Information, and it's alternate, information overload, is the currency of our generation. Hayek's stunning observation that prices are the messages of needs and desires in our economy, and Mises calculation argument - that the humans are the computers, and they work better (only?) when distributed - are the bedrocks of our Internet economy. Yet the flood of Hayekian messages leads simply to an overload on my poor old Misean brain, so much so that I wish his calculation argument didn't signal the death knell of centralised thought processes. I need someone to tell me what to do!
In the last 5 years, we've seen several emerging technologies that have worked with information in new ways. They are - check my enumeration here - Blogs, p2p, community currencies, reputational auctions. I might have missed a few, but here's my point: all of these promise great things, but like Napster, isolated they fail.
Here's a great example of a tech that has successfully integrated several emerging paradigms. Blogshares is a market place for fantasy trading of blogs-as-companies. (Check off blogs, community currencies, and reputational auctions!) More than that, it has an ideas market in it . (Check off reputational auctions, again!) It lacks peer to peer, but there's only so much you can do, and I rate 3 out of 4 pretty highly.
Check it out, unless you are busy. The site is clunky, slow, and difficult to navigate, which is unfair in the context of only 2 guys working on it, but fair in terms of your time. When all those things are sorted out, I suspect it will bloom.
If you have a blog then you may want to dive in there, create an account, and claim your blog. If only because you want to vote it into useful categories. I don't fully recommend this as yet, because it takes a while to sort out, and it seems to matter not if others vote you in. Also, the categories are a single hierarchical tree, which went out with the Dewey Decimal System.
For example, FC is impossible to categorise, simply because by definition, it's cross leaf and broad, not deep and sectoral. Currently, it's been incarcerated in Economics. (More dismal yet, they are currently working on a system to penalise broad voting :-/ )
Here's my hard description: BlogShares is a fantasy stock market and ideas market where weblogs are the companies. Players invest fictional dollars on shares in blogs. Blogs are valued by their incoming links and add value to other blogs by linking to them. Prices can go up or down based on trading and the underlying value of the blog. Players can vote 'industry' sectors on blogs, and establish Ideas. The combination of fantasy trading, ideas market and corporate currencies makes this idea a winner, although the site is still clunky and hard to learn.Posted by iang at January 23, 2005 01:33 PM | TrackBack