the right, and when you consider the post I mentioned yesterday on the Future of Blogging on ReadWriteWeb showing the ability to run your FriendFeed through a blog.

8. Less ominously, and extending point 2. yesterday about ‘Connection’, social interaction is an obvious driver of the fascination

9. Within Belbin’s later additions to his preferred team role profiles (which came from data feedback on a cluster of interests he hadn’t originally seen) is the ‘Specialist’ role. Those who want to know all there is about a subject. Is there an alignment between the preferences of those who find the time to fully absorb themselves in social media, or the tracking of certain streams of information, and this ‘type’?

10. The original draw of ‘surfing the net’: the random exploration of links and connections. The revelling in the depth and breadth of human interest and endeavour (to wax lyrically about it)

11. The experimentation with a set of tools by a keen and passionate group of followers. These tools likely to have the ability to significantly shift some elements of our future histories

You can tell I’m still splurging……..

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