Monday, March 3, 2008

The Internet Is A Copy Machine...

And central to much of radio's problems.

I discovered the blog of Kevin Kelly-The Technium and wanted to share some of his words with you. Who is Kevin Kelly?

"Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He helped launch Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor until January 1999. He is currently editor and publisher of the Cool Tools website, which gets 1 million visitors per month. From 1984-1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers' Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. He authored the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy and the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control. "

These three sentences illustrate radios problems--particularly MUSIC RADIO:

When copies are super abundant, they become worthless.
When copies are super abundant, stuff which can't be copied becomes scarce and valuable.
When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.

I think this makes a great deal of sense.

He goes on to say:

In a real sense, these are eight things that are better than free. Eight uncopyable values. I call them "generatives." A generative value is a quality or attribute that must be generated, grown, cultivated, nurtured. A generative thing can not be copied, cloned, faked, replicated, counterfeited, or reproduced. It is generated uniquely, in place, over time. In the digital arena, generative qualities add value to free copies, and therefore are something that can be sold.

How much of this type of content is on our air or websites?

Here are the eight keywords he refers to:


These eight qualities require a new skill set. Success in the free-copy world is not derived from the skills of distribution since the Great Copy Machine in the Sky takes care of that. Nor are legal skills surrounding Intellectual Property and Copyright very useful anymore. Nor are the skills of hoarding and scarcity. Rather, these new eight generatives demand an understanding of how abundance breeds a sharing mindset, how generosity is a business model, how vital it has become to cultivate and nurture qualities that can't be replicated with a click of the mouse.

In short, the money in this networked economy does not follow the path of the copies. Rather it follows the path of attention, and attention has its own circuits.

Careful readers will note one conspicuous absence so far. I have said nothing about advertising. Ads are widely regarded as the solution, almost the ONLY solution, to the paradox of the free. Most of the suggested solutions I've seen for overcoming the free involve some measure of advertising. I think ads are only one of the paths that attention takes, and in the long-run, they will only be part of the new ways money is made selling the free.

He closes his essay with the following:

There is still a lot to learn. A lot to figure out.

Let me close this post by saying: there is still a lot to learn. A lot to figure out. I tried to pluck out some of the key points from his article and present the gist of his message for these time-crushed times. The eight keywords have full text and explanation in the article. I urge you to click here and read the entire piece-time well spent.

I would love your feedback on this and everything I write in this space-agree or disagree. All opinions are welcome. Thanks for the dialog.