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Synthetic Overview of the Collaborative Economy: Chapter One: When the Vertical Meets the Horizontal

Synthetic Overview of the Collaborative Economy: Chapter One: When the Vertical Meets the Horizontal

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Published by P2P_Foundation
The report “Synthetic overview of the collaborative economy“, coproduced by Orange Labs and the P2P Foundation, provides a thorough mapping of the actors involved in this cooperative economy: for the first time, nearly all the dots of the emerging collaborative economy, and their inter-relation, are presented in a single overview.
The report “Synthetic overview of the collaborative economy“, coproduced by Orange Labs and the P2P Foundation, provides a thorough mapping of the actors involved in this cooperative economy: for the first time, nearly all the dots of the emerging collaborative economy, and their inter-relation, are presented in a single overview.

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Published by: P2P_Foundation on Oct 15, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/14/2014

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Chapter One:
When TheVertical Meets The Horizontal
19
 
I. The New Horizontality AndDiagonality
A new collaborative economy is emerging through the Internet. This process can be narrated as thestory of a new verticality, a new horizontality, and a new diagonality.The first aspect is a new verticality of an ever expanding audience accessing media through a varietyof new devices. This is in many ways a continuation of the world of mass media and its attentioneconomy, but it comes with many innovative and disruptive twists.Indeed, the audience can now talk back. They can react and spread their reactions globally and atincreased speed. They can declare their intentions, and an intention economy can develop. Google isthe leading exponent of how the commercial world can react to such declared intentions. Facebookhas shown how the commercial world can also hope to insert themselves in their multipleinteractions, socially engineer them, and profit from new opportunities in between those interactions,harnessing
 Metcalfe's Law of the exponential growth of interconnections
1
. Similarly, “consumers” canpull their intentions together (the pull economy), and benefit from forming groups (group buying).They can indeed do more than talk to each other, as they do so massively in the emerging world ofsocial networks and social media. In this world, people share their knowledge, affect, and creativeexpressions, using the new social media platforms. They can coalesce and form groups, as expressedin
Reed's Law of Group-Forming Networks
2
, and the commercial world can engage their creativity andmobilize it for open and distributed innovation, as they ‘source’ the crowd. As people connect andshare, they create content, filter and massage it in new ways. (the world of user-generated content).But the most radical revolution is that people can organize themselves and create common valuetogether, thereby creating the new social system of commons-oriented peer production, and its newinstitutions. The new verticality refers to how existing players can adapt, survive and perhaps eventhrive by adapting to the new dynamics.The new horizontality refers to the new dynamics and players emerging through the socialinteraction, in fact to a wholly new institutional field.The new diagonality refers to both the new hybrid adaptations that occur when the vertical meets thehorizontal, and the new mediating players that may arise after disruptive disintermediation has doneits work. This emerging new world of multiple relationalities requires some important distinctions.
 
II. The Emerging Logic OfHorizontal Intermediation
In our 'Relational Grammar' visualization (see illustration at the end of this chapter), we propose tounderstand the emergence of the new horizontal
logic of intermediation
as three interconnectedpotentialities, each of which creates new communication practices, new social demands, and newadaptations by the corporate world.These emergences are as follows,
 –
The logic of interactivity
, where producers and consumers, media and their audiences, nowhave a possibility of permanent dialogue with each other. The consumer becomes active, a'
prosumer
'. The
intention
of consumers are now directly readable, and the economic logicstarts moving from a push economy to a
pull economy
.
 –
The logic of 'p2p' connectivity
, whereby consumers/users/audiences can now directly '
talk toeach other
', with or without the intermediation of previous dominant players of the massmedia era. The prosumer has become an active creator of '
user
' generated media. Through thisthe mass media logic transforms into
a 'virally-driven' attention economy
, where peersuggestion may become more important than mass marketing.
 –
The logic of collaboration
, whereby users can now cooperate and create value, outside of thecontrol of previously dominant players. The user has become a
produser
, engaged in the 'peerproduction' of value. Communities with their own norms and rules become actors, therebycreating a value-driven '
ethical economy
', in which social impact becomes a more importantdriver than monetary accumulation.We explain the effects of these three interconnected changes in a little more detail here below.
21

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