I’ve been living in a kaleidoscope of “2.0″s recently: web 2.0, enterprise 2.0, government 2.0. I know some of those are already shedding 2s in favor of 3s. But I wanted to reflect on the core tenet of these 2.0 visions: give-to-get.
First, let me give immediate credit to the folks at the Greater IBM Connection, who put the phrase in my head at a recent summit. Those who have studied pre-2.0-history, may recognize give-to-get as the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I don’t know of any other precept that has achieved such a universality across cultures.
What does give-to-get mean in the context of these 2.0 approaches to technology?
- Blogs where readers’ comments become even more valuable than the original posts.
- Sites that send users away when they can’t meet users’ needs themselves.
- Application architectures evaluated based on their ability to play well with others.
- Professional conversations increasingly taking place openly, outside company firewalls.
- Information sharing factoring into government employees’ peformance reviews.
- Efforts by intelligence agencies to replicate the communication style of consumer social networks.
Some people who are far more expert than I have written about this stuff:
What I hope is clear is that, despite the overplaying of “2.0″ as a buzzword, the real value of this trend is in promoting one of the cornerstones of our success as a species: enlightened altruism.
And, at the risk of beating a dead horse, I’d like to call attention to my own efforts to give credit where it’s due on this blog. I’ve consciously reduced internal linking, only using it to refer to earlier posts. But, as you’ll see, this “altruism” is quite self-serving. I’ve been delighted to see folks link to this blog in order to cite its ideas.
Because what 2.0 is ultimately about is better information sharing for all of us. And for that, we all have to give to get.