Steve Song on how connectedness changes everything

Steve Song on how connectedness changes everything

Steve Song

Steve says his talk is like a “Piñata”, filled with goodies; take what you like.

Change has been a constant and the pace of change has increased.

•    “The organisation” used to be seen as a finely callibrated machine, now the metaphor of a tree is more appropriate: a complex adaptive system.
•    Knowledge seems static, but it is like talking about your feet while you mean walking.
•    Science is also changing.

None of those changes are as important as an even bigger change: connectedness. Increasing connectedness is changing everything. It will have an unprecedented impact.

For networks, more is NOT just more: there are network effects. More participants exponentially increases the number of interconnections.

See the birthday paradox: the larger a group, the chance you have the same birthday as someone in the group gets exponentially larger.

What happens if we get overwhelmed by the number of connections?

you will need to increase the:
-bonding capital
-bridging capital

What did it bring us to:

  • 180 million blogs
  • twitter (sending short text messages (sms size) to the web, where it is publically available) 3 million posts per day
  • flickr …. billion photos
  • You Tube: billions of videos

In short: an immense amount of user generated content.

These networks, like many things in the Internet, are subject to a power law distribution. The average user is not the average user. Like in: when Bill Gates walks into a bar, everyone turns into a millionaire on average.

Why should you be twittering, blogging?

What if somebody out there shares your birthday, what if someone has a key to your puzzle.
You have to leave a trail. The “breadcrumbs” are not only findable now but leave a timestamp as well. So it shows what you have been doing over time.
You can be found, you need those conversational links that will take you to the next step.

Steve Song: if you do not leave a digital trail, you are missing out of an opportunity.

Some examples:

  • some laptops are equipped with shock detectors. If we connect those it acts like a distributed seismograph and is useful for detecting earth shocks, AND the lateral motion of those.
  • Malaria Journal is online and actually helps recuce number of deaths as people recognize symtoms earlier.


The slides of Steve’s presentation.

Look at the video where Steve explains what he will be saying, and talks about the importance of video for KM.