Mindmapping Wikinomics…

Mindmapping Wikinomics

Today I presented “Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything” by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams at my graduate reading seminar. I created a simple mindmap as seen above, as a way of navigating the text and drawing out more thoughts during discussion. On the aesthetic level, the book is arranged under a series of themes, where collections of relevant case studies are cited. The authors then suggest business values we could learn from them.

As you will be able to tell, Wikinomics runs polar to Andrew Keen’s “The Cult of the Amateur” as well as Jaron Lanier’s “Digital Maoism“. While the latter folks speak about the hazards of the online collectivism, Wikinomics runs on a high with optimism about our new world of online collaboration and crowdsourcing.

While we do not need to subscribe to either truths, what these books do well is to provoke discussion on how life online might have transformed. As I’ve warned before, being collectively intelligent doesn’t always lead us to do the “right” thing. While the platform openness and smartmobbing might be the order of the day, neither of such attributes guarantees any basis for ethics or moral.

It’s easy to derive pleasure using the multitude of free web services online, and to miss the possible exploitative agenda at hand. Perhaps we feel safety in numbers? As one my friends duly noted, even if users develop an awareness of their immediate surroundings, they might not turn as quickly. For example, the traction of established friendships in social networks such as Facebook means that you might have increased your threshold in trading off your time by clicking through countless messages, notifications and apps with your already scarce attention. Likewise, I personally view Wikinomics as a neat playbook for new businesses, but on a hypercritical level, I see it as an unnerving act of repurposing of collective goodwill (e.g. Linux), for greater profit.

Will we know when the line is crossed? Is “having fun so long as it doesn’t hurt me” acceptable for us to live by?

8 thoughts on “Mindmapping Wikinomics…

  1. after today’s class i thought of the word “martyrism”, and the britney spears song “i m a slave 4 u”.

  2. Hey nice one there Kevin. I promised myself that I should read both books, but unfortunately I have failed miserably on both counts! I like the way your mind map elegantly weaves in the different concepts of mass collaboration espoused by the authors…

  3. Kevin, I like what you say here. I don't think the theory behind Wikinomics is in the “All True” category. Furthermore, I believe that it leads to the buzzword bingo that all of the corporate folks are playing now. Engagement, transparency, crowd sourcing, community, blah, blah, blah. In my opinion intentions are to use the buzzwords without having a real understanding of the concepts. Before these “shifts” really take place there is going to need to be true education and implementation in corporate culture.

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