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Symbiosis & a new mascot for Social Computing

April 23, 2009

Portugese Man of War.png Revealing in the detail of a 17″ screen (and a mouse pad which halves the time it takes to navigate pages and applications) several utilities have moved from being mildly interesting to incredibly useful.   This twitter utility shows the social network of your Twitter friends and its a good example. I’ve also recently installed Nambu, an excellent Twitter client, although its a native Mac application so the unenlightened holders on to technology that never really worked in the first place will be unable to benefit form it. Looking at my desk top at the moment there are 15 different applications open all of which interact with each other and me, nearly of of which came for free.

The phenomena by which someone builds an engine, and others then build utility onto that is the ERP equivalent of the current age. In effect we have a evolutionary system that is highly resilient as apposed to the stable and structured environment presented by SAP. I think when we look back we will see Facebook as a transitionary environment between the two approaches, it imposes just too much structure and tries to do two many things. To pursue the ecological metaphor we are seeing the emergence of different biomes within our world of confused and complex interactions between the physical and the virtual. In the world of multiple applications and engines there are two symbiotic processes in place, one between software objects/applications and other between people (in networks rather than individuals) and that software.

That is going to be one of the themes of my lecture this evening (along with other stuff).  I’m also going to tbe talking about the work we put in with SenseMaker™ 3.0 to create an architecture for social computing. , The picture by the way is of one of the most interesting examples of symbiosis in nature, the Portuguese Man of War.    It’s not a jelly fish or even a single organism, instead its a colony of four different types of animal. Interestingly they also swarm, so if social computing wants a mascot this is it; the sting is pretty powerful as well

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