I found an interesting article on “Peer Production” by Ziv Navoth over on “Change This” today. The article talks about the incredible power and intelligence of collaborating together with your peers on any given project. Ziv comments…
Peer Production is based on a belief that the wisdom of the crowds is greater than that of any given individual and that open networks of knowledge exchange are better than closed networks. It is a new model for collaborating on the development of ideas, products and services and it is quickly gaining interest in fields as diverse as software development, education and law.
“The nearly 1 billion people online worldwide — along with their shared knowledge, social contacts, online reputations, computing power, and more — are rapidly becoming a collective force of unprecedented power. For the first time in human history, mass cooperation across time and space is suddenly economical.”
While the Peer Production movement itself is relatively new, the foundations of collaboration behind it aren’t. Peer review is the backbone of scientific research. Many fields, from law to music, depend on the ability to build on top of an existing knowledge base.
As someone who works with data and technology on a daily basis I find this information to be very beneficial. We had an ongoing problem with network dropoffs on one of our computer labs. Instead of having our usual weekly technology meeting in the sterile environment of a meeting room, our IT director had us meet in the offending lab and we spent our meeting time on a brainstorming session.
It is incredible how many ideas come forth from a group of techs. After 30 minutes working on the problem we came up with some things that no one had thought of before. Many of us had worked on the problem previously, but never in a group situation. The synergy of the large group was amazing. Peer production can be very powerful.
There is a new place online that you can experience “peer production” for yourself. Head over to “Never Work Alone” and check out the online collaboration going on. A weekly problem is analysed by the hosts and many guests. The end result is amazing.