Friday, 7 September 2007

Word of the day

Today's word is holoptism - thank you to Gary Hardy for this one. P2P (peer to peer) projects are characterized by holoptism. "Holoptism is the implied capacity and design of peer to peer processes that allows participants free access to all the information about the other participants (not in terms of privacy, but in terms of their existence and contributions)." In other words, the process is fully open and accessible to all of its participants.

This can be contrasted to the panoptism which is characteristic of hierarchical projects: here, the processes are designed to reserve such 'total' knowledge to an elite, while participants only have access on a 'need to know' basis. Communication is not top-down and based on strictly defined reporting rules, but feedback is systemic, integrated in the protocol of the cooperative system.

Think carefully about your own organisation now. Holop or panop? Worked it out? I'm afraid you were right. Mine certainly is.

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