19 May 2010
When it comes to social networks, everyone is worrying about who is going to control our privacy, identities, our public profiles, and substantial portions of our lives.
At the same time, much of the 'learned' society, in the form of various initiatives, is spending considerable resources trying to promote participation, shared governance at various levels all around the world. But much of it ends up remaining notional, pure talk.
Give participation where it counts please, where decisions are made, where revenues are planned: the boardroom.
Knowledge is power. Many of us are working on various fronts to achieve that, but there is still much work to be done.
But what about shared 'ownership' of internet and web based companies, especially social networks?
Is anyone thinking about it?
Who do I talk to?
How do I stake my claim?
After all, social networks are made of some cool technical functionalities, but most their value, social, economic and in some cases even 'political', lies with its users
Social Networks users should be able to buy preferential shares if they so wish, and be part of the economic and policy settings of social networks
they belong to.
I wrote a quick note to Mark Zuckerbeg a while back, but he hasn't replied yet.
I wonder whether he is just thinking about it :-)
I am speaking to a few people, and everybody agrees that would bring great changes, but nobody can tell me how to go about it
Each user/shareholder could have voting rights on decisions that matter, such as privacy, some dividends, and could be more confident about building pages, doing our business, developing our communities and economies.
That would be sustainable entrepreneurship.
Nobody will lose out on such a model, except for those few who may seek to secure economic wealth and political power only for themselves, at the expenses of everybody else.
Time to show where the priorities lie, social network entrepreneurs and developers.
There are a myriad of models that could be developed to support a 'fair shareholdership of social networks '.
And yes, it could all well lead to some chaos at first, perhaps. But could it be worse than now? Nobody knows who is in charge of stuff,
who will be owning your profile tomorrow, how is it going to be managed.
At least 'users' will not be only at the receiving end of somebody's decisions, they will not just be consumers, but will become part of
the new developing internet based economy. This economic transformation could touch every person in every country, and contribute to the more radical
transformations that new technologies are bringing about.
Technology entrepreneurs are often seen as 'visionaries' and sometimes even as 'social revolutionaries.
This would be a good time and place to start putting your shares where you say
A chance to continue to innovate, where it counts.
And if it doesnt happen, then users know they should invest their user profile elsewhere.
Get in touch if you'd like to get involved in this project