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October 20, 2008


Simon Collister

Hi Chris. have you read Benkler's Wealth of Networks? The '$50 to pay for dinner with friends' analogy comes straight from that. But I suppose it's ok as that's sharing of sorts ;-)
Thanks for your first thoughts though. I'm looking forward to reading my copy all the more now.


Thanks for the kind words, Chris. And Simon, I think the example was actually Sunstein's first, but in any case, I tie the whole argument of the section to Benkler's fantastic book (cited more my book than any other work).


Those quotes were interesting, but strangely in Japan that is the way they do business. They have no qualms about asking people to pitch in for free.

3 Years ago, for example, Nagasaki had a great idea to promote "Saruku Haku" which is the local dialect for Walk around. Great idea. Sadly in practice it is killing the city. The premise is that local walking paths are set up and guided walking tours with volunteer guides are given.

According to the web site (www.sarukuhaku.com), 10,233,000 have been on tours in the past 3 years. Seemingly successful, but the marketing budget is breaking the city. As an event walking around isn't bad, but spending millions of dollars on promotion (over 140 route books are printed on nice glossy 4 page 'books' and distributed nationally, street cars publicizing the event at $10,000 a month) is just out of hand.

I do wonder if there are ways to make events like this more sustainable, but nothing comes to mind.


Hi Chris
Mind blowing presentation this morning in Barcelona. I'll post a summary in Spanish later today on my Blog. Can't wait to read the book.

Patrick Corcoran

"Money in the sharing economy is not just inappropriate; it is poisonous."

Maybe, but not so fast. An interesting case study here is consensual sex. Clearly sex is thriving in the sharing economy. But it is also thriving in the commercial economy.

The black-and-white cases are simple. One night stand vs. prostitution. But there are billions of shades of gray, hybrids between these economies. (Who doesn't think that Anna Nicole Smith worked both economies at once?)

Jim Bursch

I'm reminded of the following, which came up in a discussion about emotional connection to a business:

"It's as if you were at a party and met a beautiful women and went on a date, only to discover that she is a prostitute. It may be emotional to you, but it certainly isn't to her.

"At least at a brothel there is no confusion about motives."


The primary thing people say about Wikipedia isn't that it's credible because its free, they say you can't trust its credibility because they don't pay or track their writers--and thus there's no accountability.

Money isn't "poisonous", it's just fiduciary--a fancy word for trust. This world is built on businesses started with money--trust--borrowed from friends and family.

Where there's real trust, very little can sully the waters, including money. Where there isn't trust, very little can clear things up, money included. Money grows in response to the emotion, but the emotion can't be bought with money.

That's the lesson of the current global economic crisis. No emotional trust means no fun, no money, no love. You can't build financial success on fear.

Current laws already allow any artist to share any work to any degree they'd like. Insisting that all artists share their produce to any degree is no less slavery than insisting that an ironworker "share" his labor or produce. If the internet tries to undermine that bedrock, it will find that there is no end to how far we can fall.

Share anything that you own, but "sharing" other people's property is illegal, immoral and fascist or communist. The internet community, with all the chest beating for "freedom" is soft enough on this point that it's destroying the creative produce of millions through file stealing.

If a programmer offers to share software, taking it is legal and moral, if she doesn't, taking it is illegal and immoral. It's the right of a producer to affix a price to their work--not the consumer. That's an immutable foundation of democracy and capitalism--without which we wouldn't even have an internet, much less be having this conversation.

From a consumer's point of view, remember that jobs that are not compensated properly are rarely done properly.

More about the value of paying for content at whiteg.com.

Call us the beautiful face rather than the long tail.


How does Obama's and the Modern Liberals' Socialism affect all of this? A lot of this is assumes relatively free markets. How does this work when some of the biggest risk elements are related to threats from a leftist government? ...especially for economic decisions that span long periods of time?

I think a lot of the rules go out the window and we move into a "it's who you know" vs "what you know."

I'm not sure people realize the effects of massive leftism will have on our systems.

transmetteur fm

This is a great follow up to LL's earlier book "The Future of Ideas" and includes an examination of the differences since as a result of technologies and legal issues that have changed since he last addressed them. I especially find useful his juxtaposition of RO and RW as an intriguing way to contrast different cultural models to consider the issues. This makes concrete the abstract concepts he uses and makes them useful in daily practice. Very thought provoking!

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!