Collaborative Sensemaking: One post, comment, insight at a time

+David Amerland :
In The Cogs of the G+ Machine

Good morning G+. Each day, so many of us spend time and energy here, sensing that in the free flow of information and idea sharing something profound is happening but unable to quite pinpoint what. 

There is a profound synergy of ideas here that the following few links perhaps illustrate: 

1. Forming a Collective Intelligence: ( Read the brief story of how I came to write a popular post that was shared by many and contributed to by even more. The real point of this story is that had it not been for unrelated connections made here (why would I normally want to talk to a Realtor like +Bill Gassett  when I have absolutely no intention of buying a house in the US?) none of this would have happened. None of us would have discovered the intellectual rigour projected by the writing of +Martin W. Smith who is new to G+ or the insights supplied by +Mark Traphagen . This was a real connecting the dots moment that showed the power of G+ to do something extraordinary, from seemingly ordinary activities (writing, marketing, talking, connecting).

2. Creating Transparency: ( The last post of the day was a late one for me, yesterday, and I posted a picture featuring tiny space living for labourers in Hong Kong. +Anne-Marie Clark  found it serendipitously adjacent, in her stream, to a post about architecturally tight space design (there is a link in her comments but here it is as well: and +Juhana Tahvanainen  posted a picture of his own, tightly organised apartment space (linked here: These were casual connections made across the world and in their imagery showed three distinct different types of tight living space. They also showed trends in human living conditions that are globally following similar dictates for very similar, underlying reasons. There may be more things uniting Hong Kong labourers with people in Europe or the US than we might have thought possible.

3. Amplifying Knowledge: ( Ramharter  who starts the day posting about art, started with poetry just as I, who sometimes post poetry as my day begins, started with art. The criss-crossing of the nature of the posts and the serendipity of our connections transformed what would normally have been two posts that were only tangentially related to each other into a comment about the cross-disciplinary power of knowledge and the underlying workings of the world. 

4. Creating The Future: ( +Dirk Puehl's post on Samuel Preppy's diary and its value to us now, highlighted the collective value of social media where our pictures of kittens and lunches and thoughts and ideas, collectively, form a wealth of detail that may well change the future and the way it is shaped and formed. What is to come, always arises out of what is known and our world is becoming so much more transparent and knowable and the #ifihadglass  project and +Project Glass are only going to make it more so.  

5. Increasing the value of ideas: ( +John Kellden  took one of my posts and added an additional layer of explanation to it, helping create a much more focused application for what was a whimsical piece I had been playing around with for some time. This, in turn, has greater value to those who do any kind of marketing (or thinking and arguing) and, in turn will lead to faster developments than if the post had not existed or no one had connected the dots. 

It all happened within the space of 24-48 hours on G+. Amongst a relatively small handful of people. None of us have met in real life or before we got on G+. This small slice of life is a story being repeated many times across the millions of connections that exist here. And the magic happens with just a few clicks. The staring at a screen while waiting for caffeine to kick in, in the morning.
-- +David Amerland

Image, inspired by the above, by +Joachim Stroh
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