There is something slightly obscene about binge-watching any television show. To think of the years of writing, production, post and scheduling that have gone into creating the characters and their world, and here am I on the couch for 8 hours consuming it whole. Left without the angst of the episode cliff-hanger, or even the gaping questions left at the end of a season, the pace is dictated by the viewer.

In watching a show this way, I have joined the mainstream. Show me now. I want to beat the spoilers. Feed me. Feed me.

And yet we consume so many other entertainments in full. A novel we can read in a sitting. A movie beginning to end.

The mass marketing of content as a boxed set or streamable series gives us new opportunities to see the arc of characters, to engage in a way that invokes a greater visceral punch than seeing a story unfold week to week. The emotional energy may dissipate after the loss of a major character, or an injustice or a victory. Condensing these experiences allows us to immerse ourselves deeper into the world of the story.

Beyond the boxed set, technologies such as digital recorders, ABCs iView, Quickflix and cracked access to Netflix allow us to choose our pace and time, giving the viewer the greatest degree of control of story consumption. I can watch a show on my TV, my laptop, my tablet or my phone. Add to that those who access shows through streams and torrents and it becomes a viewer’s market.

That is a good thing for the creators of stories.  

File under ‘everything else…’

In our digital travels, we stumble upon things that were not our initial focus, but that warrant a little attention. When I am researching, it is important to try to follow the markers, to not stray too far from the path; yet there are tantalising nuggets of information, ideas that want to be revisited.

The web is also awash with quotations from so many sources. Writers and writing, and the sites dedicated to these topics, spawn thousands of quotes to inspire and motivate. Sometimes a few words speak to us more intimately, or spark an idea to be revisited.

An image, a video, a few words. For me Tumblr provides me with a live, growing commonplace book. Pinterest too allows for creating a visual snapshot of the things that piqued my interest, usually while looking for something else.

Meaning Business on Tumblr.

Me on Pinterest.

Build it and they will come, but design it and they will collaborate…

As Enterprise Social Networks become the ‘killer app’ for unlocking tacit information and enabling connections within organisations, there can be a tendency to take an organic approach to the relationships and networks that will emerge.  However, this 2007 (!) article from McKinsey & Company, describes the underlying structures of informal networks. Authored by Lowell Bryan, Eric Matson and Leigh Weiss, it is an essential foundation read for communicators and technologists striving to foster networks on their collaboration platforms, whether they be Yammer, Jive, Connections or other.

Harnessing the power of informal employee networks | McKinsey & Company.

Just as formal hierarchical structures define management roles, formal network structures define collaborative professional ones. In this way such networks can enable large companies to overcome the problems of very large numbers by creating small, focused communities of interest integrated within larger, more wide-ranging communities—for instance, subcommunities focused on different aspects of financial services, such as wholesale and retail banking.