Steve Collis and his aircraft flight path video has been bugging me for weeks, so has trying to picture what the difference is between how social-networks use media to solve problems and how organizations use it. So I drew a picture about growing a communication atmosphere. Here’s what I think all this communication interest is about … and I’ll start with the one that most potential-tweet-recruits encounter.
I’m with some humans. Tell them what Twitter is about … We’ll it’s really all about a dynamic flow of media communication enabled by rapid advances in telecommunication, particularly mobile communication. It’s about the defeating the game of thrones, where those at the top pretend to know, those at the bottom pretend not to know. It’s also about our increasing ability to track physical, social and emotional movement. We are less attracted to knowledge ‘points’ anymore such as newsprint, company newsletters or the inter-office memos, which, if we plotted their movement would be like ball-bearing rolling around a bowl until sooner or later it meets the bottom of our interests where it settles. Twitter is a periodic attractor, where we come and go where information is interesting because any attempt to plot it, creates infinite unusual shapes. It not a place for people who want to play the game of thrones.
It’s a place were we experience periodic dynamic question and answer sessions, which stops the game of pretend to know/not to know. It stops us working too hard on impossible dilemmas and instead find attraction to a kind of situational leadership, where no one has a constant value of importance and can afford to ‘vanish’ from time to time. Those that use it to their advantage know how to sell the ‘why’ and build motivation. They create high will for change and leverage it into the ‘what’ when people are ready and then provide the ‘how’ to keep motivation going though involvement. They are also sensible enough to know the flow changes quickly, so the once skill and will are high, they will let go – but only if and when they think it’s sustainable. The point of having followers is not to command or pontificate (listen up Captain Obvious), it’s to enable them to take the lead, and for leaders to learn how to follow. Sadly many attribute-leaders believe Twitter is a better soap box.
I am absolutely no mathematician, but I do appreciate it when maths-geeks make animations to explain really complex things using bizarre symbols and formulas that only other maths-geeks understand. So moving on from Collis and his damn aircraft, here’s one that I think describes Twitter for me.
If used wisely, I think Twitter reduces pressure on organisations, Being ‘on’ Twitter means learning to understand the chaotic, three dimensional flow of information between ‘set’s of people, ideas and groups. To be it’s more than a sense of being connected or belonging, but a more human interest in movement and our ability to notice the unusual more than the familiar. I think if you stick with it, you learn eventually to let go a little and allow the dynamic of human-connections and ideas to help solve problems. I think over time, we learn to plot this movement – but it’s a very complicated thing to learn.
“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” – Indira Gandhi
People learning to use Twitter to overcome their own challenges. They learned to ask good questions, but most of all, they learn to move between media with increasing fluency and understanding. Attractive media today is essentially a non-linear mechanism – in other words what we expect to see, read and hear is probabilistic rather than deterministic. Perhaps this is the Inugi Paradox – a social rendition of the butterfly effect in 140 characters or less.
Postscript: Steve’s damn video: