Sad to see that Omidyar.net is closing down (login probably needed). O.net always seemed to me to be a great place of potential but I never had the time for it. It had an overload of discussion and it was frustrating to start reading an interesting conversation only to find it had been going on for two years and you were never going to absorb enough information to join in. I made some good connections there though and liked the project that enabled each person to sponsor a breakfast in Uganda. It was quick and simple.
Obviously every space can't be as simple and instantly-gratifying as, say, Facebook. But the online eco-system is something we're not making the most of yet. We move between overload and meaningless interaction. What would work for me is a space where:
- 'everybody' is and I can read their profiles to see if we have anything in common
- we have structured, timed conversations or seminars where I could learn something and go away with at least one action point, something manageable
- we move away from the instant-response model that we're moving towards online where if you don't act on something immediately the chance has passed, perhaps going back to a wiki-like structure that can be built upon by anybody to evolve but ideally without having to understand every layer
- we can access the information we need quickly and not always rely on others to answer questions for us - I guess this requires a collation of everything already out there by Google or somebody
- words & ideas can be tranformed into action by anybody, anywhere
- the burden of organisation is lower than that of action