This is a post for the the fabulous Cassie Robinson who asked me for this a few weeks ago. Its also timely – I’m just about to start running some action learning sets on some of these questions and its a good time to refresh the reading list. So here you go; context collapse, networked leadership and platform thinking.
Context Collapse refers to the blurring of boundaries between your different sense of self – for example the differences in the person you bring to work and the person you are at home. Its a term that was coined by Danah Boyd and has its roots in some of Erving Goffman’s work on the presentation of self in everyday life. Its also worth reading Judith Donath’s work in this area this and also Sherry Turkle’s work on identity (I’d recommend her book ‘Life on Screen’)..
Put simply – digital and networked technology and in particular social media makes it difficult to keep different parts of your life separate. This is a mixture of the design affordances of these different platforms and also the ‘pull’ of the binary nature of code back to a singular answer on the subject of identity. You can see threads of many different cultural effects in this simple concept – but I think its got profound implications as we start to properly enter into a age of digital identity.
For networked leadership and networked thinking generally I constantly return back to two books:
- Net Smart by Howard Rheingold – I wrote a long post about this when it came out and I remain a fan.
- Networked by Lee Raine and Barry Wellman – which I also blogged about here.
These two books really distill a lot of the thinking about the networked individual which I reference in work I do around networked leadership – including the networked councillor work from a few years ago.
I would hugely recommend also Networks of Outrage and Hope by Manuel Castells which captures the interaction between networked and hierarchical power brilliantly. I’m currently reading Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest by Zeynep Tufekci which takes this thinking further.
This one was more tricky as it shows up how much worse I have been at looking after my bibliography since finishing the PHD however – here are a couple of articles which I think are helpful in terms of thinking about how platforms work:
- The economist: The emporium strikes back
- Issues: The rise of the platform economy
HBR have done a number of articles in this area as have the Sloan review from MIT – I tend to only read these when I have managed to get journal access as the are expensive.
I liked this survey from the centre for Global Enterprise as well – it also has some good references and definitions.
And finally this is the link to the pinterest board I put together when I finished the PHD – its a got a a few other suggestions if you have got this far. Enjoy!
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