The Perfect Storm – 1

Wikinomics summarizes astutely so many things that are happening that I’ll probably continue with it for several posts. The second chapter sounds like a video of my own life.

This week my youngest son invited me to come on to Geni to help create the family history. He’s managed to put in his wife, son and brothers and his parents without any difficulty but needed some help with the previous generation – he’s taking care of the future ones admirably. So I accepted the invitation and immediately became part of a social network of the kind that Don Tapscott talked about earlier in the week. I can now invite any other known relative to pitch in and increase the information and connections.

I’m hooked into the technology revolution and global economics – did I ever dream of selling software to someone in Melanesia even a few years ago – but I’m definitely not part of the demographic that is driving the new world. Grandmothers have a chance to join it though. The convergence of these three is what Tapscott means by the perfect storm.

For many, the early vision of the Web was a library, – a place where there was knowledge to be passively received. Those of us who had to do research projects certainly found that it speeded things up. Even in the early ‘90’s we were on Compuserve’s Creativity Forum sharing ideas. We probably aggregated information and shared it with a client or two. But we didn’t think of re-writing other people’s posts or adding to them.

But that’s the new Web. Tapscott terms this social glue. The Net Generation that he first observed in his own family and thought the kids were geniuses, is taking over. Their genius is the norm. The lastest generation think that technology is just a part of life and go beyond their predecessors who thought it was so cool to text message on their Palm Pilots. The Net-Geners are taking collaboration into every part of their working and educational lives and they are connecting globally.

The results are here. Information is no longer something just to receive. It’s something to improve, share, create, and participate in. And the interaction is huge. It goes way beyond families cooperatively writing their history and is reaching into the biggest companies and institutions. That’s bound to have some implications for the rest of us.

So how are you faring? How is your life changing in the middle of this Tsunami of interaction? Interact! You can comment below!