The laws of connectedness

OK here goes – to try to define what’s going on in this brave, new, collaborative world, I’ve drawn up a series of “laws”. These will evolve – feedback welcome. That’s the point – see law 16!

Laws of connection

1.         Connectedness is about joining in
2.         Joining in happens automatically when the barriers to joining are low enough
3.         Connections form between individuals, not organisations
4.         Connections link devices, services and people
5.         Connections are two way
6.         The value of connections increases based on the number of touch points
7.         Connection is a means to an end: the end is participation

Laws of participation

8.         Communities form as a natural consequence of connectedness
9.         Communities define their own mechanisms, language and etiquette
10.       Individuals occupy roles within communities
11.       Participation can be active or passive, hub or spoke
12.       Declaration is a pre-requisite to active participation
13.       Participation is a means to an end: the end is collaboration

Laws of collaboration

14.       Collaboration is the achievement of goals by a connected community
15.       Goals benefit individual participants, not the community
16.       Active feedback is essential to achieving goals
17.       Success is proportionate to the number of participants
18.       Open collaboration is self regulating 

These laws are not specific to any technology or group. Example themes that have driven these laws are: text messaging, Make Poverty History, Blogging, Marillion, BNI, LinkedIn, Cluetrain, peer to peer, mashups, Warcraft, ecademy, eBay, street teams, open source, Skype, Flickr, wisdom of crowds, SOA, agile development, Usenet, Sharepoint.

The laws of connectedness

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