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It’s Complicated

I’m feeling the pressure. I’ve set my self this task of understanding the dynamics and value of Personal Networks. And – it’s complicated.

I started the process by devouring as many books as I could on the subject – the bookshelf continues to fill, but I seem to find less and less time to absorb in this format.

In some ways, book reading has been replaced by the wonderful world of

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blogs and twitter. I’m spending time filtering the feed of information – and reading up-to-date opinion. Fascinating – but still the clouds aren’t clearing.

The most satisfying is getting to talk to people on-line (and occasionally face to face) – and this conjures up a whole other set of questions or investigations. For example, one of my new on-line friends (not mentioned yesterday – as he has 3 twitter profiles and I think he likes to be a little “enigmatic”) – said I might be better spending time with philosophy to understand Personal Networks. He said: “This is because philosophy is, long term, probably the best discipline for ‘thinking beyond existing concepts’ and then coming back with new ones that can then be tried out to see if they make better sense of the data.”

I’m beginning to not only think that this is complicated – but that it will be a rather long job!

If you have read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers”, your will remember the “10,000-Hour Rule”. Gladwell claims that the key to success is a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.

Seth Godin has a view on Gladwell’s “Outlier”:

“You win when you become the best in the world, however ‘best’ and ‘world’ are defined by your market. In many mature markets, it takes 10,000 hours of preparation to win because most people give up after 5,000 hours. That’s the only magic thing about 10k… it’s a hard number to reach, so most people bail.”

So by my estimation, I’ve so far given 1,200 hours of my time to the investigation of Personal Networks – only 8,800 hours to go! So by 2014, I might be able to give you an authoritative view! Wow – it’s complicated…

  1. February 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    I agree that this is not a technical problem, but a human one. Once you have a grasp of what you’re perceiving from a human, emotional, mental, personal perspective, you can find someone to translate your knowledge and direction to code.

    All about the people; barely about the tools and technology.

  2. February 10, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Joel. Yes, I feel so way off code…maybe 2015 for that!! I think my next post might be “It’s Personal”. I think the root of the very personal posts this week are me getting to grips with the fact that at the centre of Personal Networks are the very “me”/human driven emotions you mention. P

  3. February 10, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    It’s Personal . . . looking forward to reading that. We’re having a conversation with Simon Sinek over at Triiibes about trust and relationships; you might pop in and see how the information Simon and others are sharing fits with the spot you’re in right now.

    • February 10, 2011 at 10:21 pm

      Sounds good – will hop over to Triiibes in a bit. P

  4. Jw
    February 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    yes, it is complicated. But I would be suspicious of anyone pointing towards philosophy. I have never observed happy philosophers.

    All you looking into Harold Lasswell?

    • February 13, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Thanks for that. Just looked up Harold Lasswell – had not heard of him. Will investigate more. He’s moved up ahead of philosophy on the research list 😉

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