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Friday, January 30, 2009

Social Brain

I've been looking for a term that defines - Crowdsourcing in the Small

What do you think about calling the network it's the

Social Brain

and then we can talk about

Social Brain Building
Social Brain Access

I'm liking this. Thoughts?


csessums said...

Social brain works. For researchers like myself, the term has a richer set of connotations that could be misleading. On Twitter John Hodgeman likes to use Hive Mind which we have all come across before, and it too seems appropriate. When I think of a brain I think of the physical, corporeal object (i.e., grey matter). When I think of the mind, I think of what happens as a result of brain processes, if that makes sense. Social Mind? I guess all three terms are better than Group Think, no?

Tony Karrer said...

I get what you are saying Brian vs. Mind. In some ways social networks act more like Brain than Mind - don't have intelligence on their own.

The other thing is that there's some writing, even a book talking about Social Mind - and they mean something quite different.

Hive sounds much more coordinated to me. But maybe not a bad way to go.

Zoe said...

I don't think 'brain' is what you want, specifically because individual brains are finite systems. (I mean finite in the formal sense - a brain is a physical object, it has physical limits.)

As a side issue: the word 'maven' - highly knowledgeable person - should have much higher usage. Care to champion it?

V Yonkers said...

What you are describing is a lot more than the "knowledge to access information from the network." It also is an understanding of the political nature of the network, how to motivate the network to access the information, and understanding of how knowledge is produced within a given network, then transferred through the network, and finally expressed.

I have seen many comments in the past from new bloggers (or even those that have blogged for a while) asking how they can extend their readership. Understanding who has influence within a network is really important, because someone who is linked on your blog, for example, when get a much greater influx of new readers, than someone linked on my blog. If you pose a question to your network, you will probably get a response because you are a hub within your network. However, someone new to the network or without power within the network (expert, referent, reward, punishment, or coercion) will most likely be ignored.

Personally, I think this person was very effective my e-mailing someone with power within the network, because he could get his answer more easily through contacting you. I think this represents more the understanding of interactively and interdependence of a hive (with the queen holding the power, but worker bees playing an important role to the health of the hive through their knowledge of what is going on outside of the hive).

To me, social brain does not represent the interdependence or interactivity that accessing the network requires. If you don't like the hive, how about the network's social grid (like the energy grid used for the distribution of electricity to ensure there isn't shortages or excess supply)? This implies some level of management of social connections at the individual, group, or network level.

Tony Karrer said...

Virginia - this is great stuff. I'm using some of your comment right now!