Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Give stuff away and see what happens!"

Alan Levine, Cog Dog Blog, posted a lovely argument for sharing on the internet, Lovely Photo Devivatives.
...what is more interesting, uplifting, is the magic that happens when you give something away, when you don’t attach statements of what you cannot do with media you’ve created, but attach statements of what you can do.
He goes on to tell the story of friends, Jim and Susan, who used Alan's photos to develop artistic interests. He shared; they produced works of art derived from the photos. The pastels Susan created are beautiful and presented in the post for us to enjoy along with the original photos. It seems to me that no one lost out in that transaction. The bargaining involved is elemental, something fundamentally human. It represents the best of what we can offer to the planet, and our future as a planet can be secured if we can figure out how to mine this simple treasure.

Sharing is a CORE VALUE for Web 2.0. It caught my attention as I began my visits eleven months to the learning spaces, ubiquitous on the Internet. Web 2.0 with sharing is selfless; Web 2.0 without it is selfish, and, for me something less free and organic. I hope we can protect and preserve this quality forever. If you agree, then it's logical to ask what challenges that value and how do we counter it?

I think the biggest challenge to the three Web 2.0 C's (collaboration, cooperation, and creation) is contained in one's answer to the question I came across in the blogosphere:

How can I make a living in a Web 2.0 world? How do you answer the question and does your answer challenge or protect and preserve sharing?

I take a lot of pictures, but I have not yet developed the habit of uploading them to Flickr. Cog Dog's post has caused me to think I want to begin learning how to do that. That's sharing too. Thanks Cog Dog.

1 comment:

Alan said...

Thanks for the kind words Dennis. I encourage you to dive into flickr - I have had a love affair with it since 2004 and find it embodies so much of what I like to share about web 2.0.

There cannot be too much sharing. I cannot be specific on how one "makes money" on the web (as I dont depend on it directly for income)-- but if you look at visual or musical artists, I'd suggest the value is not directly in the media they put online; these are the vehicle that makes their work known and serves to provide a window into their creative ability.

I may not buy the reasoning wholesale (!) but Wired's "Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business" gives some good thought in this direction.

This web would not be the web we know if it were created and nurtured in a purely business environment. It is what it is because of the open-ness and sharing freely that spawned it.

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