Thoughts about networks, photos, music and people

Network Still reading Connected by Christakis and Fowler with an aftertaste of Shirkey's Here Comes Everybody which means I spend much of my spare moments mulling networks and networked behaviour. A week after my brother's wedding the photos have been posted by my kids on facebook. Without modification or editing – that is done as people interact and comment, tag and link. My version of the wedding is still on the camcorder and will be curated and published around Christmas time as a DVD for family consumption. This shows the extremes of how content is used now. And I haven't included the official photos from the photographer which commemorate the occasion and will be owned and managed by the happy couple. Nor the individual photos which will be put in albums.  Content as social collateral is how networks are built. We trade content in return for contact. If anyone asks me to join their network. And I do get asked this regularly. And i don't know them. Then I don't. The exception is if they offer me content which is interesting or different.If they want contact without content then forget it.

My brothers weding photos aren't necessarily of interest to all my children's contacts but enough of them are to make it worth them posting and it will build their network.

At the other extreme the amount of time I spend arranging content adds value to it. Value that can't be easily recovered by giving it away. Because most peole won't appreciate it. So I control its distribution which increases its rarity value. The irony is that the same elements are used in such different ways. There will be photos and film clips in both. If you're trying to earn a living as a photographer (or a model) then life is tough.

The music industry has the same problem. The Friday night 18th birthday party had 3 streams of music as far as I could tell: Ipods offering by those who came to the party. Spotify. And I played back a couple of Jelly Jazz podcasts stored on my iphone which was also plugged into the ghetto blaster. 7 -12 hours of music. And none of it paid for. Not a single CD was played. Or given as a birthday present. 

I love it when content producers like Murdoch for example explain they are taking content off the table. There is already far too much on the table. And almost all of it can be grabbed shared and broadcast to fuel our social networks. Until you find a way to contaminate content so it dies or becomes toxic. Or find something else which binds social groups together then these content producers need to understand they are in the social business not the content production business. Live events and face to face – what can't be replicated and appropriated. These are the new goods which we are willing to pay for. Last month as we watched Roger Mitchell Trio – Steve Lawson said to me why have these people turned up here and paid a tenner when they could have downloaded the content at listened to it at home for nothing? Precisely.

Perhaps governments will begin to tax us for associating together. Because that becomes the last bastion of value.

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