Sunday, August 08, 2004


Link dump, and a question

Question first, something I've been trying to get my head around in the last few days:
the term 'information economy'--never mind the tiredness of it--looking at straight up economic concerns, and how they apply to a 'commodity' like information: a commodity that generally does not decrease, but increases, in the sharing. So for example, if you have one apple, and you give half that apple to someone else, then you're left with half an apple--any 'giving' leaves you with less, any 'selling' demands something of equal or greater worth be given to you. But information doesn't decrease, substantially speaking, when it is shared--instead, what you're working with is risk--the information may go down in value if you share it, or it may increase in value when you share it.

I'm sure there's whole libraries written on this sort of thing already, but it's something I'd like to get a good hold on, in prep for a bigger project I have in mind...thoughts? Suggestions for things to read?

And, along those same lines, a few inneresting web-sites (mostly poetry related) that I've come across. I'm gonna park them here and see if they accrue enough value to merit a spot on the sidebar.

All right, me do that, then rest. --g

Internet Resources in English
Humbul Humanities Hub
Bibliography of Materials on New Media Poetics
The Internet Aesthetic and On-Line Publications of Poetry

and a final one, non-poetry related, and not really a resource at all, but something I find oddly compelling:

Found magazine

First thought is that in most cases in the "information economy" information itself is not necessarily the commodity. The commodity is storage or transfer of, or access to or security of, or parsing of. In other words, it's not the information, it's the handling of the information that drives the information economy. The value of the information itself is almost irrelevant.

Even in the case of branded media - and I'm thinking primarily of sites like, here - where the content could be argued to be the greatest asset - a case could be made that it's actually the ease of accessibility and parsing of that content that differentiates it from the cable channel.

But when it is the actual information driving the value, it is almost always the case that the value is based on it's uniqueness or scarcity - such as with web-only content by a favorite writer - or passwords, or other personal information that can be used to advantage.

Which suggests that the real money in the information economy is in finding needles in haystacks, rarely in the needles, themselves, and certainly not in the haystacks.
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