Collaboration Ninja 忍者

Work-in-progress: please join in and share your insights

Signal to Noise Ratio

Keeping ‘good’ information in the forefront of your collaboration can be difficult online. The chatter of your participants can make it hard to decipher what is relevant and what is ‘noise’.

“when you have large amounts of people talking about complex and controversial topics, then you tend to have some important dysfunctions, which makes it very hard to take advantage of peoples’ contributions and harvest the good stuff. In web forums, for example, you have a huge amount of redundancy, the content tends to scatter all over the place, the topic is not systematically covered, people get engaged in flame wars and periodically re-hash the same old arguments about controversial topics. The signal to notice ratio tends to get quite low. So the output isn’t all that useful even though the low communication costs make it possible to get thousands of people participating. Wikis have different but still serious problems. People often engage in edit wars, and create simplified, least-common-denominator content for complex controversial problems.”Mark Klein

If you allow your channels of communication to become overwhelmed with ‘noise’ they can become a real barrier to participation.

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