Spontaneous Connections

An embrace of openness can allow network effects to unexpectedly take work to a new level.

When Nancy White gave a talk entitled Seven Competencies of Online Interaction at the Northern Voice Conference in 2006, it was recorded by Alan Levine with a portable audio recorder. One day later, Beveryly Traynor (writing from Setubal, Portugal) posted her own “selective” notes and commentary based on listening to the audio file. Soon afterward, White posted her conference presentation visuals not as a downloadable PowerPoint file but as a Flickr photoset. These disparate media artifacts were combined by Nivk Noakes in Hong Kong, who grabbed the images, downloaded the audio, and combined them into a synchonized video file that he subsequently posted on the Internet Archive.

As Levine summed up: “a session presented and recorded in Vancouver BC, audio loaded to a blog in Arizona, images uploaded from Seattle, a movie produced from Hong Kong, and a distilled session summary from Portugal! …It would not happen inside a singular, expensive, closed wall enterprise-ware application. None of it was designed, planned, or directed. It just happened.”

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