Why all the emphasis I've been placing on Web 2.0? Well, because the possibilities it represents are tantalizing: can new social technology help us create more effective networks that enable us to create a world that is much better for virtually everyone?
With so much at stake, I think it's imperative for us to allocate time to hang out with people Stowe Boyd, a blogger and Web innovator, calls edglings - people who are experimenting with new tools as they pop out, and are giving us a sense of what they are really good for. Here are intriguing bits of what Stowe Boyd is discovering:
A rich online culture is transformative for us individually and for the culture at large.
Information streaming from our friends on the web will shift the way we make sense of the world.
Information will be pushed to you all the time from friends, not pulled to you by browsing.
Don't set up a community online and hope people will come, find out where people are already hanging out online and be there listening.
As Network Weavers, we often are the bridge between innovators such as Stowe and our communities. We have to hang around, or maybe even become, edglings ourselves. We need to learn how to make sense of all the experimentation and figure out how to communicate about the best of it to our peers. We need to have a basket of social tools ready so that when a situation arises where that tool can make a big difference, we are ready to show people how they can use it.
I'm astounded how much I've been learning about possibilities just by following 100 edglings on Twitter and by using blog readers. After only a few weeks, I've slid into a new culture - and it's all been quite painless, even fun and enlightening.
Do you know any edglings? Tell us about them.
If you don't know any edglings, how might you find them and weave them into your network?
Or, look who Valdis, Jack and I are following on Twitter and follow them. Listen. Open up. Watch what happens.