Seth Godin did an article for Fast Company about how I use my blog and IRC and am adapting my work-style to the social software. His perspective is interesting. I hadn't thought of it as a "virtual organization". I'm also glad he got this part right:

Seth Godin
It's important, though, to not think of this as Joi's powerful new network or Joi's group. "Joi Ito is no longer a name, it's a place," he says. He coordinates a collective, one in which he's a member, not the chief.

Thanks Seth!

8 Comments

Seth is a great writer. I love his stuff.

It would be hard for a lot of organisations to emulate Joi's model effectively. It relies on too many factors that can't be bought.

While the IRC does not belong to Joi in a strict sense, we try to remember that it is his "living room", and treat it as such.

Sorry about the coffee table, btw.

Woolstar

I like to use the word "teme" to describe such virtual organisations/adhocracies. I think it conveys something about their evolutionary nature.

gene > meme > teme. .... a new "length-scale" in evolution perhaps?

teme: (pronounced "team")
n.
1. a self-organized group working together, sharing a purpose that emerges through mutual self-interest. e.g. a teme of bloggers.

Hard for existing organisations to emulate; emulation is inefficient. But interaction costs are falling. Sony's chairman, Idei Nobuyuki, has described the internet as a comet that will cause the extinction of dinosaur companies. When interaction costs are lower than some critical value will "temes" take their place?

This is my first time here and I suddenly feel at ease - at home - and it is rather nice.

Adhocracies - to me - are one facet among many towards a peaceable and prosperous future for all humanity. A concept like chosing a family or tribe without regard to nationality, race or regard to geographic location is a marvelous thing.

A common theme or undercurrent that I repeatedly see happening online is people playing at new forms of self organization, community building, self policing, and more. And when done properly, taking it just seriously enough, but not too much. Not at all unlike children playing with toys and models to learn how the world works, except in this case, the final world has yet to be built.

Adhocracies get things done with so little friction it is miraculous compared to the history of our collective industrial past.

Real communities give people something to work for, something to invest in with real sweat equity and a sense of place and purpose. (And I consider many well-formed online communities to be entirely real.) I would go so far as to say in my personal experience, most of the 'real' communities I have experienced have been online. The 'real' communities that I have experienced offline - sadly - only seem to exist and thrive under the radar of 'legal' municipalities and authorities. Temporary/Temporal Autonomous Zones, indeed.

What a peaceful, beautiful place this is. I think I'll come back soon...

As I was reading the issue of FC that arrived yesterday, I found at the end Seth Godin's article on Joi. My first instict was to log on to IRC and tell him about it!

Thank you for hosting this "posse" of peers; now, in one month, I have two things to show my Mom for all those years of IRC -- the time didn't go to waste after all ;)

See y'all when I get reconnected.

Where does it talk about the ring kissing ceremony? I distinctly remember some party at Zibbibbo - where we all lined up and paid homage to our leader - Joi. Or was that Clay?

I believe that was Clay, and I believe it was Santa Clara. But what do I know? I've slept since then.

Neat to see y'all talking about Seth's FC column about Joi. I met Joi F2F for the first time at Bloggercon and mailed him a hard copy of the mag as soon as it came out. Neat to have my worlds overlap.

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