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Posts tagged with ‘time is the new space’

Finally, the web — soon to become the cybersphere — will no longer resemble a chaotic cobweb. It’s already started to happen. Instead, billions of users will spin their own tales, which will merge seamlessly into an ongoing, endless narrative: the earth telling its own story.

David Gelernter, The End of the Web, Search, and Computer as We Know It

Time is the new space. We invented the web to happen to ourselves. The largest, most expensive human artifact ever built turns out to be the social web, where all roads lead back to us.

(via wildcat2030)

All our metaphors are broken. The network is not a space (notional, cyber or otherwise) and it’s not time (while it is embedded in it at an odd angle) it is some other kind of dimension entirely.

BUT meaning is emergent in the network, it is the apophatic silence at the heart of everything, that-which-can-be-pointed-to. And that is what the New Aesthetic, in part, is an attempt to do, maybe, possibly, contingently, to point at these things and go but what does it mean?

- Jame Bridle, #sxaesthetic via booktwo.org

I have long argued that the metaphors about shared online space don’t work, because we are sharing time online. Bridle argues it’s not time being shared either. And then he sort of throws up his hands, because he doesn’t know what it is we are sharing, or what it means.

(h/t Bruce Sterling)

Reading-and-sharing: nurturing the ties that bind →

Kate Niederhofer via Social Abacus

I’ve blogged before about Wegner’s notion of the transactive memory, a concept I love about how we get information into our heads (encode), arrange and add context (store), and eventually access when needed (retrieve) *as a group*. In my mind, this is underpinning of the success that Twitter is. It also helps explain this tendency we have to read-and-share as a means to coordinate our social network. That is, by sharing certain content with specific people, we more effectively encode, store, and retrieve information as a social network. Think of it like really effective curating. Simply by sharing links, we’re making sense out of our expanding networks. 

But something else happens when we read-and-share. We create virtual spaces. As the great sociologist Ray Oldenburg might say, we create “a third place.” Places, really. Salons. Sharing links creates places for us to meet and talk about our shared interests. Traditionally a “third place” is a place of refuge. It’s not your home, not your job. So these virtual salons we create let us escape— or augment our reality— while performing social network maintenance: clustering and categorizing our network.

Yes, I believe that by curating we are sharing more than links, although it’s not a space that we define, but a way to share time: to still the time we are in, and share it with others, who experience it themselves.

We are sharing experience: Time is the new space.

(Source: underpaidgenius)

Our Time Is Not Our Own: Time Is The New Space

Jolie O’Dell cites another study showing the obvious: that tuning into the world outside the piecework on your desk takes time. It you add up all the time that we spend reading things, communicating with people we known, and looking at websites, and then multiply it by the dollars per hour we are paid, it’s a big number.

Yawn.

It’s preposterous to have to counter this handwaving once again, but here goes:

Workers are not gears in a machine. If your job can be performed by a soulless automaton, then your business should buy one and turn it on. You are in your job because you are a human being, and you need to be able to apply your reasoning and problem solving skills to your work. Machines can’t do that yet, except in very narrow domains like chess playing and identifying trees based on the shapes of leaves.

Our time is not our own. I truly believe that our time is increasingly not our own, but I don’t believe that our time is owned by the company that pays us. What I mean is something quite different. But first, let me dispell the other meaning.

In a world where work/life balance is increasingly blurred — especially for creatives and professionals — we are not really being paid to punch in for eight hours, and then leave the ‘plant’ where we never spend a moment thinking about work. As if.

The reality is we are being paid for results. We are supposed to make progress against goals in the projects and work we are involved in, and the new normal is that we are — to some extent — always working. And to a similar and complementary extent, we are always living our personal life too.

Its only when some boneheaded Taylorist with a bug up his ass starts measuring our bio breaks with a stopwatch that the old convention of the timecard is pulled out of mothballs, once again.

Our time is not our own, 21st century version: Time is the New Space. The norms of social and business conduct is increasingly shaped by the social contract we are making online, as opposed to the other way around.

Stowe Boyd, Social Business

We are not sharing space online, although it the conventional wisdom says we are. We are sharing time. Time has become a shared resource.

Our time is increasingly not our own, in a good way, as we move into a streamed model of connection.

Individual time becomes less of a reality, and a shared thread of time will become the norm — shared with those that are most important to you and those that reciprocate. This will change the basic structure of work.

Time is increasingly less linear, less mechanical; but more subjective and plastic.

Individuals will choose to trade personal productivity for connectedness, as voices in the stream ask for help, pointers, and introduction. Connectedness will trump other obligations, specifically timeliness.

Or to recast it in more pragmatic and workaday terms: the reason that we can do our jobs is in large part derived from who we are, and what we know, and not just some static set of skills we possessed when we were hired.

We are learning machines, and otherwise not machine-like at all. We are designed to be constantly learning, as much as possible, and a great deal of our social interaction is based around that dimension. A great deal of thinking is tied up with learning, not just applying rote knowledge to static problems. We literally have to learn our way through new situations.

Many companies have abrogated their responsibility to help employees learn continuously, and so we have taken it upon ourselves to do so. And it’s no great loss, since industrial-era education was generally teaching skills that were half out-of-date as soon as they were learned, anyway.

So, the millions of dollars that are being ‘stolen’ by employees chatting with friends or reading blogs aren’t a theft at all. They are employees investing themselves in social connection through which learning happens.

Yes, it is a bottom-up, rogue sort of learning, where the employers aren’t calling the shots, but it is learning, nonetheless. And the businesses in the end get the benefit of smarter — a synonym nowadays for ‘more connected’ — workers, as the result.

And the sooner that these idiot researchers throw away their stopwatches and start to measure what matters — instead of what’s easy to count — the better.

The Internet’s future is not Web 2.0 or 200.0 but the post-Web, where time instead of space is the organizing principle — instead of many stained-glass windows, instead of information laid out in space, like vegetables at a market — the Net will be many streams of information flowing through time.

David Gerlernter, David Gerlernter on Flow

Time is the new space.

Time Is The New Space: Moments, Not Memos

In some recent writings and presentations, I have explored the topic ‘Time Is The New Space’:

from 10 Minute Sprint from 140 Characters Conference: Social Business

We are not sharing space online, although it the conventional wisdom says we are. We are sharing time. Time has become a shared resource.

Our time is increasingly not our own, in a good way, as we move into a streamed model of connection.

Individual time becomes less of a reality, and a shared thread of time will become the norm — shared with those that are most important to you and those that reciprocate. This will change the basic structure of work.

Time is increasingly less linear, less mechanical; but more subjective and plastic.

Individuals will choose to trade personal productivity for connectedness, as voices in the stream ask for help, pointers, and introduction. Connectedness will trump other obligations, specifically timeliness.

I want to build on one aspect of this topic: to the degree that we rely on real-time streaming as the basis of our work interactions, we will sense that we are sharing time, not documents, or other artifacts. Interaction in real-time forms the context of our interactions, and displaces many prior social objects.

In particular, this means the end of documenting status by reports: moments are what we share, not memos.

The elements of the memo are atomized into a scattershot of micro status updates, which, like macro blogging before it, has thrown away the stucture of beginning, middle and end. We are always at the start, middle, and end. Not everything fits into a 140 character Twitter post, but long form writing won’t necessarily look like memos, but a slightly slower stream made up of larger chunks.

In everyday, more prosaic terms, I am betting that the operational documents that flowed, sluggishly, through the interoffice mail of companies in the ’90s, and as email attachments in the ’00s, will simply not be created in the ’10s. Instead, people will simply aggregate others’ streams — both micro and macro — ordered by time and topic. Or simply remain aware of what folks are doing in an ambient way, sharing time. A fully streamed world, not batched.

The Naming Of Things: Social Business

I guess the Dachis folks are getting some push back on the use of the ‘social business’ and ‘social business design’ handles to characterize the impacts of social tools on business.

[via Defining Social Business Design: Style vs. Substance by Peter Kim]

For the most part, people understand that we’re talking about what’s on the horizon for business. However, most detractors seem to take issue with the style of the idea’s communication rather than its substance. Some say they don’t understand. I’ll take that at face value and suggest they try harder. Others ask why simpler words weren’t used. Well, as a certain bald-headed guru told me, “words matter.”

Some new terms take a lot of persuading before they become lodged in the zeitgeist, like Web 2.0 and social tools, in the past ten years. But, now, on balance, we can see that these ideas have helped to characterize what is going on: to clarify, not to confuse.

Many people are naturally reluctant to adopt what might just be specious terms, especially after being subjected to ‘knowledge management’ projects, or asked to ‘think out of the box’ at company offsites, or being barraged with market speak by a word-happy advertising culture.

But I believe that words, and even more importantly, metaphors, matter. How we choose to name things makes a difference.

Unlike Peter Kim and his associates at Dachis, I might have been more metaphorical and less riveted down in my prose for a social business description than Peter was in his post today, and in the earlier group post (see Social Business Design). Of course, they are advancing a more complex picture — social business design, and its moving parts — while I am simply sketching out the anthropology of the thing.

Since I am doing a ten minute sprint presentation on social business at tomorrow’s 140 Character conference, here’s my handwave.

Social Business

'Social Business' denotes businesses organized around social ties and the use of social technologies to support them.

This is intended to represent a break between companies (in general) organized prior to the rise of the social web.

Leaving aside any implied methods for designing, building, or even managing such organizations, I offer a few one-liners to try to capture the essential elements of these organizations. I don’t want to undercut my 10 minutes of glory, so here’s a few teasers:

  • the individual is the new group
  • business is a village, not an army
  • small talk is big again
  • meaning is the new search
  • time is the new space
  • flow is the new center

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