New, but not new

When Time trumpets “community” and “collaboration,” beware that their next issue may feature their favourite twenty-something online billionaires. When the claim is that “the new Web is a very different thing… bringing together the small contributions of millions,” behold the beauty of the long tail – but note, too, the reverse. Proprietary content is growing like a Paris Hilton video gone viral, with firms like Gartner, Forrester, Yankee Group, IDC and McKinsey & Co. charging fat fees for specialised content of keen interest to deep-pocket customers. As an academic researcher, I am continually impressed by the excellent online databases that are (according to the email marketing, sometimes highly accurate) available for $2,995.00. C’mon guys. I’m a scholar. And what happened to “openness” and “community”?…The point is not that “closed” beats “open,” but that capitalism accommodates both. Rules need not be changed to embrace the revolution. Markets thrust revolutions upon us, boldly and magnificently, far more often than we care to remember.

Read The global village and the madness of e-crowds from the Financial Times

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Filed under A Culture of Participation, A democratic medium?, Business 2.0, Community WiFi, Broadband, Digital Commons, Networks, Open Source, Same as it ever Was, When New Meets Old

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