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Whither Web 2.0?

Posted by: Matthew Trost

481_291x218.jpgVia Slashdot, blogger Andrew Keen writes that economic troubles will trigger the decline of the “free” economy, collaboration, and open-source — including communities such as Wikipedia — and even, perhaps, the blogosphere itself.

People will be less likely to give away “their intellectual labor on the Internet in the speculative hope that they might get some ‘back end’ revenue,” writes Keen.

But one Slashdot commenter points to Yochai Benkler‘s Wealth of Networks for evidence to the contrary: “For all of us, there comes a time on any given day, week, and month,every year and in different degrees over our lifetimes, when we choose to act in some way that is oriented toward fulfilling our social and psychological needs, not our market-exchangeable needs. It is that part of our lives and our motivational structure that social production taps, and on which it thrives. There is nothing mysterious about this. It is evident to any of us who rush home to our family or to a restaurant or bar with friends at the end of a workday, rather than staying on for another hour of overtime or to increase our billable hours; or at least regret it when we cannot.”

Benkler’s 2005 TEDTalk argues that a collaborative economy does not easily falter.

Watch other related TEDTalks:
+ Clay Shirky on why free communities are more thorough, creative and productive than formal institutions designed to accomplish the same things.

+ Howard Rheingold on way-new collaboration — and why cooperation succeeds.

+ Chris Anderson of WIRED on tech’s long tail. (He recently predicted the rise of a free economy.)

See also: Cameron Sinclair on open-source architecture, Richard Baraniuk on open-source learing, and Jimmy Wales on Wikipedia.

What do you think?