Monthly Archives: August 2008

Business Optimists Rediscover Society!

A somewhat structured web surf about organizational change lead me to this site about the book/project called:

Megacommunities.

Which includes this amusing graphic.

I think that web od dense relations in the middle also has an older name: society.

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Filed under Business, humor, social theory, sociology

Discussion of governance at TN blog

Here is an interesting discussion of governance over at TN blog.

The premise is to compare Internet to VW governance and see how VWs differ.  Sensible approach (! one I am using!).

Reading it did make me wonder if we are using governance More broadly than it is usually used.  The post author, Ren Reynolds, is looking at very “normal” governance issues; taxation and criminal enforcement. And those are fine and good to look at.  I have just thinking about governance as not only government control, but the production of order especially from a phenomenological perspective.  How do people feel or experience a VW as regularized or ordered?  The basis for that experience of order (or ordering) includes the code written by programmers working for firms constrianed by national governments. But it also includes the more normative and cogntive sources of patterning and order (look, NOT being surprosed by non human avatars is a certain kind of order.  A libertarian one, i suppose).

That is why I keep looping back to neo-institutional theory.

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Filed under Information and Communication Technology, Politics, Power, Activism, Research, virtual worlds

Is this for real?

A direct mail marketing message came to me today ahead of the Academy of Management meetings.

Is this for real?

Do you have questions about life?

Stop by the McGraw-Hill/Irwin booth Sunday, Aug.9 and Tuesday, Aug. 12 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and get lifes questions answered by our psychics!

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Filed under conferences, humor, management, Marketing

Politics inside or outside the magic circle?

The magic circle seems a key concept in virtual worlds and gaming.  For origin of the term from Huzinga, see here.

The wikipedia article, in summarizing Castronova’s arguments, states:

Even though there are political activities inside synthetic worlds, it is interesting to note that “debates, which really do involve legitimate political interests, almost always occur outside the membrane rather than inside it.”[16

How about for SL?  Do these discussions happen inside or out?  What about other VWs?  Isn’t the story in Second Life Herald all about sparking these types of discussions in-world?  In TSO and also in SL?  And the apocryphal account of LambdaMOO discussion about the cyber rape was also in that world.

And is the point whether the discussion is between self-identified people or avatars?

Lastly, ignoring above distinction for the time, one of the lessons I draw from how discussions happen outside the membrane is that it is further proof of how users of VWs and MMOs are part of a broader institutional field.

“The organizational field isolates for analysis a system of organizations operating in the same realm as defined by relational linkages and shared cultural rules and meaning systems(118)”

(from: Scott, W. R., Davis, G. F., & Scott, W. R. (2007). Organizations and organizing : Rational, natural, and open systems perspectives (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.)

So, in the out-of-membrane discussions about politics, we see a network of players, or a community, instead of an organization formally, but nonetheless engaging in joint enterprise.  THis network is defined by its relation to the virtual world and also to other networks of players/users and also worlds.  They discuss and strategize about political questions pertaining to the synthetic world in ways that reveal shared (or contested) cultural rules and meaning systems,  What makes for  a good game?  What is fair?  What should different parties do?  These are questions relevant only in the context of a field.

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Filed under Gaming, organization theory, Research, social theory, technology, virtual worlds

Bread is Dangerous

:<)

I am not sure where my father in law found this, but it is very amusing.

BREAD IS DANGEROUS

Research on bread indicates that:

1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.

2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.

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Filed under humor

Soc Net Books to Explore

Charles Kadushin sent out an email awhile ago asking for reviewers for Social Networks.  i would love to see the network folks sink their teeth into the explosion of general audience/practitioner books out there.

he listed the following at the time as possibilities:

Social Networks and Marketing, by Christophe Van den Bulte and Stefan Wuyts, Marketing Science Institute, 2007.

Andy Sernovitz and Guy Kawasaki, Word of Mouth Marketing: How smart companies get people talking. Kaplan Publishing, 2006 Mark Hughes, Buzz Marketing, Penguin 2006 Dave Balter and John Butman, Grapevine: the new art of word-of-mouth marketing. Penguin 2005.

Add Seth Godin’s Tribes: We need you to Lead us (2008) to the list.

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Filed under Books, management, Marketing, Social Networks

Climate Change Song- “Get Down Into It”

YouTube – Get Down Into It

Local musicians and citizens raising awareness fueled by digital and living web technologies.  Look for me and Thea in early part.

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Filed under activism, climate change, lewisburg, life, Media, participatory technology, technology