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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Contribution Economy & New Ecosystem

We had been regularly covering in this blog -the power of communities and collabaration in various posts like Web & User Generated Content. In a subsequent post we wrote about,Customers leading the charge of innovation and the economist article on user led innovation. The The rise of online communities, together with the development of powerful and easy-to-use design tools, seems to be boosting the phenomenon, as well as bringing it to the attention of a wider audience, says Eric Von Hippel of MIT. We also covered user collobaration enabling users in content sharing
and referred to the view that many of the fastest growing web sites of all time did this (or do it now): MyFamily.com, eBay, GeoCities, Xoom, Homestead, MySpace, Epinions, Hotshots, LinkedIn.com, Meetup.com, Friendster, and more.If sites are uses to get customers to blog,use message boards,upload photos or reviews, the effect shall be dazzling.With open source software (for message boards, blogs, uploading photos, and more) and with the cost of hard drive storage a tiny fraction of what it was five years ago, the time has never been better to try a user generated content strategy

David Kirkpatrick writes, The contribution economy, which in many ways can't easily be measured by conventional economic indicators like wages, prices, or savings levels. Excerpts with edits and comments from an interesting perspective:

- Ever since the Internet started to connect everyone to everyone else all the time, people from around the world can more easily contribute. Energy, ideas, and knowledge to joint project. Some of the more familiar examples of these collaborative efforts include blogs, open-source software, podcasts, and even the nonprofit online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

David calls this phenomenon the contribution economy and exlains the mechansim of how it works
- If a blogger posts a thought about something in the news, another blogger can add his or her own comment. Or when someone—anyone —modifies a listing on Wikipedia, value is created that benefits everyone. The economic value that economists have traditionally measured has been produced by businesses, which create products that are "consumed" by people or other businesses. In the contribution economy, companies can help people, people can help companies,
and people can help other people without exchanging any money. It is likely to be the case that the value that can now be produced through collaboration
is vastly greater than in the conventional top-down process
. Wikipedia, for instance, is bigger and more up-to-date than the Encyclopedia Britannica.Economists measure dollars. People generally assume that GDP and quality of life go up together. Maybe a chunk of the economy is going underground."Certainly, more and more companies are figuring out how to take advantage of collaboration.

David points to Yochai Benkler's view, notes that the standard economic view has been that individuals can be involved in productive activities either
as employees or consumers wherein Benkler explains that "we are seeing… the broad and deep emergence of a new, third mode of production in the digitally networked environment. I call this mode 'commons-based peer-production,' to distinguish it from the property and contract-based models of firms and markets." Earlier we covered Kevin Kelly's views where he wrote,"History will note that around 1995, humans began animating inert objects with tiny slivers of intelligence, connecting them into a global field, and linking their own minds into a single thing. This will be recognized as the largest, most complex, and most surprising event on the planet. Weaving nerves out of glass and radio waves, our species began wiring up all regions, all processes, all facts and notions into a grand network. From this embryonic neural net was born a collaborative interface for our civilization, a sensing, cognitive device with power that exceeded any previous invention. The Machine provided a new way of thinking (perfect search, total recall) and a new mind for an old species. It was the Beginning. After the Netscape IPO hysteria has died down, after the millions of dollars have been gained and lost, after the strands of mind, once achingly isolated, have started to come together".

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"