Mindworks’ Weblog

Thinking Matters

Archive for December, 2006

We-think

Posted by Andrew Cooper on December 24, 2006

Recently I received an email from a friend telling me to listen to the podcast of ‘Start The Week’ as one of the guests had things to say that she thought might interest me. ( You can download it here – it’s the 13th November edition.)

The someone in question was Charles Leadbeater , a former journalist, adviser at No 10 and now ‘management guru’ – at least according to Andrew Marr.

Charles has recently published a book called ‘We-Think’. Here’s what he says about it on his website:

‘We-Think: the power of mass creativity – is about what the rise of the participative culture – the likes of Wikipedia and Youtube, Linux and Craigslist – means for the way we organise ourselves, not just in digital businesses but in schools and hospitals, cities and mainstream corporations. People want to be players not just spectators, part of the action, not on the sidelines, participants and contributors not just workers by day and consumers by night.’

Interesting stuff. If you want to read the book you can buy copies from the boring conventional routes like Amazon and bookshops. But you can also read it online here because he has published it to a wiki.

Wikis, as you’ll probably know by now, are websites which visitors can edit themselves. So you can not only read the book but also write new content, amend what’s there already, comment via the ‘talk’ pages and so on. If you’d like to keep track of any changes to We-Think, copy and paste the address of this special page into a ‘feed reader’ like Bloglines (see below).

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Web feeds: what, why and how

Posted by Andrew Cooper on December 24, 2006

If you know about the wonderful world of web feeds, you’ll realise that this blog has one – you might like to add it to your aggregator to keep in touch with changes.

If that last sentence might as well have been written in Serbo Croat:

  • go to www.bloglines.com
  • click on ‘help’ to find out what web feeds are and how Bloglines enables you to monitor them
  • register (which will take about 30 seconds)

and then copy the web address for this page into the ‘add feed’ box. When you return to Bloglines you’ll be able to see if any posts have been added and, if so, see if they are of any interest.

Of course, doing that much sense if you only have one site registered at Bloglines, but nearly all news sites (such as the BBC’s) and blogs have web feeds which you can add to your list thus saving time logging into individual sites to find out what’s changed.

The web has been described as the best idea that mankind has ever had.  Whether or not that’s true (printing is probably right up there somewhere), but where else could you find such half baked ideas as the Christmas Robin Attracting Beret alongside just about all there is to know about everything?

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Welcome to the Mindworks Blog

Posted by Andrew Cooper on December 24, 2006

Welcome to the Mindworks Blog. As the name of my business suggests (I’m a freelance management consultant), I’m interested in anything connected with how we think- in particular how we learn and innovate.

How the mind actually works is still largely a mystery, as Bob May (former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government and President of the Royal Society) and his interviewees pointed out in his excellent Radio 4 series ‘What Remains To Be Discovered‘. Why is it, for example, that I’m able to remember, for example, my parent’s first telephone number when there are many more useful things that I’d like to be able to recall but can’t? So far as the hardware is concerned, we know that it’s got something to do with the 100 billion neurons in the brain, but that’s about it. The precise physical means by which that number (Crayford 25780, in case you’re wondering) is encoded and stored is, quite simply, an unknown.

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