Sunday, January 27, 2008

Shared vision & values in networks

One of the more interesting questions I get about social networks is the question of whether we find networks where everyone shares common vision or values.

This does happen in networks that are also communities where people naturally share vision and values. In the many networks that are not also communities, there can be as many versions of vision and values as people in the networks, even in dense networks where many net-members are regularly trading in ideas, influence, and assets.

The observation points to the reality that a network can thrive without common threads throughout the network. It can be a whole and dynamic fabric connected by transactions rather than shared dreams and priorities. Neighborhoods are networks in this way. They are for most people communities of shared place and as such networks where isolation, fragmentation, and cliques are characteristic of the networks.

As with religious communities and corporations, the appearance of shared vision and values don't necessarily guarantee network density, agility, or thivancy.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Revisiting core distinctions

I continue to be amazed at the common confusion of network building with networking. The difference is a significant one. I netbuilding, our intention is to build the community. It is the intention of leader. Networking is the intention to build one's own property.

At the end of the day, networks thrive on both intentions because both foster quality connections and ultimately lead to the kinds of densities and reaching that builds networks and communities.