Anatomy of a Creature from The New Economy

So anyway, when I was looking at the monster thing on Etsy


… I accidently took a screen grab of the entire page:


“Cool” thunk I, “looks like a water nymph or a sea-monkey… or one of the monsters off Flow

And then it occured to me – that this is a pretty good visualisation of a creature of the New-Economy. I’m sure there are other species as well – evolving in the primordial soup of bits and bytes, but as a simple example, this is pretty good..

At the top you have The Lure. The honeypot. The Cube-Grenade. The viral bit that zings around the internet passed from peer to peer. The object that is the catylyst for conversation. The most effective device for doing this right now is video… but it can be anything that gets people to say to other people, “look at this”. Music. Pictures. Stories. It all works.

The next bit is the payload. This is the thing that is exchanged for money (or whatever). These are your products. If you are good (or lucky) this bit will allow people to participate more intensely in the conversation started by the bit above… in fact the more you can blur the first two stages the better off you are. Even thinking of it in terms of “Lure” and “Payload” is slightly counter-conversational… but I think they need to be kindof separate though… otherwise you’ve got “all conversation, no income” or “no conversation, no income”

The long tail at the bottom is the community. These are you conversationalists – the people that care enough to comment. If you’re lucky they will buy your stuff. If you’re lucky they will link/copy/embedd your stuff. If you’re lucky they will polinate your next generation with the new DNA of criticisms/suggestions.

This creature rarely if ever lives on a single machine – it’s distributed across the web… and it rarely if ever exists as a single entity – but belongs in a web of inter connecting others, which could be visualised like this:

Down a bit…
Ok, This:


So you need your competition. They are part of your conversational memosphere and part of your gene-pool.

The reason the entertainment industries are in trouble is because their honeypot and their payload are the same physical thing.

So they’re eating their own tail – their fanbase, who’s function it is to replicate and share The Buzz as widely as possible. The most devout of these people are (more often than not) musicans/writers etc themselves. The recent news that pirates buy more music than everyone else should only come as a suprise to people who are living in a bubble. Which of course many of the more powerful of them do deliberately, because it is their job, or to hide the fact that they haven’t been doing their job.

The purpose of the entertainment/culture industries in the 20th century… the value they created was to allow the rapid global sharing of culture (and if it’s not shared, it’s not culture) – the manufacturing, the distribution, the metadata. This was the problem they solved.

The environment that gave them a problem to solve no longer exists… so they are attempting to write it into law. They have become the problem that they once solved.

This isn’t our problem though. Our problem is: We have allowed corporations to become too big and too powerful.

1 Comment » for Anatomy of a Creature from The New Economy
  1. I took notes on this one, Nick. Brilliant. I’m going to have to put you on a plinth with Hugh, Seth, and Kevin for this big view.