Assignment Zero. 21st Amendment, SF, March 22nd

The cultural manifestations of the new networked world.

I am starting to discover a certain culture that permeates the fabric of the networked world. Regardless of what group is meeting, the room is always filled with a thirst for knowledge regarding this new world and the anxious desire to make sense of this forming world in a clear way. To think of a “new collaborative networked world” as something that occurs in the Internet, or an Internet-based phenomenon may be too shallow an idea at this point.

Past Thursday I went to an Assignment Zero event in San Francisco. On the table pints of beer and around those David Cohn, from Assignment Zero, Phil Kast, co-founder of Writewith a collaborative writing tool, Frances Oman, who heard of this event through an email from a Texan friend, Sarah Cove and myself. It became eventually apparent to me that my difficulty to speak of how all our projects were part of a same phenomenon was something I shared with the rest of the group. However, the initial “difficulty” was well handled due to everyone’s interest in genuine collaboration. The conversations were centered around the offer of greater possibilities through new tools, books, experiences.

How is collaboration possible? Through transparency and accountability which generates trust between collaborators. The major questions that we explored were how we can build and use systems that will have that transparency and accountability in order to create a trusted network of collaborators in the fields of journalism, politics, etc. in order to give the user not only an offer or product they want, but something they in turn are responsible for creating.


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