Lecture Reflection: My wordpress blog as a reflection of The Wealth of Networks

Adam Smith – The Wealth of Nations
  • Efficiency generated though specialization.
  • The nation as a whole will benefit.
Yochai Benkler – The Wealth of Networks
  • Networks (technological, people) and the way they are organized,
  • Networked production has replaced hierarchical production. Technology and the internet has brought about these changes.
  • “Peer Production” – cooperative production from consumers themselves (aka ‘prosumers’).¬†Technology has lowered the barriers of entry to production, and now a lot more people can become producers – especially of cultural products.

Whereas before production of a single product required lots of infrastructure and hierarchical structure, now things can be created through networked peer production. Much of this content is created and distributed for free, into the commons. This means that rather than monetary incentives for production, online communities are producing and curating content because of economically-external motivations.

This WordPress blog is an example of the product of networked peer production.

I was able to use WordPress for free, and find a theme, plugins, and widgets for free. Others create these products, and I can reap the benefits of their work for free. I myself create content through this blog (writing, and the art I upload) without any expectation of monetary reward. I do it for fun, and am now a ‘prosumer’.

The point of this class, “the publication of self” is to realize that anyone can become self-published online. We no longer rely on Adam Smith’s hierarchical structured production, but have become nodes in the system of commons-based networked production.