Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thinking about new economic realities

Wired has an interesting article on The Rise of Crowdsourcing. It squares with a report I came across recently from a UK think tank on the "Pro-Am" phenomenon, as well as some of the discussions I’ve been following on Longtail economics.

The original article on "The Long Tail" by Chris Anderson, in Wired, Oct. 2004, & here’s an MP3 podcast at IT Conversations: Chris Anderson - Economics of the Long Tail.

It’s interesting & exciting, but as the Wired article highlight at the very beginning, it has profound implications for professionals. What does the labor market & the economy look like as more & more tasks are broken down for distributed processing. As an artist & a photographer, I think the digital distribution trend is fantastic. But I’m not sure what things look like when design, photography, & even R&D are handled by a vast distributed network of oddball specialists who will do the task dirt cheap (or even free) because they think it’s cool, or consider it a hobby.

1 comment:

The Red Queen said...

Thank you for the links. I read something similar about the music industry not long ago. What they were predicting is the decline of the over-packaged major rockstar while a huge middle class of musicians was going to be created.

And hell- what about bloggers- writers without paychecks. But some bloggers make small incomes from ad links. Maybe it's the end of the starving artist. Maybe it's a way to enlarge the creative class (not a bad thing- really). So the idea of success changes from one of superstardom or nothing to just being able to do what you like while still making some money.

It's way more Adam Smith than the corporate behemoths that run the current system.