Diversity, attention and symmetry in a many-to-many information society

Philippe Aigrain


Many thinkers try to tackle issues of economic sustainability for the creative commons, analysing it under present conditions. In contrast, few ask themselves what would a society where many create for many look like. The main drawback of a focus on direct economic sustainability is that it may lead to ignore the present development of societal exchange patterns that are only indirectly coupled with the economy, but outline possible paths of development. This paper analyses the possible structure of a many–to–many commons–based information society from a variety of interdependent viewpoints, each associated with models and quantitative indicators. The paper discusses the distribution of attention and reputation over sets of works; the number of works in a given media; and, the degree of symmetry between creation and reception of contents.
It concludes that many of the present models and estimates are biased by the present economic conditions of media services and that some commonly accepted “laws” are mistaken regarding diversity in a many–to–many information society. It discusses policy issues regarding how to make creative commons sustainable in this light.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v11i6.1337

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