New Civilization News: Working Publically    
 Working Publically17 comments
picture1 Jun 2002 @ 02:34, by Flemming Funch

One of the threads the Minciu Sodas Laboratory is exploring is that of "Working Publically". It doesn't quite reflect on the website yet, but it takes place on some of their mailing list discussion groups that I'm on. The same kind of thing is also going on on an increasing number of web logs (~news logs}, particularly amongst well-known techies on the net, like Jon Udell, Dave Winer or Adam Curry

Those are examples of places where people are thinking aloud and commenting on each other's work, and trying to fit pieces together. So you get a view into what they're working on, who they're working with, what progress they're making, etc.

Note how that at first glance looks similar to just commenting on interesting news items and giving your opininion, but it is quite different when it involves very visible progress and more and more pieces being connected together. It isn't necessarily predictable, planned, hierarchical progress. It mostly isn't. It's voluntary organization happening in an anarchy.

What the folks at Minciu Sodas, like Andrius Kulikauskas are doing is a step further to some degree. It involves fairly publically talking about business. Sort of like "Hey, I have in mind we could offer so-and-so service to such-and-such group. Does anybody have any leads? I'm thinking of charging so-and-so. I'm currently doing xxx for zzz." ...

I applaud and respect that kind of thing for several reasons.

It takes guts to do one's work in the open. As I've commented before, most people seem to guard their business processes as state secrets. Doing it in the open allows others to learn from what one actually does, both successes and failures. And it is an exceptional demonstration of honesty and openness. I'd much rather work with people who do their work in the open that way.

Also, making it visible what one is working on, even if it isn't finished, will allow others to bring in pieces for it. Some of the readers will know people that could be invaluable contacts. Some people will have experiences they can offer, and which avoids re-making other people's mistakes. And some people will directly have an important piece that is needed. For example, in the case of software it is obvious. Somebody else might already have done it, and can just put it in the mail for you.

I would like to be better at working in the open. I do it in some areas, but not in others. I talk about my idealistic work, and some collaboration happens there, but I don't talk much about what I actually do for a living.


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17 comments

1 Jun 2002 @ 05:40 by shawa : It would be one giant step...
...to go from where we are at present (newslogs) to what you´re saying. I mean : I get it that it would be interesting if we would put real projects/businesses on the line, not only subjective opinions. Maybe we are learning to do that, with more personal items first.  


1 Jun 2002 @ 11:02 by ming : Intimacy
It is funny how it is in some ways more intimate and more scary to talk about how we really do our business than it is to share our inner emotional and mental process.  


1 Jun 2002 @ 11:15 by scottj : Guilty conscience? One can always
displace responsibility for emotional and mental weakness on "a difficult childhood" or whatever but it is different story trying to explain away the moral cowardice of hypocritical compromises made in the name of "economic" self advancement. Most people I know are totally hypocritical on this issue. They seem to think it's OK to have one set of morals within the realm of emotions and personal relationships but another, often 180 degrees at odds, when it comes to money. How can one justify earnings made from investments for example, or wages earned working for businesses or organisations that are fundamentally compromised morally?  


2 Jun 2002 @ 02:04 by jazzolog : Keeping Eyes Open
Sometimes such ideas turn up in the Subjects feature here, as one did last night from member Brian White in British Columbia. I put the post out on the "front page" for greater access. His site suggests another of his ideas [link] It seems when folks offer things freely, the Network should give back with support, eh?  


2 Jun 2002 @ 14:32 by ming : Enlightened Self-Interest
The very best is if would be clear that it just would be advantageous for everybody, most particularly the poster, to put things out in the open. Sort of like amongst the techie programmer types with web logs, where putting a problem out in the open will often mean that somebody else will have solved it for you the next day. So, yes, I think the aim is that somehow the network works for all of us, so that when we put something into it, we get even more back.  


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4 Jul 2002 @ 16:07 by magical_melody : Thanks Ming!
I had read this piece when you first posted it, and yet felt to respond much later. I really like the openness expressed here, and I do feel that we are more and more sharing ourselves in such ways that I see this a wave of the future. I think we are coming to wean off of solitary paths and move more into team applications, so that we can reap the many diverse ideas and applications that come from group input and experience. Very interesting! Yet at first glance a wee bit uneasy, til ones sees the payoffs. I think in this culture we have become accustomed to receiving so much criticism and judgement from others. This needs to shift big time, so that we can open to input without taking things so personal and come to see that when we are truly in service to the whole, that the input needs to come however it comes, without our needing to feel so responsible for coming up with all the answers and solutions. It is much more freeing and allow the sparkles from the many to shine more. It is so exciting to see what the group energy can weave together, and how that can become more manifest in the world. All the best pieces from each individual can come to express in compliment, and as an integrated whole. Even when Spielberg directs a film, he has the ideas of others to help him manifest the dream. It takes a village in truth to create the bigger miracles in life.  


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