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I’m about halfway through Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody. It’s a great book so far and should be required reading to anyone who assumes that installing a wiki will automatically create some sort of community. But on page 42 was something very quotable which I wanted to share:
“his [now typical organization hierarchy] management system was designed to produce “such information, to be obtained through a system of daily reports and checks, that will not embarrass principal officers nor lesson their influence with their subordinates.” If you have ever wondered why so much of what workers in large organizations know is shielded from the CEO and vice versa, wonder no longer: the idea of limiting communications, so that they flow only from one layer of the hierarchy to the next, was part of the very design of the system at the dawn of managerial culture.”

I love that paragraph and the assertion that the hierarchal organization chart used by industry today, on principal, follows the OSI Model. The idea of social networks, collaboration, sharing, self-organizing, web 2.0, wikis, and other latest buzzwords conflict with this at a core level is interesting. Also, I would suggest that practiced data security models today rely on this OSI data encapsulation and without access control and data protection built into these web 2.0 products then little can be done to secure them.
One final thought: the person who creates a blog platform for organizations that lays out ACLs based on the companies org chart and creates communities based on peer levels as such will be have a nice hybrid platform for transitioning companies who are struggling to get out of the old hierarchy.