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Geeks + Wiki's = Global Domination

I first noticed the ugly looking black and white beetle with the logo "Geek Squad" impaled on the side of it about five or six years ago. When I asked what they did, the only response I got was "they fix electronics." Over the years I have seen an increasing number of our Geek Squad mobiles roaming around, and it has heightened my curiosity about the company that once was independent. I had no idea that the Geek Squad was taken over by Best Buy, but then again I don't go into Best Buy a lot.

What I thought was interesting and amazing at the same time was the fact that Stephens struggled to set up an agenda that encouraged the collaboration of a systematic wiki so that members could keep in touch and stay focused on the "mission", and it so happens that the techo-weenies were a step ahead of him, but with a slightly different approach. They didn't want to collaborate the boring way, they wanted to brag to each other virtually while they were blowing each other's brains out. I guess the point I am trying to make is that the more engaging and fun the activity is at least in this case, the more collaborative and productive work can be on a global scale....especially among nerds. Stephens comments, "They're talking and they're hanging out, and often they're talking shop and swapping tips" (pg. 243). That is mass-collaboration at its finest.

However, as mass collaboration has matured the past three years with different methods of work strategies including tools like blogs, wikis, chat rooms, peer-to-peer networks and personal broadcasting, the hierarchy of old strategies used in traditional firms have been crumbling. Is this change happening too fast? "Will to much openness and self-organization in the workplace lead to disorganization, confusion, and a lack of focus" (pg. 264). I have been sitting on this question for awhile and I still have not found the answer even after Schmidt's comment, "you tell people what the company's priorities are, and somehow it works out, self-organization is better" (pg. 264). I have concluded that I just need to be in that working atmosphere to find out for myself, instead of taking everyone else's opinions. I am definitely more of a busy worker than a bursty one, so hopefully as our wiki project continues to grow I am able to focus up and rely on the collaboration and knowledge of others to help steer me in the right direction.

Comments

I couldn't help but notice the title of your article. It is so true! With the use of wikis, the Geek Squad have collaborated all of their knowledge and expertise to create a huge success. It has greatly increased Best Buy's profits and helped them grow into even a larger company. The reason for Geek Squad success is that they are allowed to collaborate in a way that was fun and engaging to them. That is why it has made them a success because they weren't forced to work in a way that was difficult for them.

I thought about the question you pose in your entry:: Is change happening too fast? My perspective is probably not very broad but from where I sit (literally) I see none of the changes Tapscott and Williams described happening in my workplace. Hierarchy is alive and well here. Perhaps that is unique to the "industry" I'm in ... I don't know. It makes me sad that I am not experiencing more openness and self-organization in the workplace. It would really be interesting to see whether a new structure would improve productivity and job satisfaction.

Hi Hilary, the title of your post "Geeks + Wiki's = Global Domination" for some reason totally made me think of the movie "Revenge of the Nerds". I guess back in the day, the stereotype of geeks/nerds were the computer guru's. Now, it's cooler to be computer-savvy than it was back years and years ago. Hence, your title. Speaking of the Geek Squad cars, it's definitely a marketing tool that worked. I think they're cute. You had closed your post with: "hopefully as our wiki project continues to grow I am able to focus up and rely on the collaboration and knowledge of others to help steer me in the right direction."--You'll get there definitely! All the best!