The Rise of Knowledge Networking
I had started this post yesterday with an Insyte that joyfully sprang from one of those great "A-HA" moments but did not get to finish it. Last night's TechCrunch BBQ / Meetup only further cemented the ascendance of this meme like trend. (Photos of event on Flikr)
Lacking a better term for the nature of these events, I like to call them 'BrainJams' - kind of the Web 2.0 replacement for all those out of control parties of the dotcom boom. Rather than focusing on business development and manufactured press releases though, BrainJams focus on the meat of the matter - an open source sort of collaboration manifested in the real world. Andy Smith and his amazing group of friends who created BarCamp deserve a lot of credit for kind of launching this significant social shift.
The format is definitely the best part - kind of loose and self organizing, with a few directed elements of structure that make all the difference. To the point I debated to semantic concession last night with Jonathan over at Mosuki there are some very primary forms of structure that make all the difference when applied within a system. In this case the influence of a basic open presentation format coupled with the directed interests of the group makes this a knowledge networking event more than a social networking event (aka shmoozefest).
Much as I believe the shift in the naming of Insytes to replace Comments is a powerful deployment of linguistic intention, I believe calling these form of events BrainJams focuses the energies and intentions of the participants towards the right sort of knowledge sharing and networking that will indeed make this world a better place by sharing our best practices and Insytes wtih one another for the benefit of everyone. Perhaps it is time to re-read Tim Sanders' Love is a Killer App and re-visit some of those principles with this new context.
Are these the first signs of a return to the Salons of old with a new twist, or is it just a typical sign of the resurgence of passion amongst technologists, enterpreneurs and venture capitalists? I think this time is quite a bit different...
Influenced by the general principles of open source, people are more openly sharing their knowledge with each other - and that is the single most important facet of the Web 2.0 - open collaboration across multiple disciplines and across the boundaries of organizations. This is largely driven by the desire to "do it right" and make a difference by more effectively collaborating with people who utilize the technology, with partners and even with potential competitors to a certain degree. In other words, the actualization of the long promised benefits of the Internet and Interactive communications in general.
It certainly seems like a lot more events like this will be happening much more frequently so I went ahead and registered the domain and created a Wiki over at JotSpot where we might be able to talk about this more and work on a centralized calendar of events.