I follow Howard Rheingold nearly every day, each time I get a minute to log into Twitter, the 140-character-per-message personal networking tool that lets us "follow" social and professional "tweets" to collaborate by means of those short messages, learning from one another and sometimes just trading jibes or comments. Howard, a busy man, doesn't follow me, so our relationship is not mutual, at least not yet, but I do get to check his ongoing thoughts whenever he gets his own minute to twitter. At present I have 75 followers--many of them very prominent technology thinkers and innovators--and I follow 46, so there's some of that non-reciprocal tweeting going on with me, too. I'm a busy man in my own small ways.
Occasionally I check my followers and add a few of them to my "following" list and thereby enrich the conversation (perhaps our boy Howard will do the same with my contributions one day). If someone's thoughts don't enrich, I simply stop following them. The result is a constant montage of thinking and human activity.
All this is a long way of saying that twitter itself is a clear example of what Rheingold's talking about in the talk hosted at TED Talks, another place I learn.
Everybody knows I am a Web 2.0 junkie. Howard's talk helps explain why. It's about cooperation. The new collaborative technologies, I believe, will enable an age of human development and cooperation that we are only just beginning to envision. I'll join in with @hrheingold to ask you to help get the "Cooperation Project" going. Watch: