The Power of Collaboration

In a compelling article about the power of collaboration, Forbes’ Ty Kiisel underscores the new era in which we now live, work and breathe: it is an era of collaboration and distinctive gestures of listening, following, leading and thinking through a broader collective. Thanks to social media, we are interacting in ways we never thought possible before. And the speed of our lives has been strongly influenced by the speed of communciation.

Clay Shirky, a Web 2.0 thinker who recently penned Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, would agree. Shirky argues that we have a lot more time on our hands and what we are doing with that time is surprising. While alcohol abuse (namely gin) used to be the element of choice for people dealing with their societal transitions from the pre-industrial to full-blown industrial age, he argues that today it’s the sitcom that chomps at the lion’s share of our free time. We aren’t hanging out at illegal bars and pubs anymore. Instead, we’re hanging out in front of our TVs.

But is that really true? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey, we spend about 2.7 hours a day watching TV. But how much of  our behavior has changed due to the gadgets we use? Does watching a YouTube video constitute “watching TV”? The lines are blurring even more as we see generational differences. The Pew Internet & American Life Project illustrates how gadget usage differs among various age groups.


Where do you fall on the spectrum of gadgetry use? How much time do you spend collaborating with others, whether it’s through a Facebook share, a retweet or a “like”?


  1. willowdrinkwater

    January 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Because of you and your sisters, I actually own more gadgets in my age group than my compatriots. Thanks for helping me be connected. Fascinating info. And just learned age 2-10 year olds requests for things are driving the market right now. Can you just imagine where we are headed?

    1. powerofslow


      January 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      You taught me the power of collaboration well. And bringing you into the 21st century has been wonderful. Actually, you taught me a lot about the Internet in the early days. I’ll never forget your excitement about connecting with someone in Hawaii via the Web when you visited me and newborn Sophia!

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