Alan Turing, one of the first to postulate a universal computing machine -- and hence the PC (as opposed to unique machines created for specific purposes) -- once said "Machines take me by surprise with great frequency."
In the spirit of pure foolishness, I will share a moment of machine driven surprise that I regularly enjoy each week.
I find following hashtags to be more useful to me than following lots of people (perhaps a reflection of the fact that I somehow have wound up following too many people).
One of the hashtags I regularly follow is #E20 to keep up with the space represented in this AIIM community. For 6 days out of every 7, here is a representative sample of the kinds of tweets I see...
#E20 #socialmedia 5 Lessons for Enterprise 2.0 Success from Digg, Reddit and Slashdot: Are we missing one of the m... http://bit.ly/bVWvCw
Classifying Enterprise 2.0 use cases: Almost a year ago, Bjoern Negelman shared an excellent model for ... http://bit.ly/bwvrmA #E20
#E20 #socialmedia 2. Inspire a Shared Vision – Principle 2: Enlist Others in the Vision: (great advice) http://bit.ly/a7VjpX
Pretty tame stuff.
And then, once a week, at about 3 pm or so in the afternoon on the East Coast of the US, proving Turing's idea that machines can repeatedly take one by surprise, suddenly something happens...
The volume of tweets related to #E20 rises exponentially. Perhaps double-exponentially if such a thing is possible.
At first, I thought perhaps some strange Alyssa Milano like traffic spike had occurred (see my earlier post on this) and people were suddenly interested in Enterprise 2.0! Perhaps the executive suite had finally woken up to the fact that social technologies are worth pursuing! Perhaps we had moved beyond the endless and fruitless debates about E20 ROI (when will people realize that for pre-chasm technologies, ROI does not matter -- use cases do) and everyone suddenly had the #E20 fever and had run to Twitter to tell the world about it!
But then I looked at the content of the tweets, and they had curiously changed to something like following (and these are the clean ones)...
SOL IS SO HANDSOME #E20
#E20 is a mosh
What kind of discombobulated dancing is that? #e20
Why clean up the flat I'll trash it #E20
For those of us who are pathetically uncool, I finally found out that this was all about a television show in the UK called EastEnders, which had also settled upon the hashtag #E20 as the perfect hashtag for the show.
So I guess it's back to the trenches. The business community has not had a sudden #E20 epiphany. For now.