Networks offer possibilities for greater variety, vitality and liveliness?

(r] proxthink.com

Networks and technology can leverage the efforts of a few. This can create a lot of value. I’m not the first to say this, of course.

Wikipedia is created and maintained by a tiny fraction of the people who use it.

In freemium-supported websites, the whole site is supported by a tiny portion of users who pay.

Further, the people who create and maintain Wikipedia like doing it. And, the people who pay on a freemium site see the value of paying. In both cases, networks and technology leverage the efforts of a few, and create much value for other people in the process.

How many more things can we apply this approach to, in the process freeing up more time and resources, and improving the quality of life?

Part of the secret is technology allows people to leverage their time so much. Even among the small number of people contributing to Wikipedia and other group-created efforts, it usually doesn’t take all their time. It’s not like a full-time job.

Maybe networks and technology make, or can make, the notion of specialized work dominating your life less common. And being bored less common.

This is related to another thing about Wikipedia. How many worldwide, free, online encyclopedias do we need? One may be enough.

So what if we didn’t focus on making money so much as creating vibrant contexts, environments and proximities within which to live? Proximities in which the focus could be more on variety, vitality and liveliness? Isn’t that a big part of why people want money anyway? They want to be able to do a variety of different things. Maybe technology and networks offer new ways to create contexts and proximities within which people have that.

What is holding us back? Perhaps we need a new framework to think about this problem, and to structure new approaches. That’s what the ProxThink framework offers, I believe.

Proxri Deal: As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.

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Outline for a Post on Coordination and Collaboration for Shared Challenges

(r] proxthink.com

Here’s an outline of something to build on later:

It’s clear there are classes of problems which markets are ill-suited to tackle.

We need to shift the emphasis for these types of problems from elements to proximities.

A sustainable proximities approach can assist with these types of problems. It includes the ProxThink growth model, as well as networks, technology and participation/coordination practices embodied in things like Web 2.o and Wikipedia.

Many hands make light work.

With many hands and a sustainable proximities approach, many tough, intractable problems that markets are failing to solve, may become almost trivial.

In the process, I believe we could have some fun solving these kinds of problems.

Not only that, variety and vitality could be increased, making life more interesting and enjoyable.

This approach shares some aspects of a barn-raising. Yet it scales because it leverages new concepts, networks, technologies and web participation.

It also leverages probability and large numbers. Although people will participate to varying degrees, some will participate if only because it is enjoyable and interesting. Others will participate because people they know are participating. And for many, just a little effort might be needed. It’s likely this level of participation can accomplish quite a lot.

Although this approach is new, it may not be that complicated. In fact, it may be simpler than using markets for these kinds of problems. And, it may be more broadly applicable, to a variety of problems and proximities, than we imagine at first. It could be a new way to approach shared challenges.

I believe this approach will work. You are welcome to explain to me why it won’t. But a better test would be trying it for some proximities.

In the meantime, see this link for more on the sustainable proximities approach.

Proxri Deal: As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.