In a previous life, I designed and wrote courses about networking technology. I am not a networking expert, I just played one on tv, as they say. But I did learn a few things along the way. Two networking terms struck me today – “load balancing” and “redundancy.” I was in a workshop – or rather an “unworkshop” for those of you familiar with it – and I had Skype going, my internal IM (Communicator), my email, an online conferencing tool called Vyew (which had its own chat feature), I was dialed into a traditional conference call, I had the group’s discussion forum going, and I had multiple participants’ blogs open. Whew! Sounds like chaos – which it is. But it’s good chaos!
On the (potentially) down side – I may need to track a number of avenues of communication to keep in contact with my teammates. Did Charmaine post on her blog about that, or in the group discussion forum? Kimiko just said there was a new note on the chat, but I don’t see it. Oh wait, not that chat, THAT chat! So ya, it can get confusing. How’s that relate to load balancing? Is a feed reader a form of load balancing? Or do I need a second Allison to distribute the load? Discuss.
It occurs to me that the number of tools being used at once is not inherently a problem. It makes perfect sense to me, because it follows my train of thought. It’s my brain, and I keep it in the order I like. What creates the challenge is that my brain isn’t organizing things the same way Monica’s is, and to keep up with Monica, don’t I have to organize my brain based on her brain? Too late, my brain is full.
The answer seems to be in tagging, creating relevance…. and a number of other basic processes and tools that we use to organize. My brain is already too full to talk about those, so I’m hoping for some good comments from the 3-4 people that know about my blog. 🙂
On the other hand…. when the Skype call failed for some folks, we were already so connected that really the communication was seamless. We had redundancy. When one node on the network fails, the entire network doesn’t go down. In fact when things are really moving along well, it’s a self-healing network. We reach out to the (human) node that is having difficulty, and by helping that node, we all learn a little more, the communication deepens, the basis of TRUST is formed for the next time. It’s not about the technology, man, it’s about the human beings!
Well anyway, I didn’t mind the chaos, though I may need to do some load balancing.