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30 November 2007

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Jay Fienberg

Your analogy with VisiCalc is apt, but I don't think we're there yet. Part of the limitation of the current generation of web apps is that they don't really believe that users should be able to define their own types of data.

VisiCalc was so revolutionary because it was significantly data-type indpendent: you could put in any type of data and put it next to any other type of data.

Regardless of the stuff we currently call "social," the web keeps suggesting ways that we can connect our data with other people's data, free of limits of type or source or final format. In this sense, the web is like a big collection of interlinked spreadsheets--it's just not a grid, but then again, spreadsheets really aren't either, except when they need to be.

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Jim Benson is a collaborative management consultant. He is CEO of Modus Cooperandi, a consultancy which combines Lean, Agile Management and Social Media principles to develop sustainable teams.

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