3000 half-baked ideas

“The commons is the only genuine alternative today that allows us to build a truly participatory economic production system. The commons can cause a global cultural revolution.” —Yochai Benkler

Starting this blog in 2004 helped me connect with a global audience and share ideas with many people who over the years have become friends and colleagues. I was more optimistic at that time because we were not dealing with constant outrage on social media, fake news, surveillance capitalism, and the extinguishing of net neutrality. Given the online land grab by the platform monopolists it is becoming even more important for individuals to have a space they control on the web. It seems fewer of us are blogging because there are many more convenient options that require less time and thought. But we need thoughtful bloggers, unconstrained by platforms and publishers, now more than ever before. An aggressively engaged citizenry is essential to democracy.

The web, for now, remains our global commons. Self-publishing on our own platforms ensures freedom of speech. This is the new freedom of the press. Journalism is trying to adapt to the network era and democracy itself also has to change. Now is the time to experiment with new models and ways of organizing: internationally, nationally, and locally.

I started writing this blog with a focus on social media, only blogs and wikis at the time, and over time I added leadership, innovation, management, and then democracy as core topics. I have become a more engaged global citizen and have learned much through my interactions with others, as well as with my client work. There have been many  learning opportunities especially over the last few years.

  • Advising the City of Johannesburg on become a learning organization.
  • Working with the Prime Minister’s Office of Finland on the future of work.
  • Providing forward looking advice to Canada’s Department of Justice.
  • Helping London’s volunteer sector think in terms of knowledge networks.
  • Incorporating personal knowledge mastery into the network of an international NGO: United Cities & Local Governments.

My writing has been a work in progress, or in a state of perpetual beta as I often say. What started as a focus on businesses and organizations has grown to a more global view of the influence our societal structures have on how we work and learn. Many of these structures, such as our institutions, are changing. We citizens need to be engaged in the conversations around these structural changes while we still have a global communication commons. My focus here will continue to be on better forms of governance and democracy.

This is my 3,000th blog post, one of many half-baked ideas that provide some continuity in my own sense-making journey. I would like to thank all of you who have read my blog over the years, and especially those who have shared their own thoughts. Here I will pursue what Yochai Benkler describes as “a global cultural revolution” by helping to make a better commons in my own small way by engaging with my knowledge networks, one post at a time.

*If you really like my work, please drop by and fuel my coffee-driven writing.

16 Responses to “3000 half-baked ideas”

  1. Joel

    Thank you, Mr. Jarche. Your thinking is instrumental in creating the environment for meaningful dialogue among people and groups here in the Tampa Bay area.

    Reply
  2. Luis Suarez

    Hi Harold! Congratulations on having crossed that massive milestone of the 3000 blog posts! Well done! I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the inspiration and the many wonderful conversations we’ve had over the course of the last decade and here I’m looking forward to the next decade of mind-blowing insights hitting my brain like in the last few years with plenty of superb blog articles you’ve put together over here.

    I suspect this quote:

    ‘I was more optimistic at that time because we were not dealing with constant outrage on social media, fake news, surveillance capitalism, and the extinguishing of net neutrality. Given the online land grab by the platform monopolists it is becoming even more important for individuals to have a space they control on the web.’

    will become one of the foundational reflections of what needs to happen in order to re-claim the Web for what it was: ours. Many many thanks for the inspiring journey and here’s to plenty more years to come having tons of really good fun while enjoying living in perpetual beta!

    Congrats, Harold!

    Reply
    • Harold Jarche

      Thanks for being a great friend along the way, Luis. I believe we started our blogs at about the same time 🙂

      Reply
  3. Luis Suarez

    We surely did although I had been blogging behind the firewall at my former employer since 2002. But on the Internet Blogosphere I have been blogging since 2005 and I can’t believe it’s still going strong although I have neglected myself a little bit lately. That quote I mentioned above, in my previous comment, is the final push I needed to resume my blogging mojo. It’s about time now, Harold, so many thanks as well for the nudge 😀

    Reply
  4. John Ludike

    Recently started reading your Blogs and wanted to say Congrats on huge milestone of 3000! Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Jeff Merrell

    Here’s to the next 3,000, Harold.

    I am particularly struck by the narrative you share here about the evolution of your writing/thinking. As usual, you push all of us to think more critically and more clearly about our role(s) within our workplaces and as citizens. Couldn’t be a more important theme to explore.

    Reply
    • Harold Jarche

      Thanks, Jeff, I plan on focusing more on the theme of engaged, networked citizenship in the coming months.

      Reply
  6. Carsten Rose

    Thanks for sharing your half-baked ideas with us.
    And by the way: “half-baked ideas” is understatements at its best if you want my opinion.

    Reply
  7. Ben

    Congratulations on a humongous milestone , Harold. You’ve enriched a lot of people (self included) through your blog contributions. Keep on baking.

    Reply

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