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Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Community, Chaos, Creative Collaboration

Digital technology is providing people with the tools to produce and share content like never before, and it is set to throw the relationship between them and institutions into turmoil. At a time when companies are grappling with how to make cool new stuff, it is the rising tide of creative collaborators working through the channel and tools of the net that is showing the way ahead .In the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Oxford, UK.Clay Shirky is predicting 50 years of chaos, saying, "Loosely organised groups will be increasingly given leverage - Institutions will come under increasing degrees of pressures and the more rigid they are, the more pressures they will come under.”It is going to be a mass re-adjustment.
Among the examples quoted in support – Californians in search of a different bike created the mountain bike – almost 1-0-15 years later commercial enterprises moved in and today a 65% of bike sales in the US are mountain bikes now. Passion coupled with community and the net created creative collaboration of a huge scale. This throws up the challenge of how to organize and bind all these within an enterprise framework – but efforts such as Wikipedia show that people power can and does work.
In this digital age, the most important means and components of core economies are in the hands of the population at large
," explains Yale Law professor Yochai Benkler. Computation, in other words, is in the hands of the entire population. And those computing tools are getting easier to use, more approachable, as well as more powerful. Blogging, services, tag-based applications to help people find content, peer-to-peer ways of distributing content, grid computing, open source software, are all examples of how this is happening online now. Benkler describes this as a new "transactional framework" - it is essentially the first system of social production, sharing and exchange for a long time that is actually making companies sit up and listen, because they have to. Big companies are now seeing the economic opportunity of this kind of open, collaborative production, by the people, making social production a fact and not just a fad. I think that while the core message is right here - still feel that these would play at best a supportive but a significant role in the emerging ecosystem – that should not be confused to be seen as the only way – commercial and competitive frameworks have always provided the best progress to business and to human society at large.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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