The Collaborative Web: Are We Unlocking its Potential?

Posted on October 29, 2014 by


Is socialmedia unlocking the exchange of ideas?

Is socialmedia unlocking the potential of The Collaborative Web?

So you’re on the internet minding your own business.  You see a tweet that inspires a second look.  A few RT’s and tweets later, you are delving into new conversations and new ideas with new people that wouldn’t have happened if it had been up to us to plan it.

Call it serendipity, or blind luck. But think about it.

Are we seeing the first inklings of the collaborative web?

For the twitterati amongst us, the Twitter Chat is now old news as a means to share ideas on the web.  Using tweets and some lightweight tools to simulate a chat room, it’s almost the perfect storm of random insights, depending on who participates and how you use what gets shared.

Since I started tweeting (and tweet chatting) in 2009, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve gained fascinating perspectives from the seemingly randow flow of insights.  And the content spaces (call them “domains”!) are themselves broad and dynamic:  Education. Innovation. Collaboration. Mobility. Customer Service. Marketing. Social Change. For me, each of these areas (and associated hashtags!) have now and again become a literal fountain of insights.  I need only pay attention to my Twitter stream to experience it. No small task, of course.  It can overwhelm you if you let it.

But I can’t help scratching my head at the raw, unbridled potential for new ideas.

Are there limits to what we can learn via a collaborative internet?

As we reflect on what The Collaborative Web might mean, let’s delve a bit deeper (as we like to do at #smchat !!) on some of the factors that might contribute to unlocking the potential here.  Let’s look at social media more broadly, as well as Twitter more specifically.

What are the keys to unlock the flow?  We’ll attack these Q’s WEDS 10/29 at 1pm ET:

  • Q1. If a tweet is an insight (e.g., a fact, an article, an opinion), how many tweets does it take to make an idea?
  • Q2. Why can multiple hashtags (aka subject matter “crossover”) contribute so much to fresh thinking?
  • Q3. Can a simple change of context spark new ideas?  Give examples.
  • Q4. Collaboration requires focus, time and space for solutions to germinate. Are social tools (like Twitter) too fluid and context neutral to be relevant?  

This has long been a hot spot in my thinking.  These threads have been helping me better understand how we might learn in groups, and how we, as individuals and group members, might learn more deeply.  Critical thinking may have its renaissance yet. Here’s hoping.

Meantime, let’s see if we can collaborate our way to some new takeways here ..

Join us using, and sign in from the Home tab with your Twitter account. We’ll see you online!

Chris (aka @sourcepov)

Posted in: Collaboration