Interesting blog on Life With Alacrity about Social Software. For the ignoramus, crudely put Social Software or Groupware or Collaborative Software is software that facilitates group interaction. Often, there is “no overt coordination with the group functioning as an aggregation of interested individuals” rather than as a cohesive unit.
Two intriguing perspectives on the internet from the blog:
“By ‘augmenting human intellect’ we mean increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems” [Engelbart. Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework. 1962].
“To appreciate the importance the new computer-aided communication can have, one must consider the dynamics of ‘critical mass,’ as it applies to cooperation in creative endeavor. Take any problem worthy of the name, and you find only a few people who can contribute effectively to its solution. Those people must be brought into close intellectual partnership so that their ideas can come into contact with one another. But bring these people together physically in one place to form a team, and you have trouble, for the most creative people are often not the best team players, and there are not enough top positions in a single organization to keep them all happy. Let them go their separate ways, and each creates his own empire, large or small, and devotes more time to the role of emperor than to the role of problem solver” [Licklider. The Computer as a Communication Device. 1968].
“Friendly foxes are cleverer”