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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Riddling left, right and center.

Riddleme_grey_8Riddle me this, readers: What's this so-called, newer-than-new-media, Web. 2.0 economy best called?  It's sure called a lot of things, eh?

We've been knocking around the "knowledge" economy, "innovation" economy, "creative" economy, "social" economy, "experience" economy and the "idea" economy. But where do knowledge, innovation, creativity, experiences, socializing and ideas stem from? What action--er, uh, interaction--fuels this fervor?

  • It's Share. Yep, it's "The Share Economy". Can't really get smart, creative, social , innovative or otherwise without a whole lotta share. Do wish I could take credit for this gem, but I can't. It was Vaspers who threw it over to me in an e-mail months back and I've been singing it ever since.

This riddle ain't finished yet. Not even close.

So...what's the cost-of-entry to this Share Economy? Money? Nope. Power? Nah. Popularity? Negative. Fame? No way.

  • It's Contribution. Whether you contribute: open-source software, smarts, new tools, tech, content, methods or best practices, contribution is your key to the hearts and minds of this medium.

Moving right along, then.

And what's the currency of this new media? Information? Ideas? Lots of links?

  • It's Trust (just trust me on this one). Whether you're brand or being, you have to earn trust...in fact you must be worthy of it. Sure, you can have fans, but you can't build meaningful relationships--or respected brands--without first building trust with your audience.

Still with me? Cuz there's more still.

So what do we call the people in this new economy? Consumers? Not. Producers? Not always.

  • We're Participants. At least that's the closest one I can find to fit the bill. I liked Ben and Jackie's idea of "Participatory Economy" but Share Economy rang supreme with me, however, insofar as people, "participants" rang right.

Almost there--just not quite.

And what's lies at the core of this era's core value proposition? What, above all else, are we more NOW than we were BEFORE? Smarter? Closer? Richer? Thinner? Yes, yes, probably not and not likely due to sitting on our butts blogging so darn much.

  • What we are is Empowered. I've often said it's the Empowerment Era (but in order to not confuse clients or colleagues I'm trying to stick to Share Economy). They say there's a revolution, a disruption, a change...I don't think any of these things happen without new power being given to where/whom it wasn't before.

Done riddling, but not done sharing...matter o' fact, I have a program launching very shortly that's all about share, baby. Can you guess what it is? Here's a hint: the answer is hidden in the riddle (sorta).


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Nice post. It is about sharing, and our moms and dads told us that when we were pups. So, let me turn your riddle around a bit.

How do we share? You got it, we contribute.

Now that we have the answer, how do we turn it into action? Because without the action, all we have is the riddle.

Blessings of peace and love to all,

Ah Lewis, you riddlin' fool you turned my riddle around on me--and I can't help but respect that slick action :-).

Happy to say that the pups I run with (including YOU) are contributing and sharing left and right. We just need to keep on today's co's to do the same it can only lead to innovation, better products, better experiences, etc.


I hope you don't mind, but I just dropped an imporatant post on my blog that I am tracking back here. It is about sharing in the most critically important ways: Darfur, it's a matter of life and death.

It is most definitely a Share economy, where we Contribute, build Trust, live as Participants and we're ALL Empowered. The times have changed from the days when hipsters quipped that "the Revolution will be televised". The Revolution is now being blogged (among other things). People across the globe are so much more interconnected than ever before and that is not changing. We can be a part of the change that is needed in Darfur from here, we can be outraged about horrible poor taste that results in bad book deals (not even going to mention the actual thing), we can band together to say "enough is enough!"

We must Share thoughts and ideas, fears and hopes, joy and pain.

If we Contribute we add to the dialog, the chorus of voices, the passion for life and freedoms we cherish.

Once Trust is established, we all grow together through letting our gaurds down and opening our eyes to new ideas that we might not have otherwise.

As Participants we learn to help each other, lend a hand to each other and collectively grow.

When all is said and done we are Empowered to seek and even demand change, we can influence others through our individual and collective voices and we can empower those in fear to struggle for something better.

It's pretty cool.

Great stuff, CK. Can't wait to see the program.

What a kick in the pants this will be for all these companies not with the rest of us in the share economy. The biggest culprits working against this new economy (music and movies) are losing big time, and that trend is unlikely to change. Nice post.

The Share Economy is fueled by the Global Democracy Revolution, is enabled by the web/blogosphere, is heading for the Universal Content Utopia, is resulting in Absolute Switched On User Empowerment, and is filled with Consumer-Producer-Distributors.

This is way beyond capitalism or socialism, and is closer to ethical anarchy (Thomas Jefferson style: who said no government is better than too much government).

Sharing is not problematic.

Most of us, especially bloggers, are sharing daily our very best thoughts, insights, research, anecdotes, analysis, and ideas. The value that each blogger gives to the whole world is immense, even in the case of personal blogs. Even if it's humor or self-loathing or satire, it's a contribution.

CK, I like how you added the second half of the equation to the Share Economy: the entry fee is contribution.

Examples of Share Economy, in the sense in which we are discussing it, include Google (free Gmail, free Blogger blogs, free Blogspot hosting, free image uploading, free Hello/Picasa, free Google Earth, free Google Maps, free Google Analytics for your web site, etc.)

Really, almost everything I have web-wise is free: Awasu feed reader, Swicki custom search engine, Library Thing book promos, Digg feedroll, Audacity audio editor, Odeo podcast studio and player embeds, YouTube video hosting and embeds, etc.

I only pay for a few things, like printer toner, paper, broadband, Norton AV, MyBook external harddrive, eMachines computer, Logitech webcam.


As i was reading your set-up, the answer in my head was "Conversation Economy" but I like your answer better. It implies and includes the value proposition of the conversation.

I'm going to be pondering this all evening. Thanks for giving me the brain wallop!


Hi Drew: Conversation is definitely a BIG benefit...and part of the share. Thanks for stopping by--and for sharing :-).

ck, i had to go through it a couple of times to be sure i did not miss a single word. what i find tricky is how long it will take to spread the voice across the world. the world is moving with too many different pace and, apparently, we are lucky enough to have the chance to be part of the leading pack (what a statement!!). i feel that we should add somewhere the concept of knowledge (which is our best asset) that we consider as an assumption (schools, internet, books, etc) but it is not so for too many people.

G: Knowledge is indeed a precious asset...to me it stems from "share"--and is the BIGGEST benefit thereof. I know that because of this community's generosity I have learned more, become more relevant in my field and have replaced more "passive" time (e.g. TV) with "active" learning time.

Quite amazing. Loved how you said were leading the pack...you should write a post on it :-).

Excellent post, CK ... you are too smart by half!

Many people are worried about sharing -- about losing their IP. But IP is ONLY useful when it is implemented (back to the strategy is execution idea again). And the way that each person interprets a process, a tool, some technology or a "proprietary methodology" is the REAL IP. And the advantage of participating in a sharing/collaborative process is that you get the brain power/innovation of many.

THAT is the return on sharing. Hmmmm ... wonder how we measure that? Back to you Batgirl.

Great post CK,

Inspired by your post, I'm adopting a 3:1 comments to posts ratio on my blogs (does that make sense?) - just to make sure that I'm a sharer.

Thanks for ...sharing...this with us. It does seem to sum it up nicely. It is through sharing that we build trust. Like neuronal synapses, the more times there is traffic or signals across them the stronger they get. Our brains are a huge web of trusted signals. It's not like our brain actually sees anything. It is the trust that the signals coming from the eyes that the rest of the body depends on. (Makes me think of the YouTube video - The Machine Is Us)

Great insight. Looking forward to sharing in the program.

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