Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What is Viral Spiral?

I watched a video this morning with David Bollier on Governing the Digital Commons. This video led me to Bollier's book Viral Spiral. I found much of the book very interesting and insightful, especially on some of the points concerning the social shift that has seen commoners transform from consumers into creators. Creators of not only text, videos, or music, but creators of entirely new social structures!

Below is a couple of quotes from Chapter 5, "Navigating the Great Value Shift":

I call this the Great Value Shift...a deep structural change in how valuable things are created for commerce and culture. The shift is not only a fundamental shift in business strategy and organizational behavior, but in the very definition of wealth. On the Internet, wealth is not just financial wealth, nor is it necessarily privately held. Wealth generated through open platforms is often socially created value that is shared, evolving, and nonmonetized. It hovers in the air, so to speak, accessible to everyone...

"What we are seeing now," wrote Yochai Benkler in his book, The Wealth of Networks, "is the emergence of more effective collective action practices that are decentralized but do not rely on either the price system or a managerial structure for coordination." Benkler’s preferred term is "commons-based peer production." By that, he means systems that are collaborative and nonproprietary, and based on "sharing resources and outputs among widely distributed, loosely connected individuals who cooperate with each other."

David Bollier's book, Viral Spiral is available for purchase or as a free download. Yochai Benkler's book The Wealth of Networks is freely available as well. As always, if you find either of these Ebooks worthy, please think about purchasing a hard copy in support. Thanks!


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