The information ecosystem
Egocentric pockets of organisation
Again, we need a paradigm shift. We have to stop looking at the Internet as a whole and consider only a part of it: only the part that we personally interact with. If this part is an environment of mutual trust, with an efficient framework of communication, then we don't have to worry about what happens elsewhere.
This may seem to be an egocentric view point, but, this is the way all complex systems are known to naturally self-organise. Natural organisation doesn't evolve top down , it evolves bottom up. This has been proved time and again with all biological systems. Small, localised pockets of organisation emerge. These small pockets start to interact with each other to form a higher level of organisation: of several pockets working together. These groups of pockets then interact to form larger groups: groups of pockets interacting together. In this way organisation emanates from the bottom up, spreading through a chaotic and disorganised system to gradually bring universal order.
In the environment of the Internet and e-business, we are only at the beginning stages of a naturally evolving organisation,. Small pockets of organisation are developing. We have the choice of either joining in one of these pockets or creating one for ourselves. By joining in a pocket we leave others to create a niche for us, but, in this book we are concerned with creating our own niche. This means we have to create our own personal pocket: i. e., create organisation at a local level, centred upon ourselves.
Organisation at a personal level involves establishing a group of contacts whom can be trusted and who will be trustful in return. It also requires that this group of contacts be contained within a suitable framework of efficient communication. As this is an egocentric organisation, the trust and the communication framework must be centred upon the individual setting up the pocket of organisation. in effect, we each have to created our own small world where we are not simply at the focal point but are the focal point.
In this kind of organisation the individual is like the hub at the centre of a wheel. All trust and communication radiate only along the spokes connecting each contact to the individual organiser. There is no necessity for this individual organiser to sponsor or create any bonds of trust between the spokes (.i e., get contacts to trust each other), or, to even establish communication links between them. Organisation is specific to and centred around the organising individual.
This is totally different from the kind of organisation usually associated with the setting up of cooperative groups in conventional business organisations, where an atmosphere of trust and a framework of communication are designed to be common to all members of a group. Cooperative groups though, can only be formed within a structured, top down organisation: where higher order organisation is already in place with absolute control coming from a higher hierarchical level.
To appreciate why it is preferable to form egocentric groups, rather than cooperative groups, it is necessary to be aware of the particular uniqueness of the environment of the Internet. It has a property that has never before been available to any previous society. This is not generally realised, which accounts for much wrong thinking about e-business strategies.
Many commentators enthuse about the potential of the Internet, proclaiming that it will revolutionise the way we do business and the way we shall lead our lives, but, few give any plausible explanations as to why this should be. This is because the world of the Internet contains a surprise that is counter intuitive: the phenomena of small world clusters. To understand this serendipitous property of the connected world, let's look at another game: the Kevin Baker game.