from platforms to covenants

I wrote in agile sensemaking (2018) that radical innovation only comes from networks with large structural holes which are more diverse. This is why social networks cannot also be work teams, or they become echo chambers. Work teams can focus intensely on incremental innovation, to get better at what they already do. Communities of practice, with both strong and weak social ties, then become a bridge on this network continuum, enabling both individual and interactive creativity.

Connecting work teams, communities of practice/interest, and professional social networks ensures that knowledge flows and that people have the information needed to make well-informed decisions, especially when dealing with complexity and chaos. I have noted before that the world has become so complex and interconnected that the individual disciplines developed during The Enlightenment — like medicine — are no longer adequate to help society in our collective sensemaking, especially during global crises. Experts in all disciplines have to get out of their silos and connect in multidisciplinary subject matter networks. A lone expert, or even a lone discipline, is obsolete in the network era. Only cooperative networks will help us make sense of the complex challenges facing us — climate change, environmental degradation, pandemics, war, etc. In today’s world, connections trump expertise.
Agile sensemaking is connecting networks, communities, and teams

For 15 years Twitter has been my go-to professional social network. Given the actions of the new Chief Twit, I doubt that will be case for much longer. I guess I got complacent with 18,000 followers as a podium to share and connect. The shake-up at Twitter is a wake-up call to take better control of my networks. I have kept this blog as ‘home base‘ and that gives me a stable platform to share and store my thoughts.

I firmly believe that open protocols connecting small pieces loosely joined is a better framework than any privately owned social media platform. Twitter was just too darned easy for many years. I am connecting more on Mastodon though I have not mastered all of its functions. Mastodon is an open protocol and anyone can put up a server and connect to what is called the ‘fediverse’, a federated network of hosts using the protocol.

I have a lot to learn but my networks and communities will help me. Our community of practice/interest — PBCC — chats on a private Slack channel and we get together on Zoom once a month. Our next session will focus on understanding the mechanics of Mastodon as so many people are joining. One key point to understand if you join Mastodon is that it is not like Twitter. For example, the design works against anyone dominating the conversation because there is no amplification algorithm. That means people like Trump cannot get a megaphone here. See more on Whither Twitter.

This research paper provides a deeper examination of how Mastodon is governed based on shared covenants.

“We contrast Mastodon’s covenantal federalism platform governance with the contractual form used by corporate social media. We also use covenantal federalist theory to explain how Mastodon’s users, administrators, and developers justify revoking or denying membership in the federation. In doing so, this study sheds new light on the innovations in platform governance that go beyond the corporate/alt-right platform dichotomy” —The Digital Covenant: Non-Centralized Platform Governance on the Mastodon Social Network

One Response to “from platforms to covenants”

  1. Shirley F. Rivera

    I appreciate your –
    “Connecting work teams, communities of practice/interest, and professional social networks ensures that knowledge flows and that people have the information needed to make well-informed decisions, especially when dealing with complexity and chaos.”
    – as well as –
    “Only cooperative networks will help us make sense of the complex challenges facing us — climate change, environmental degradation, pandemics, war, etc.”

    And I’ll see you on Mastodon, as I also am new to that platform.

    Reply

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