Scholz: ‘The Participatory Challenge’

In “The Participatory Challenge,” Trebor Scholz explores the nature of “Extreme Sharing Networks,” or ESNs. These are self-organized and autonomous networks that support the development of sustainable relationships that empower us to lead fulfilled and engaged lives. They allow people to meet freely in the commons, to mobilize and share talents, context and resources.
Most importantly, ESN need to be meaningful in order to attract contributors. This encourages the creation of informal and formal relationships among individuals within the network.
Such social networks need to allow for co-ownership, because an insistence on exclusive ownership “kills the motivation of co-participants.”
This reading underscores the importance of transparency and sharing in the commons. In the “Friendster History and Introduction” post, we learned that Friendster put its focus on an individual’s profile, which may have proven too isolating. Facebook may have exploded in popularity at least in part because it offered a more open and connected experience.
This blog includes a series of posts that stem from readings and other source materials in the Fall 2011 “Collaboration in Networked Environments” at The New School. For more Collaboration: Key Concepts posts, click here.

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