Personal value precedes network value

If we are to build networks of value, then each person in the network needs to find value for themselves before they can contribute value to the network. Only this can be worthy of being called a ‘community’. This is a problem when so many are now engaged in little more than bookmarking for a mysterious crowd that they seem to think are their community or audience.

The ability to aggregate has blinded many into thinking that ‘curating’ will contribute to wider adoption of things they think matter. Hash-tagging, Pin-ing, Scoop-ing have almost become a requisite feature of demonstrating digital-prowess. I often wonder about some stores I see, they are crammed with goods, many spilling out onto the street on tables and clothing rack. The idea being – buy it cheap, sell it on fast. This isn’t new, people have been aggregating blogs for years, which are little more than micro-reviews and link-bait to generate advertising revenue. A few are good, the majority are crap.

I never go in these shops or websites either.

Finding value means finding your purpose and the best way to do that is to invite someone to co-create something with you first, and allow them to actively shape what that becomes for them. Offering a gazzillion pins or offering ‘design’, ‘computational’ metaphors is just pain confusing and misleading. People need to have time to make sense of things, and to contribute (not consume more content or more new [in-correct] ideas.

I despair at how little this actually happens – we are stuck in a moment where job-centric and look @me is dominating and missing the point. 99% of people see no value in it – they are probably as computer literate as the next person and perfectly good teachers.


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