Sunday, June 1, 2008

More on Benkler

Before yesterday, I had not come across the work of Yochai Benkler and his concept of commons-based peer production in my review of the literature. (I've been sifting through so many articles these days in preparing my qualifying paper that it's possible that I have but just simply don't remember.) While his work is only tangentially related to my current research interests, its surprising that Benkler wasn't discussed in at least one of my classes on the Information Society.

Flash forward one day: In my in-box this a.m., there were two different references to Benkler. What a difference a day makes! One was a recommendation to his book The Wealth of Networks, which I blogged briefly about yesterday. The second was a shout-out to a TED video that captures a talk Benkler gave in July 2005. Right now, the video is available at . In some respects, this 17 minute video is a "snapshot" of the state of networks in 2005.

Points of discussion include:
  • Communication and computational capabilities in the hands of the population (each person holds a critical component of production)
  • The ways in which content is produced
  • The ways in which relevance is produced
    • Encarta vs. Wikipedia (Barbie entries are compared)
    • Yahoo! Directory vs. the Open Directory project
    • Google and the page ranking feature
  • Social production and the need to move away from the industrial model