Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Seven Day Sights, Sounds, Speculations and Stargazing

Well as always the Seven Day Sights, Sounds, Speculations and Stargazing from our wonderfully challenging world are rife with things that always amaze me. See what you think….

This week I looked long and hard at a few huge things, namely Wikipedia, MySpace and YouTube, to try and figure out what they were about. I also looked at some very small things that I feel have huge impacts; namely your word and how true one is to their word but I’ll save that for next week.

This week I was looking for some clear examples of what the world is really capable of and so I tuned into some of the major community based internet forums. It is really quite frightening to think of the way we use the internet, how much time we spend surfing and the sedentary lifestyle the countless hours clicking seems to promote. However, seeing as every other media source has the monopoly on negative press and ‘culture of fear’ writing I wanted to see if I could find some positive examples that were bringing ‘teamwork’ to the forefront of our culture.

Wikipedia, the world’s largest encyclopedia, is definitely an example of the power of team work and how the economy is beginning to shift. Basically Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that, in real time, can be updated and added to by virtually anybody on the planet. This makes it the most up to date, mistakes and additions being corrected in real time rather than waiting for the next run off the presses, and most categorically complete amount of information in multiple languages of any literature on the planet. People can argue the merits or the quality of this ‘publication’ but today I will choose to expose the nature of people around the world chiming in to help others research or learn more about their favoured topic…..absolutely without charge. There aren’t any players that whine about how much they are getting paid and nor are their management levels for things to get bogged down in. It is purely individuals acting for the better good of the whole. Really, the perfect team.

It is interesting how these communities, from Youtube to Google, have little or zero cost yet are globally ruling the world economy. Jobs as we know it are changing and it is up to us to discover ways we as individuals can remain relevant and not just unpaid actors in a ‘reality’ television series. Take a look at some of the numbers for sites like MySpace and YouTube. The millions upon millions of users are staggering. How can we harness that energy?

I delved deeper, online I must admit, to see if others were in fact using these online communities to grapple even tougher issues or problems. Well, it turns out that since the days of the origination of Linux, an open-source operating systems, people are indeed using the masses to solve problems. Some companies are having their problems solved and only fame is the reward for the answers.

Linux was an operating system developed for our computers to run on that was begun, and is still being developed, through an open source concept. Meaning anyone can add and help fix or move the project forward. Today, Linux essentially runs over 40% of the world’s computers and it all started through online communities where people gave of their time and expertise.

The projections are that the Human Genome Project, or mapping of the human gene, is years ahead of where it would be if professors were competing with each other rather than ‘everyone’ being able to add to this research. It is quite mesmerizing what the human spirit is capable of when everyone is pulling in the same direction.

The point: These extraordinary projects are showcasing that we can all add benefit and should all be thinking of how we can help our world, workplace and families succeed. Passion and energy can produce huge results. Where are the areas you need to inject some of your passion and what teams are you willing to work for?

Find them and I’m sure you’ll discover a new and wonderful team, no matter how big. I’m also sure you’ll discover a great new world full of amazing new possibilities.

Check out the websites described above to seethe magnitude of human power and ingenuity.

That’s it for this week’s Seven Day Sights, Sounds, Speculations and Stargazing from the swim up stream world. Have a good one.

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