Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The power of the link

It seems to me that the driving force behind much of the current technology revolution is to be found in hyperlinks. One way of looking at Facebook and other modern web services is as a means of making it easy for people to make links between different bits of content.

Whether it is connecting to articles, PDFs, web pages, photographs, videos, email addresses, LinkedIn profiles or more ... New, powerful discoveries are made through a combination of search and the serendipity of clicking on the links that others have left behind.

This is a bottom-up (rather than top-down) democratically-inspired creation of content. It changes the balance of power from the centre to the edges; and we are witnessing, in some quarters, a battle to hold on to the power to create ideas.

But it's when organisations risk allowing others to mix, match and link to new content that creativity sparks best and fastest. Central approval just slows things down.