Monday, June 27, 2011

About the Rise of the Knowledge Market

Due to the personal schedule I seldom blogged technologically in the recent months. Today, however, an article from Forbes caught my attention and pushed me to blog again. The title of the article is The Rise of the Knowledge Market. The topic represents a very important phenomenon in our modern society. In fact, I believe it is indeed the soul of the ongoing information revolution, which is the greatest event in human society since the industry revolution. The information revolution is fundamentally reconstructing our life in nearly all the levels and all of the aspects.

More than two years ago, for Internet Evolution I wrote an article titled User Generated Content, Revisited. In the article I pointed out a fundamental problem inside the model of Web 2.0---to the content creators UGC (User Generated Content) is about fame generation in contrast to the exchangeable value creation. The success of implementing the social network explained why Web 2.0 rises. The failure of bringing up a system of the individual valuation would be, however, the cause to the sunset of Web 2.0. The next day in Thinking Space, I thus coined the term UGA (User Generated Asset) and emphasized that the Web evolution urged us upgrading UGC production to be UGA production. With such a transition, the Web will evolve from a social playground to be a social marketplace in which people sell and purchase knowledge (more precisely, it shall be some type of the embodied knowledge) from each other. When we come to the Web, we no longer just browse or socialize through the Web. We use the Web building up our mind asset and trading it on the Web.

Apple's App Store is a great example of UGA production. When the developers create a third-party App and sell it through the App Store, Apple actually provides these developers a way of embodying their knowledge and selling the embodiment through the platform it designs. The success of Apple and its App Store has demonstrated us the power of the UGA business.

But the model of App Store is not even close to the ultimate vision of the UGA production. Right now one must first of all be a professional software developer so that he can take the advantage of this UGA business. Otherwise, the UGA business is simply an illusion no matter how creative a thinker he is or how compelling his mind truly may be. The model must be improved and simplified! By doing so successfully, a tremendous power of production will be released from people and a new golden time of the global business comes. Without a question the world will then be out of the recession.

Another related recent news is J.K. Rowling's decision that she will sell her electronic books directly to the readers but bypassing all the publishers. Although J.K. Rowling is likely too famous to be a typical example for the discussion of the UGA business, this decision is a sign showing the broken of the traditional knowledge trading business models, gradually but indefinitely. In tradition one have to be VERY much knowledgeable in order to earn the eligibility of entering the knowledge market. With the evolution of the Web, however, such a barrier is loosening and eventually it is going to be torn down.

As Jennifer said in her Forbes article, one may start to trade his limited knowledge as long as their is a buyer. The reason? The advancement of the Web has significantly lowered the cost of embodying human's knowledge and making it exchangeable.

This is the trend for the new-generation Web business! And this is where the Web is evolving toward at present.

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