BrainJams: What’s next?

First, I am just so unbelievably happy that this era of the Knowledge Economy is upon us; you might even call me giddy. The manner in which the concept of Knowledge Networking is spreading so quickly around the globe is almost unfathomable. While it certainly is not anything I invented, it is something to which I am proud to contribute and would like to help organize with other people smarter than myself.

As you may have noted on the BrainJams site – it says

“BrainJams is not an event company or a an organi[z]er of events. BrainJams is intended to be a resource for people who want to share best practices in knowledge networking”

(sorry about the typo, no one pointed that out to me and I just missed it in the rush.

Oops – we may kind a sorta be an events sorta thingy-ma-jobby. We are getting together tonight to discuss the idea, as well as when to do the next Bay Area BrainJam.

Essentially we realized that the idea of a Web 2.0/2.1/37.0 (whatever) was not being received by average people. Not to argue about the natural evolution of innovation, the propagation of memes and the simplifying of technology over time to reach the other side of the chasm, because I believe in that. Rather that people coming together across organizational and disciplinary boundaries to discuss current uses of technology as it might be applied to their problems is pretty cool and useful. The premise of a little structure, a little focus and ad-hoc collaboration through conversation really truly works. When focused on issues like Recovery 2, BrainJams can be really powerful tools in connecting the dots and fixing systems to make them work the way we need them to.

We are planning on staying true to our original promise of building an open community of people like you and me to share best practices about knowledge networking, or as we like to call them, BrainJams. Everything from templates, to resources, to technology, to people, to places to hold the events and more – everything you need to know to get the most from doing your own local BrainJams. There are no intentions to collect fees around this, it is just the right thing to do and I think it is important to do and it should be fun.

We are also planning on tackling a big juicy idea to really support the ideals of BrainJams in the best manner we think possible. We want to meet people from all around the country, learn together with them how to do this thing right. Share our experiences and contribute to one another’s passions. Every aspect that is core to our ideals is served this way. So we are beginning to plan for a BrainJams Roadtrip up, down and all across the USA. We want to be a big part of the solution and help facilitate the right connections within the system – and golly gee this sounds like a neat-o thing to do.

Details are fuzzy at best, but we are talking to the folks at BarCamp to see if we can team up, perhaps leading with a BrainJam that involves people from all four tribes, focused on encouraging participation through the best uses of technology and/or whatever issue is most important to that community. Hopefully they may also involve some of the themes of Recovery 2, or The Noble Pursuit with a genuine intention of creating inter-personal connections between people beyond boundaries – most specifically between developers in the open source community and the people with needs and ideas – with the purpose of actually making them happen.

We are also talking about teaching more people how to use the tools of ‘social media’ to be heard – connecting them with the tools via their own language, rather than the geek speak we so often use. Talking about reputation instead of identity, subscriptions instead of RSS and organizing knowledge instead of social bookmarking. Spreading the message of open source values to other aspects of society. Share, be a part of a community and contribute your experience and expertise. Watch as things start to get better. Review what worked, share those Insytes and repeat.

But who knows, this could all change 33 minutes from now when people start to arrive. Which is a good place for me to break and help Kristie get the house ready, which she has been scrambling to do for the past hour+ as I sat here and wrote away….

(BTW – per Jeff Jarvis’ description , the four tribes are Technology, Business, Non-profit and Government)


It is my hope that the real lesson learned from what we did with last week’s Web 2.1 BrainJam, is that anyone can do it.

Believe in yourself and give it a try. My hairstylist today reminded me of another important point – how deep some of our fears go back to our childhood. He related to me a story from when he was a new kid at school at age 6, he threw his birthday party and no one came. All of the new friendships, and for whatever reason they each had, they had let him down. He has not thrown another birthday party since -though we will be changing that this year. For me, it was when I was about 5. Ringling Brothers was coming to town and I came down with the chickenpox. I remember it as if it were yesterday – I was ‘locked’ in the backyard behind the driveway fence when 2 of the neighborhood kids came up and started teasing me about not being able to go. I have always been afraid to miss out on something, often thinking about that other thing I could have been doing. Sometimes I was not even aware of the moment I was living or those around me. So I have learned (am learning more accurately) how to be here now, to not doubt myself and to not give in to a silly little fear that something might not happen as we hoped it would.

A lot of people I know and many more I don’t have given in to these thoughts. They have never tried to do that “big thing” or to pursue that big idea. I just want to remind people to stop, breathe and reconsider. No more why – its time for why not? You can do anything you want to do – make a difference. Start something, join something, and take action today. Right now. Check out VolunteerWatch for some ideas. Reach out in your neighborhood – find something you really care about and contribute.

Nike’s message speaks equally well to business people, artists, non-profits, government employees and developers as it does to athletes – “Just Do It”

  1. #1 by Mind Valley - October 14th, 2005 at 21:40

    Hi Chris,

    I share your excitement and enthusiasm about knowledge networking and social learning. We even started a site and our vision is to become a “Personal Discovery Engine.” Would have loved to make it to your BrainJam but I am out here in Kuala Lumpur. Keep it up and if you have the time to check out our site I would love to hear from you. Mike

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Comments are closed.