Monday, December 10, 2007

Decentralised Information

Tim Berners-Lee (the "Daddy" of the WWW) in his recent Blog posting goes into some detail to describe the 'Graph' of information resources out there. He sees this as the evolution of the Web that he created.
In his terminology:
The Internet - connects computers
The WWW - connects documents
The Graph - connects relationships

Its how we interact with resources (people, data, etc.) that becomes important. Its therefore all about the connections between us & other resources and how they affect us.
However, I believe a company is also a resource in this model . Being an entity that consumes and distributes out data, a company acts like a multi-armed (and some may say multi-faced) individual. Having external relationships in different and complex ways with: consumers, suppliers, the press, etc.

If Tim is right, we should be able to understand the Corporate Graph, rather like an individual's personal relationships with their friends. Perhaps we can map it rather like this?:
(my personal Facebook TouchGraph)

If we can, then we start to see different influencers given different 'ratings' (I'm sure there's a better word). This will also change over time, just as my Personal TouchGraph has changed - since I have got more friends now in Facebook and they too have their own inter-relationships.

The next logical question must surely be: "How do I use this information?". Perhaps if we can map our influencers, we can also (separately) map those we can influence or who's our opinion matters most to?

However as an individual I know that people get nervous/hurt/insulted when you start to put a name or value to a relationship. "Dear 5th most-liked friend, I'm seeing my number 3 tonight, can we make it next week? But as the "Daddy" says: "It is about getting excited about connections, rather than nervous."
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