Monday 14 March 2011

Sad realisations

When I first started this blog, I wrote it because I wanted to share what I knew - because I knew some stuff other people seemed to need/want to know and keeping it all to myself seemed wrong.

I joined Twitter around the same time, and there was a big group of people in local government, all of whom seemed to want to do the same thing.

Transpires, I'm a bit of a mug. Because there are people in the 'community' doing a whole lot of taking of ideas and other peoples words and not giving a whole lot back. And while an idea doesn't care who has it, a community can only sustain itself while everyone contributes to it.

Discovering there was a group off Twitter where people were discussing implementing Yammer in their organisations at the weekend was just the final straw, really. If people wanted to share their best practice, I'm reasonably sure they'd do it on Communities of Practice, instead of creating a closed user group which only the specifically invited by email address could see.

To me, that's not sharing best practice. That's creating little cliqes at a time when I would have thought that those working in the public sector might have wanted to stick together, to help each other out.

Turns out, I don't appear to need the group anyway, because we seem to have managed to implement our own Yammer network reasonably well. But it's left an enormously sour taste in my mouth.

Instead, I am coming to the conclusion which I am sure many people came to months ago which is that if the same old people have the same old discussions, then very little new comes out  of those discussions. If you add new and interesting people into the mix, then often new and interesting ideas arise.

I'm feeling really quite disillusioned. And am wondering if I am not alone as I see the dynamics and demographics of Twitter change entirely as the people I used to love talking to are no longer there.

Have you all abandoned transparency and openness in government and gone back to your old ways?


  1. Lots of thoughts tied up in this post and reply. From "I've not had chance to comment on your blog for ages" to "Agree closed networks and DMs take away from the spirit of social networks."

    Its easy to get frustrated that some people don't reply to @s (and even DMs!) I do, even when I think I have something to contribute to their group. So probably better to concentrate on doing what we each do well rather than trying to be part of everyone elses' conversation too.

    Will be some fast talking tomorrow!

  2. Was a pleasure sir. Not an issue with no replies, more an issue with the end of contribution and collaboration out in the open and the beginning of them behind an invite wall.