Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Have we shared ourselves into Silos?

As I look out across my 30 column wide Tweetdeck app it dawned on me that it has started again.

I am pondering when did we get back to this point. Not sure it can be nailed down to one specific inflection point.

Once upon a time there was a monolithic world of business and it was a top down approach of management over employees. Information was on an as need basis or a "pay grade level" basis. However you view it, or heard about it, it existed. It sucked!

But not to everyone, and not so obviously. Many people were happy to go on with their work lives as drones in the corporate world. Some people wanted a better way and nothing really provided a way out.

Along came the PC revolution and networks, people could share information and the work world seemed a little less monolithic. Maybe we were on the cusp of something at that time, maybe we weren't. The hope and promise was there, even if the technology was not quite there. Although for the time it was pretty damn near incredible.

And then we found the commercialized Internet in 95 when it was opened up for us outsiders to become our babysitter, how-to manual, gripe board, chat board, equipment drivers locator and a far cheaper way to stay connected to our friends and the people we love. Unfortunately it also helped us stay connected to work.

Openness was everywhere, and still is, but it came with a price then and now. Join me, login here, register with us, become a member, and more yellow brick roads to what we thought was more sharing and socializing all popped up.

If you didn't mind the mini-silos, you were fine.

I minded then, I still do. Evidently while I am not unique, I represent a smaller percentage, and definitely of Americans, that want to share more with people.  OK, maybe not everything, but still...
On average, 24 percent of the world says they share “most or everything” that they do. But only 15 percent of Americans admitted to sharing nearly everything online. - Mary Meeker, 2013 Internet Trends Report
I am very against silos, in business, in religion, in schools, and in life in general. I may not like, or agree with everyone, but we are all here for each other to work our way through the maze of life.

There is an app for everything and nothing. Probably the most interconnected app for people is Facebook or Twitter. Both provide connections to people and their thoughts but still the people using either app is inconsistent. I have friends who use none of these, one of these or all of these forcing me to monitor many places, if I care enough. In time new shortcut apps popup that help, but in some ways we are breaking into more pieces than we ever did before.

There are niche of niche products, discussions, even zip codes or buildings have the exclusive of exclusive. And for what purpose? So we can be separated and divided further.

You say, "No, you got it all wrong! It's customization, personalization down to every whim you have or search you perform. We live in the ultimate open ended world, not a silo."

I see that side as well.

Really.

I do.

People always had outlets, work, sports, pubs, friends, family, but now everyone else knows about it and likes you more, or less, depending on the things you post and join. Want a new car or house but don't want neighbors to know, good luck keeping it form them if they follow you.

It's all good in the end, let's just be careful out there.