Ming the Mechanic:
Leaders on the Web

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Leaders on the Web2003-10-17 12:04
by Flemming Funch

David Weinberger writes about the question about why it is so hard to find any leaders on the net. It is easy to name plenty of examples of leaders in the 'real' world. But on the web, we seem to be at a loss of giving good examples. Sure, some well-known names who invented one thing or the other, but leaders?
"The answer to the first question — why are there no leaders on the Web? — has everything to do with the Web's architecture...

The single factor perhaps most important for the success of the Web is precisely the fact that we don't need permission to participate, to create a Web site, to post a page. The Web is a permission-free zone. In this it mirrors the Internet that will move anyone's bits from one point to any other point without needing to get permission first and without having to consult a central routing authority to find out how to do it.

[...]So, what lessons do we learn about leadership on the Web? That the people we pay attention to are the ones who speak not at us and not to us but with us. We listen to them carefully because they are so interesting, so wise, and even so funny. We learn that leadership isn't a quality that necessarily spreads across all areas and topics: the person who is worth listening to about, say, technology may be just another jerk when it comes to raising children. And we learn the lesson that is most troubling to marketers, businesses and real-world leaders of all sorts: We learn that we, talking together, are smarter, wiser, and more interesting than any single leader could ever hope to be."
Hm, so in the big conversation of the web, a leader is somebody we particularly pay attention to, somebody who's worth listening to? I suppose so. So, leadership is when somebody cares about a particular matter, and others recognize it and pay attention. And cooperate, I suppose, if there's a shared activity that is suggested.

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17 Oct 2003 @ 12:25 by sindy @ : well said
you know i cannot help when i see someone truly post something that makes a lot of sense, i see you as a person who surely is aware and looks at life in many different angles, and to me all this post here says what a true leader is all about*. only today in a meeting i was talking about leadership.. wavelength*  

18 Oct 2003 @ 00:35 by shawa : Exactly.
Next thing would be I suppose : how do you get co-operation in the Net. :-)  

18 Oct 2003 @ 03:11 by sindy @ : choice
well co-operation comes from what you have take into condersideration from the leader type model that satisfy your mind/intelect, by putting it into practice, co-operation does not mean always that everyone has to agree on any wide or specific topic* but they all work together in and on ideas that they have reaped up by the leader hence we create our very OWN leadership quialities.. its more like saying listening and learning and then putting into practice*  

18 Oct 2003 @ 16:44 by bri_outten : Why does it matter
What, if I may be so bold as to ask, is the benefit in having 'leaders' on the web?
Scuse me if I've missed something!  

19 Oct 2003 @ 02:08 by shawa : Hehehehe, Bri
Good one! ;-)  

19 Oct 2003 @ 15:09 by ming : Leaders
Well, that is exactly the point, isn't it? If we're free to put our attention anywhere we want, like we are on the web, nobody can lead us anywhere unless we happen to be going the same way anyway. But somebody can inspire us and say good things that we like, or come up with good suggestions, and if a number of us pay attention to him/her, leadership has happened. Different kind of leadership. Not the power/control kind. Anybody can lead. And, indeed, somebody DOES need to come up with something interesting to pay attention to, or participate in, or the web would be extremely boring. If we were all just surfing the web and not creating anything, there'd be nothing to surf.  

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2008-07-06 23:20: Laws of social networks
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2008-02-21 21:16: Open social networks
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2007-11-07 00:51: Diversity counterproductive to social capital?
2007-07-13 23:42: Plan vs Reality

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