Are we ready to address messages to spaces?

Are we ready to take the next step, continued

My environment currently consists of a large group (say, 50 people) made of several interdependent teams (sub-projects). Some people belong to more than one team.

A lot of communication takes place via email that reaches a few people from this team and a few people from that team, in order to accomplish some task. So these are little sub-teams that spring up around a task and then disband.

A significant problem is getting the right people to know about new issues that the sub-teams form around. Those people may want to be a part of the sub-team, or simply track their progress.

With a tool like Radio, those sub-teams may be able to form around an issue, and communicate with each other, out of their own self-interest, just as with email. (Or enough like email that the members do not feel an extra burden just to reach people who may or may not be interested in their issue.)

Others can "listen in" on the conversation via Radio in ways that are simply not enabled by email. Almost everyone in the larger group would soon benefit from this ability to see into the day-to-day conversations of sub-teams they otherwise would not be aware of until much later, sometimes too late, or wastefully late.

I thin this transparency offered by Radio can help avoid the sub-teams from losing focus and thinking too much about people outside their focus. [ Patrick Logan's Radio Weblog ]

Absolutely. And you're spot on when you say " enough like email that the members do not feel an extra burden." This was the opportunity I thought I saw, way back when, when I noticed that:

- email was ubiquitous

- email clients were closely coupled to news clients

- news was a groupthink medium

Once I set up the private news server that unlocked the latent power of the already-universally-deployed news client, which shared the same message composer as the mail client that was in constant heavy use, I thought I was all set. There was essentially no new software to deploy, or to learn.

Why didn't a lot more people catch on to this? Why, even in my own environment which was, like yours, made of overlapping subgroups, didn't it have the effect I thought it should have?

I say again: it wasn't primarily about the software. It was about the willingness of people to work transparently, for their own benefit and for the common good. And about the ability of people to think in terms of messages addressed to spaces, rather than messages addressed to people. This is a deep anthropological issue. As a species, we are now being invited to communicate in ways more abstract and indirect than tens of thousands of years of cultural history have conditioned us for. I know we can adapt, and will. The $64,000 question for me is: how soon?

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