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This is more of a challenge for the future I see than a vision. As digital conversations increase and storage costs decrease, there's really no monetary incentive anymore to delete anything. Humanity hasn't been at this internet thing for very long, certainly not long enough for a whole generation of millions of people to create a lifetime of digital conversation and then die. But that time will be coming soon.
So what will places like the Jive Community look like in 20 or 50 years? Will we develop trashbots to clean up all the useless discussions? And if so, who gets to define "useless"? Archaeology is a good example of how some things that were the most common and mundane for the people who created them go on to become extremely valuable for future generations.
Or will we just leave everything as is and instead develop better and better processes and methods for sifting through it, condensing it, organizing and categorizing it, prioritizing it? I spent a lot of time several years ago researching organizational "lessons learned," and although not quite there yet, I think Jive is starting to make it easier to create these out of unstructured information given the direction it is headed with its structured outcomes. Active social networks and collaboration spaces generate mountains of conversation, and there will increasingly be a need to convert and distill all that knowledge raw material into lessons, rules, standards, heuristics, and other more efficient and effective bite-sized nuggets of knowledge.
And as hard as the above process will be for text, the difficulty is going to be greatly compounded for audio and video as storage costs for those also go down. Would you rather have a search index that takes you to a specific point in a video, or one that takes you to that same point in the transcript of the video? Hard to say -- it all depends on what the video is about and what question you are asking.
Some of us want to use Jive for dealing with business issues where we need to purposely delete all conversations after a certain period of time (e.g., 1 year past end of life) according to established records retention guidelines. We'd like to see retention/purge settings at Jive place and group level.
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What is the future of work?
You're probably already well aware of them, Brian, but there are some really great resources and research-based thinking going on over at the Institute for the Future. In particular, there's a very interesting white paper called "10 strategies for a workable future" that came out in December last year. Here's a brief summary of the 10 ideas to whet the appetite:
1. Combine the best of investor-owned and commons-driven platform models
2. Solve for both transparency and privacy
3. Integrate marginalized workers in a sustainable economy
4. Ensure opportunities for workers to advance outside of traditional organizational hierarchies
5. Support worker owned identities
6. Create ways for workers to bring their voices together
7. Reinvent benefits to follow workers everywhere
8. Integrate learning and work
9. Prepare youth for "the hustle."
10. Champion a good work code.
How do you want to collaborate in the future?
Of the 10 data trends above, #6 seems to be most focused on collaboration and how to make it scale for a workforce that is increasingly distributed and working from virtual platforms. I've been fortunate to have experienced multiple virtual collaboration platforms in my career and what the white paper states about helping workers using these digital tools to better connect and see the value of their work is a key consideration for the future. Platforms that contribute to meaning, understanding, connection, creation, and co-operation will thrive and those that add to anxiety, confusion, disconnection and distraction need to be weeded out. To be sure, tools that we use for digital collaboration today weigh in one both the good and bad columns. The future of collaboration, especially virtual collaboration, will provide more thoughtful and deliberate ways of connecting and will be designed from the perspective of psychological health. They will and should promote greater focus, enhance our capacity thoughtful response, and improve our ability to convey meaning, emotion and a sense of connectedness in technology-mediated settings.
I'd love to reply, but since it's my job, I've got to keep that info for my clients. ;-) <ducks>
Really? Didn't stop me, friend.
I get it, but would love to connect with you offline to talk more sometime.
So sorry for the late reply. My avatar bot must have seen the thread, matched it to an algorithm suggesting that I shouldn't be bothered and promptly addressed it for me. Now I have to fix the bot.
I think that's a scary brief version of future-work. impersonal and clinically automated; yet somehow attractive for other selfish reasons.
I'd like clarity of purpose. Focus, impression, consideration, nuance and other things that make interactions valuable. The most interesting things that I've experienced have been in person rather than by webinar, email, powerpoint, digital whiteboard, etc. So I would like future-work to be more meaningful in purpose. If systems can remove the chaff of life, then perhaps more meaning can be attributed to the kernel, and that's where the future-work can be focused.