Monetising the social web

The post on the questionnaire has been hijacked by my pressing need to pass a stats course which is being examined next week – ask me about ANOVA if you are not afraid to hear the answer! However I just wanted to note this thought as its been on my mind all day:

There is far too much talk about how we monetise the new social websites – I want to talk about how we democratise them. It really is horribly disappointing that we would manage to get people talking to each other only for the outcome to be a growth in financial rather than social capital. It gets to the heart of a problem I have with my day job – how do you defend the idea of money spent on democracy when you are asked to present a cost benefit analysis for democratic projects. I want to reframe the debate and I want to be talking about social not fiscal value.   The idea of value has been taken over to be linked with money and we need to reclaim it – there is value in the public sphere (yes – have been reading Habermas) and this needs to be appreciated and nurtured.   I believe we all have a responsibility to do this which I suppose is why a couple of articles about this have been nagging at me.  There is perhaps a linked point here which is to point out the danger of the fact that we are building social institutions (ie Facebook et al) on commercial and not social foundations – there are risks associated with this which are just being touched on with increased discussion about indentity management.  I am looking beyond that and worrying about the democratic implications.

Anyway – high horse back in the stable….or should I say the old nag…

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