Posted by: Ian Bruk | October 27, 2006

This Wave Is Getting Huge – A Rallying Cry

From Communites Dominate Brands: (Hmmm Communities Will Dominate Politics)

Why is mobile social networking worth $3.45b?

In a few years Social Networking on mobile will be bigger than such traditional media industries as hollywood or music. Get your money into it now, be part of the winners in this. This is not a hyped industry wishing to build a revenue model some day in the future. At 3.45 billion dollars, this is a VERY healthy industry today. Jump onboard!

Writes Tomi in his post Like SMS before it: Mobile Social Networking now the megabillion dollar killer app for 3G mobile

I can’t count being dyslexic, so my job is to ask why? What are the drivers to all this activity. Because its not about technology. its more about the inter-relationship between biology, social network theory, anthropology, Darwinism, cultural theory, economics, marketing, fan fiction, mobile, the internet, science, game theory, of course peacocks, cheese making and…. trust.

So….

Of those who text voted in the first American Pop Idol, 30% had never sent a text message before.

Why?

You Tube is in fact about folk culture

Why?

400 million people voted for Lee Yuchun in the China’s first ever Supergirl (pop Idol) contest

Why?

90% of all Korean teenagers belong to Cyworld – but a staggering 30% of the entire Korean population belong to Cyworld

Why?

55,000 Citizen journalists write for OhMyNews

Why?

6.4 million belong to World of Warcraft, those people pay a sub of £8 per month

Why?

Second Life anyone

Why?

Then of course we have the blogs, and Wiki’s, the moblogging, skype, special interest sites and even Yahoo knowledge.

The story, is about people – and what we are – A “we species” – human beings are highly social and are built to be so.

But industrialisation, mass-consumption, mass-media – although providing us with greater prosperity – denied us some of our fundamental rights as people.

Folk culture, culture made by ordinary folk, enables us to tell – retell our stories and be able to place ourselves within moments of history, of time. This happens in every culture on the planet. We are using technology to take culture back for ourselves. Dialogue is used for us to make sense of our place and context in the world – its not a choice it is fundamental. Moreover, we have been given the tools to tell and re-tell our stories, it is the reemergence of a traditional folk culture, reinvented for the 21st Century on steroids

It makes culture more participatory and renders it more transparent to its inhabitants.

When companies realised the opportunity to drive mass consumption, through mass media, folk culture was used as a recruiting ground of talent, but we soon migrated to culture that was defined and created not by the “folk” but by corporations.

Of course makes sense the commodification of culture. We make it – YOU BUY IT – WE MAKE MORE OF IT AND YOU BUY MORE OF IT. And then we stick lots of interruptive ads around the content to make you buy more stuff.

For 80 years, everyone has been seduced into the idea, that we don’t want to tell our stories and that we had no relevant role, other than as consumers of culture. This is simply not true.

We have witnessed an evolving historic act of revolution. It is the death knell of the “read only” culture. And the end of information feudalism

Business Week said “this is the biggest change to business… since the Industrial Revolution.”

Many existing corporations have been built as rigid hierarchical structures, which was required in a command and control world. For a while it suited us and delivered exponential value. But our world has changed. Living in a postmodern world means that we have to leave our industrial mindset in the past. Our means of production have changed and also our means of consumption.

Web/mobile 2.0 are Pull platforms that harness the passion, commitment and desire to learn of their participants, thereby enabling the formation and functioning of distributed communities that can rapidly improvise and innovate.

In doing so it creates greater meaning for us.

Communities of interest are morphing into communities of creation and communities of production

Look at companies like Spreadshirt or Howies or ebay that clearly demonstrate new economic platforms supported technology, but built by people, co-created by people.

As Lukasz founder of Spreadshirt says

We did not create Spreadshirt, the community created Spreadshirt

And beyond folk culture, there is the power of collective intelligence that can leverage the knowledge of our peers and here

Yochai Benkler in his book the wealth of Networks writes

Today we live in a networked society. Digital information technology, the economics of networked information production and the social practices of networked conversations, qualitatively change the role that individuals can play in cultural and knowledge production and dissemination. Communities are sticky in ways that mass media never was, it requires a very different approach to what we create, how we create it and how we market it.

That is why social mobile networking is worth $3.45b.

you can argue over the lose change if you want.

And the cheese? The dutch have a saying that the value in the cheese is in the holes. Rupert Murdoch bought the digital holes in the digital cheese. The inter-relationships between people.

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