Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lessons on discussions from Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky's talk at the recent Personal Democracy Forum is now available to view. He tells three stories then summarizes his 'findings' as follows:

1 - raise the cost of communicating
email is cheap, blogs are cheap, comments are free but maybe if you made them real comments instead of anonymous comments you'd get a better (i.e. progressive and not just noise) discussion. The commitment needs to be there

2 - get them to do something other than send an email
with a higher group commitment, there is more action and less overall signal (i.e. volume) but a high quality signal

3 - assume factions, give them a place to play
"Once you assume there is no such thing as a special interest group, all groups are special interest groups".

4 - regard elected representatives as partners and not targets
here, here! By creating the targets, the conversation tends to drift to a tone where getting the representative involved becomes difficult. The signal to noise ratio is too high a bar for entry.

You can watch Clay here:

If the sandbox is set up properly, there is real play (i.e. learning through play) with fights less likely to develop What are your take aways?