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January 29, 2004


Piers Young

I completely agree with you about the good and bad gossip - Gerstein's approach is sweet, but a little difficult to enforce.

And yes too on Chris' communication problems. The research he was (indirectly) referring to suggested that gossip was a tool for people determining or increasing their social status. So the communication comes with baggage.

The other is has to do with Chinese Whispers. Just because a rumour gets round a company quickly, that doesn't mean that the communication channels don't have "noise". Gossip can change the tone, mood and even content of the message.

(Or if you can be bothered, I made a larger (slightly rambling!)comment on it here

Anyway, thanks for the pointer to Karen Stephenson's stuff. I hadn't seen that before - really interesting.

Jon Husband

I'm guessing you know of Valdis Kreb's work on the visualization and analysis of networks, as well as Karen Stephenson's work. Similar stuff.

If not, fyi ( http://www.orgnet.com )

Earl says:
Hi Jon, welcome back.
I had not heard of Krebs, checking now, thanks.

Lourdes Pietrosemoli

I'm currently doing some research on gossip in the workplace and would like to cite the fragment below. I would like to know who's the author and where can I find more on the subject of "gossip as an economics of information".

I'm sure gossip is an economics of information. We trade tidbits with each other, and since we still keep all the information we give away, we can use the incoming trades to construct a more coherent story which becomes a more valuable piece of currency that we trade again. But the most successful gossipers don't just trade and build, they construct meaning and build understanding. The really successful ones are those who can pull together the scraps into something that is not only coherent, but has a high predictive value and that creates social power. Such people become vital cogs in the gossip-enabled, information architecture of the organisation.

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