I was searching my name on Google this morning as the quickest way to find my own website. I shockingly discovered that for sharon villines there are more than 52,000 results. Then I was reminded by my associates on firstname.lastname@example.org to search on “sharon villines”. A big difference: 6,390. Still a lot. Some are duplicates but that’s a lot of websites. (Another day I have to find out what they are.)
Then I checked sociocracy to find out how many results there were: 32,000+. Certainly up from 12 in 2002, but still not stellar. (I keep a running count of Google hits, the Google Count.)
Searching on Villines produces 346,000 results. That includes a lot of people and a lot of genealogy links. (We research genealogy because there are so few of us. And all related.)
“Dynamic Governance” returns 23,500+ and the first 12 pages or so are refer to the method based on sociocracy. Then many are for a book of the same name—a very good analysis of government that shares many of the characteristic objectives and analytic methods of sociocracy—Dynamic Governance
. But its quality only confuses the issue. Dynamic Governance is breaking ground but there are plans to re-brand it. We still aren’t up to a respectable showing.
Settle on a Name
The problem is that we can’t settle on a name. I went through the very same find-an-alternative thing when I first started talking to people about sociocracy—a name so awkward to pronounce in English and one so reminiscent of socialism that one’s throat stumbles over it. John Buck and I spent many hours over several years of dinners twice a month discussing alternatives when we wrote We the People
I liked dynamic organization but Gerard Endenburg said, “Sociocracy is unique. Dynamic has to many meanings. No one knows what it means.”
Gilles Charest said, “I went through this too. Stick with sociocracy.” But of course, the French Sociocratie is so much nicer to say. And when you pronounce the socio as it is pronounced in French, it doesn’t remind English speakers of socialism—a full-stop negative in the United States.
But we can’t keep using alternative names. It’s hurting us.
One Name = Conquer Google
Nabisco, the Democratic Party, Prius, Rhode Island, Cher—what if they started using 5-6 names for themselves? We couldn’t go shopping if we had to remember 5 names for each product. Are these the same? Does one have more garlic or less sugar? We couldn’t find a company’s website without searching all of the names. Though Google would solve the search problem quickly enough by cross-indexing, Google isn’t perfect. It isn’t cross-indexing sociocracy and dynamic governance unless both words are used on one site.
Most of us do well to remember two names for one person—a birth name and a nickname. And people names go with a face. We have an image to tag those names to. Sociocracy has no face.
One name has builds power. The energy isn’t dissipated. It’s like riding one electric bicycle to charge the battery, instead of riding five bikes. The total effort divided by five won’t make it to the top of the hill.
We have to settle. This march to “try out” better things is splitting the ranks and diffusing the impact. Who knows what is what?
It’s throwing things at walls to see which one will stick. But throwing things at walls is a one time exercise. You don’t repeat it every few years. Unless you are running from something like Arthur Andersen was after their part in the Enron scandal, their fallure to signal fraud in the books they audited. And the subsequent shredding of their records.
Sociocracy isn’t running from anything. Why run in so many different directions?
Google both creates and reflects power. Until we conquer Google, we will have no power. We need to get on one bicycle.
A Note: I’ve been experimenting with different pronunciations—trying a softer middle C and long O’s. (Obama has a long O, as does oatmeal.) It feels better but not firm yet. I forget sometimes.