Monday, July 7, 2008

Sharing is the threat

Mark Pesce, an expert in social media, in his presentation to the Personal Democracy Forum 2008 said, Sharing is the threat. This of course raises the question of threat to whom? Pesce was relating a story of a conversation. But isn't it the industrial mindset to whom sharing is a threat? Isn't it interesting who we see react to sharing knowledge in this way? By knowledge I don't just mean words, but all intellectual and artistic concepts including, as in Pesce's story, photographs.
Sharing is the threat. That must mean that those who do the sharing are therefore threatening as well. Most of those who participate in online sharing platforms share freely. Therefore they must all be threatening.
The question then is to whom are all these people threatening? The status quo, the present economy, the institution of education are all threatened by sharing. We dare not share our reputation, our goods, or our knowledge, especially not for free.
But as Pesce reminds us, the sharing of the hyperconnected world cannot be constrained not by all the kings horses or all the kings men.

References: Pesce, M. (2008). Hyperpolitics: What Happens When We Are All Connected. Personal Democracy Forum 2008. New York City. His blog, the human network is at

1 comment:

Miguel said...

Thank you for sharing this, Lisa. I'd say this is unbelievable but...sharing is the threat. I still remember the first time I encountered this.

I was sharing all my work online for free with educators across 52 school districts, and the marketing/PR director came to me and said, "Why aren't you charging people for this?" She couldn't get it through her head that rapidly changing technology made my workshop handouts out of date a week or so after I posted them, but were still useful to users out there.

Fortunately, I had sunshine letters from enough districts stating how they were going to attend F2F training that the Marketing Director's influence was moderated.

It's hard to explain the sharing educators do to the business mindset, but it's nice to see that the one export we have for business--rather than the millions of ideas that flow to education from business--is that sharing is where it's at.