The evolution of the social repository

In Africa... the death of an old person is like the burning of a library." - Amadou Hampâté Bâ

This is quite an insight.

One of the sadder events of western history was the burning of the library at Alexandria. Thousands of documents - writings of some of the greatest thinkers, poets, authors, historians, etc. of the classical era - were lost forever.

Until the advent of the written word (and still true in many cultures around the world), the repository of social knowledge resided in the elders. They knew what happened, patterns we should know, and the history of the society. It passed from elders to youth, generation to generation to continue the tradition.

With the advent of the written word, the printing press and electronic storage, the document store (scroll, book, article, blog post, etc.) became the social repository. Whether it be the library at Alexandria (or the one in your home town), the Library of Congress, or Alexa and WikiPedia, we look to the collection of written words to know our history, the rhythm of our world and what we want and need to know about our past.

This isn't likely to change very soon, but likely sooner than we think, so I have to ask:

If the new social construct is that we co-create our stories and that the essential content that we want to store will begin to exist in the interactions among us (our conversations, our social interactions, our relationships), where will that be stored? Where will future generations go to find their history and everything they need to know about the world?

What will the next social repository look like?

NetFlix Corporate Culture Slide Show

It really looks like someone read a few good management books (note - good books). It sounds on the face of it like a brilliant and seductive idea, but retains so much of the command-and-control philosophy and intolerance for experimentation and serial failure it claims to eschew, that it doesn't live up to its promise.

But a nice try. Way ahead of most companies.