…an economic history of information production. We’re moving from the age of industrial information production to one of social information production. Ever-faster computers on our desks let us individually produce what would have taken a firm to organize just a decade ago. Ever-further networks let us share that with the world as cheaply as storing it for ourselves. This “social production” is distributed and motivated by social relationships rather than market signals.
Of course there’s a rub: the new economy threatens giants of the old economy, and those old dogs tend to bite back with legislation, monopoly power, and DMCA hammers. Still, Seltzer notes that Benkler’s presentation faced that with optimism: leaving the last slides of his presentation blank, waiting for social forces to fill them in on the wiki.