Markets are (Dangling) Conversations…with a difference

And you read your Emily Dickinson

And I my Robert Frost

And we note our place with bookmarkers

That measure what we’ve lost… Simon and Garfunkel, The Dangling Conversation

The more I think about it, the more I realise what incredible changes there are in value creation when we co-create and trade and exchange across open marketplaces.

Now I can see exactly where people I like and trust “note [their] place with bookmarkers”.

Now the bookmarkers don’t have to measure what is lost. [Except, of course, the evils sprung up by bad law and bad IPR and bad DRM].

They measure, at least in some part, what is gained. If tags are bookmarkers and things like Technorati are measures. But that’s for another day.

Today I decided to spend some time with Joi Ito’s blog. Not just read it, spend time on it. And it was an exhilarating ride.
First, I experienced the Chicken Little approach to transparency, a story Joi repeats from a meeting he was at. Priceless.

Second, via Joi’s post about Wikia, I decided to take a wander around the Wikia sites that were forming. Here’s a list of some popular Wikia sites:

  1. Alternative History, for creating fictional alternative histories.
  2. Creatures, about Creatures, the artificial life computer game series
  3. d20 NPC, generic NPC and monster stat blocks for the d20 System.
  4. Dofus, information on the Dofus MMORPG.
  5. Doom, for fans of the Doom series of computer games
  6. Memory Alpha, a Star Trek encyclopedia
  7. Muppet, based on the Muppet franchise, including Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock
  8. Star Wars, about the Star Wars movies and spin-offs
  9. Uncyclopedia, a parody of Wikipedia
  10. WikiFur, information on furry community and culture

Tells you something about the way cyberspace is interacting with the real world, doesn’t it? Fictional alternative histories. Muppets and Star Wars and Star Trek. And various forms of MMOG. And, just to “legitimise” the list a la Christopher Locke’s organic gardening*, we have “information on furry community and culture”. [*More on this another day]

Third, while on the subject of real versus virtual, but staying with Joi Ito, I then saw a Philip Torrone story about credit cards and virtual environments and the Lindex exchange.


I have already seen stories about “well-to-do” “youth” “outsourcing” the playing of the first few “vanilla” levels of games to “India“, only to take up the reins when a more interesting phase of the game is entered and the requisite number of lives and collateral and artifacts have been earned/collected. Co-creation of a different sort. For well-to-do and youth and outsourcing and vanilla and India please go ahead and substitute with whatever works for you…..the principle’s the same and it’s here to stay.
We should not underestimate the sheer joy and power and learning and creativity that comes from collaborative work using social software in a world of sharply declining computing, communications and storage costs.

Thanks Joi for a wonderful random walk. By the way, it’s what I do with people I link to. It is worth actually taking a walk and visiting the site every now and then, rather than just getting syndicated and alerted content.

……….Yes we speak of things that matter. With words that must be said……………..

One thought on “Markets are (Dangling) Conversations…with a difference”

  1. I hadn’t realized we were legitimizing that list – if anything, I’d think of us as something of the furry black sheep of the family! Still, it’s been a wild ride so far, and I’m just interested to see where WikiFur ends up. I’m almost getting used to herding cats, now. ;-)

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