Tweeting my hat

Just back from Twestival, thanks to Amanda’s persuasion and her great event organization. I could not stay too long due to a previous trip to the dentist but when I left at 7pm it was already looking good. And sorry I missed the Huddle team.

So now, despite previous protestations I am now on Twitter. “But why, man, why?!” I hear you all cry.

Well I forgot one key feature of Twitter, one application which changes everything, the one thing which made me change my mind.

Twitter provides the ability to indulge in instant begrudgery and the immediate production of rambling gibberish. The very cornerstones of my culture!


Learning not grinding

Just back from the launch of The School of Everything at Channel 4.

I think that the School of Everything is a really interesting concept, it is simple to describe – “putting people who want to learn in touch with people who want to teach” while being really powerful. The idea that I can chose what I learn has real appeal. Education, like any craft industry, has until now been driven by the need to aggregate demand and structure supply. Now we can look at a more organic and direct delivery mechanism for adult, or rather, self-sought learning.

I also had an interesting conversation with Alice from Wonderland about computer gaming. After a brief chat about MMORPGs – I find them tedious as I am essentially modal in nature, if I am killing then I don’t want to be chatting, and because they lack narrative focus to me, I prefer something like Persona 3 or else something purely ludic like Bangai-O.

ANYWAY, after the MMORPG chat we got onto the relationship between gaining experience in online games and gaining experience in reality. There have been some crossovers but they have been limited. After the interesting piece on Weight Watchers considered as an RPG we wondered if there might not be more opportunities to drive engagement and interest in real world activities by adding a degree of experience points and rewards to them?

Who will be the first Level 70 Social Entrepreneur?

“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that”

An interesting report into the blockers behind the adoption of social media in government is quoted as flagging up IT as one of those key blockers. I will ask the guys at Huddle for a copy of their report as we use Huddle and I recommend anyone looking for a quick and easy project collaboration tool to take a look at their service.

I find it interesting that the pitch of the article is that we in IT are against social networking. Ok, so it’s another thing to manage and another possible path for information to leak but we could have made all these arguments about the telephone or allowing people to speak in the office.

Personally I think that the problem is not so much with my fellow CIOs but rather with the fact that social media is inherently disruptive. We work in bureaucracies which have grown over the years and where information and social networks are both power and inherently built into the very fabric of the organization. Tools which allow you to recast information and social networks in an agile manner strike at this traditional worldview and in my world we do not necessarily have the same market pressures which affect other classic information/social network businesses like newspapers or retail.

Anyway, I’m one public sector CIO pushing on with our own social media developments.