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March 12, 2009


Internet Marketing IQ

Benevolent Dictatorships are the ultimate ruling order. Just ask God! Open source serves the community as a result of the labors of a select few within the masses. I like the concept. Yet invariably there are those that believe that they somehow own the work of these communities simply because they participate. It is a keen insight however that seems almost paradoxical given the context of your argument. In any organizational structure leaders must emerge.


Reading this article I was asking a question to myself, what is more powerful and more success in human manipulation, open source or a social media? And you know what? I don't know the answer:( How do you think who will win at this competition?

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A very interesting take on open source projects, although slightly altruistic I feel. Open source developers usually have an end game, or other agenda, whether it be developing commercial applications as 'add-ons' to the basic open source application, or to develop a name for themselves in a particular field.
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you discussed open source and social media, very good with this topic. nice!

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"One of the paradoxes of early 20th Century management was the observation that companies are best run as dictatorships, while countries are best run as democracies" Interesting comment and one that makes me ponder whether this still applies to today.

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I agree with James and Angela - I too have worked in management. The concept of self-managed teams in the workplace in the mid 90's was great in concept - but in the end, if you don't have one person that keeps everyone else on track, you lose productivity to those who just can't manage their own time or tasks without someone overseeing it.

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Great point!

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I wonder tho if that is correct.
I absolutely agree that companies must have a benevolent dictator as its guiding force. But after how 8 years of bad democratic government, I'm open to suggestion regarding the best national governing process.
Congress is bought and paid for, and the President has so many IOUs in his pocket that its difficult to create real change.
If you look at the years of state sponsored racism, bigotry and homophobia, are we sure that the majority is always right?
Just my 2 cents
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There are some good points here but I do not agree with this "The point: the nature of participation is very different between open source and social media, even though people tend to lump them together into "peer production""


this is really new way to looking thing. i am from india and found lot more thing here to learn.


Josh W

Shared purpose vs shared platform becomes blurred when the platform becomes the purpose. In other words, facism occurs when building a country becomes a priority before doing things in that country, and people rely on a single source for that vision.

With me so far? Well in that case, there may be a democratic version of "fascism", where instead of implementing one guy's single vision, we create a single vision from all of our ideas. That requires the mother of all conversations, and the trick is to do that without it lasting forever.

Stafford Beer, an organisational researcher reckoned he had found a way to create such conversations, based on structured information networks. It's since been turned into a snazy method called syntegration, but I wonder whether then same ideas could be applied elsewhere. One of the main things that make it work is setting the right degree to which people have to agree with each other, based on the actual interactions of the real world problems they seek to resolve. In other words, we don't need total unity, just enough not to mess up each other's plans. There's more to it than that, like stuff to stop people getting too much influence or people going off on back-patting exercises, but you get the idea.


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Interesting analyses but I prefer a social media, they seems to be more democratic

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I think they can actually be intertwined though as well. I don't necessarily feel they are always so different. It all depends on who and why they are using it.



In past year social media play a big roll political. For exemple:Obama reelection, Moldovian revolution or Iran street movement. Some Iranian election protesters used Twitter to get people on the streets, but most of the organizing happened the old-fashioned way,

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That's an interesting point of view. I wouldn't want to generalize, but you have something there.


Very good post, thanks for the useful info

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that IS a good way of explaining the difference, have to commit that one to memory.


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Sometimes you need a dictator or dicatatorship to do things which are not possible in democracy.


It's the same for countries. People vote for a person. Even if a program is set up by a community, to be elected you need somebody to personify it.


Id like to observe the same ideas within our country.

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It really great idea.i am impress with your thinking.
your article is really very informative.

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this is a very interesting entry and I do like the comparison you make between social media and open source. I do have to disagree on your view of social media in that you believe that it does not exist for a shared purpose. Yes, you are right people tweet not to help twitter grow but for their own personal gain, but there are circumstances where the distribution of say very urgent and critical info and news can be spread using social media which counteracts your argument.

I mean I do agree with you- but there are situations where this notion is questions.

Great post.
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Shame about some of the spam, a very interesting article, OSP really is overlooked and so versatile.


Haha Rich, I have to agree with you :)
Good article, I enjoyed it.

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"What both open source and social media have in common is that both tend to be meritocracies. "

I second that.

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Great thoughts and a really interesting debate. Would love to see a really democratic country!


I'm not sure the average person cares so much about the organizational structure as long as the end product delivers. I for one love Joomla and seldom take the time to dig into the organization of the product other than to suggest features. I'd sure like to see native commenting built in. But I get the point that someone has got to take charge and give direction to any project.

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Any quality project has to have direction. Also, I tend to think the same about caring only for the end result.


A very interesting view of open sourcing and social media! :)
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"Whatever your views are, i like open source staff"

I second that.

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The great leaders in open source are followed voluntarily because they have proved their merit as designers, visionaries, or organizers. Similarly, social media recognizes those who make substantial contributions: contributors voluntarily link to other contributors who make worthwhile contributions.

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I guess I get the Open Source as a company analogy but like the other commentors, the second one takes more pondering. Certainly companies need strong leadership and someone making ultimate decisions. But don't countries need the same? Social media does have more of a democracy type environment if that's what you intended.

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"One of the paradoxes of early 20th Century management was the observation that companies are best run as dictatorships, while countries are best run as democracies."

Truer words then these were never said.

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Nice post.you have done a great job,i always confuse about social media and open source but your article clear me about all the things.


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Thanks for an enlightening post.  Quite interesting, imho of course group efforts benefit from great leadership. Likely there is some bottom-up influence in all instances of good leadership. Goo leadership will work to bring the best out in the groups they happened to lead successfully by reflecting, communicating and fostering a shared vision.  However, your points are clearly valid too. slim blog Cheers


Nice post and good comparison between opensource and social media



"One of the paradoxes of early 20th Century management was the observation that companies are best run as dictatorships, while countries are best run as democracies."

Having been a top level manager for 20 years I can tell you that truer words were NEVER spoken.

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It's the same for countries. People vote for a person. Even if a program is set up by a community, to be elected you need somebody to personify it.

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

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