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    From shiftctrlesc's personal cargo

    the circuitry of crowds
    There are radical new patterns of power and response-ability emerging around the 21st century citizen. But we are also experiencing a strange kind of political impotence. We are powerful in new ways, yet often incapable of applying any kind of meaningful political force to the most crucial issues of our time ...

    I think there's a vital yet transparent element to the city that helps fuel citizenship but is missing from our electronic environment ...

    the circuitry of crowds - the spontaneous exchange of emotion between strangers that is vital for exciting larger and more powerful social and political patterns.

    In fact, the circuitry of crowds is missing from much of modern life. Cars and suburbs obliterate it. Shopping malls, which have replaced most of our public spaces, only offer a ghastly imitation.

    But, even in its infancy, the real time web is creating a new kind of crowd circuitry that has the power to fuel 21st century hypercitizenship.

    These ideas are explored in more depth in my original post over at headmine ...
    The Circuitry of Crowds [and the rise of the 21st century hypercitizen]


    Your thoughts?

    Wed, Jun 16, 2010  Permanent link

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    CoCreatr     Wed, Jun 30, 2010  Permanent link
    Hmm... I know this. I do this. I like this.
    The spontaneous exchange of emotion between strangers...

    Agree here:
    that is vital for exciting larger and more powerful social and political patterns
    Agree here, too:
    There is a contagious emotional pulse to the hypercrowd that has been completely absent from the web up until now. Even with the primitive tools we have today, we can catch glimpses of the power of hypercrowds to excite bigger political and social patterns.

    The point I have trouble with is about connecting emotionally to a crowd. Usually, I don't. I connect to individuals. If I connect to enough individuals, I might feel connected to a group or its mission or its brilliance as exemplified by the members I know. It is the person-to-person connect that I get spontaneous and emotional about. Not a group-connect.

    One reason may be the group is an imaqinary entity, co-created through agreement in many minds.
    shiftctrlesc     Fri, Jul 2, 2010  Permanent link
    Interesting ...
    I agree ... groups don't necessarily have emotional circuitry.
    But groups and crowds are very different patterns.
    The words aren't interchangeable for me.
    A crowd is made of pressure and potential ...
    There are forces in a crowd that aren't imagined and these forces create a circuitry that transcends any individual connections between people.

    It's this sense of pressure that I am starting to see emerge from the real time web. The flow of responses that form around a trending topic create an emotional exchange that transcends the content of the messages themselves. Just as a chanting crowd can form a contagious emotional energy that isn't explicit in the the words being shouted.

    We tune into Twitter during a live event, not just for facts and links, but to feel the press of the crowd. It's intoxicating even in its infancy. And it's empowering a new kind of social dynamic.
    CoCreatr     Fri, Jul 2, 2010  Permanent link
    Agree, there is a difference between groups and crowds. Or a tribe. One main difference to me is more or less enjoying the effects of a group's leadership vs. agreeing to a crowd's peer pressure to conform.

    One group I am member of (Seth Godin's Triiibes) worked out the difference between a tribe and a crowd in an eBook . May tribe serve as a synonym for group.

    Q: Does a tribe need a strategy? If so, why?

    A: “Strategy is what makes you a leader and not just a noisy person in the corner” – Seth Godin

    Strategy is what enables a tribe to move from “being” to “doing.” The importance of strategy is dependent on the nature of the tribe. In a passive tribe, which primarily relishes “belonging,” the leader’s strategy is not as important, but is still necessary.
    A dynamic tribe relishes the opportunity to be productive. Dynamic tribes realize they can harness their collective intelligence to achieve something together, in addition to simply belonging. Here, leadership matters more. It galvanizes the tribe around “change people can believe in.” In the context of achievement, the leader’s strategy is pivotal.
    Lack of strategy in a leader creates a rudderless tribe and a rudderless tribe can easily descend into a crowd or a mob.

    Source: eBook p. 30.