Sharing economy, sharing information. Are open data addressing us towards a new wikieconomy?

Marino Cavallo


[extract] Analysis of the economy is currently based on many tools and features provided by the digital world, and the transmission of data has become increasingly easy thanks to digitalization. These transmissions of information, as well as the storage and processing of information, now affects almost all interactions and transactions of individuals and organizations. As a consequence, organizational systems and institution that control society can use sophisticated tools for analyzing individual and collective behavior, and businesses offering goods and services have unprecedented opportunities to steer consumers' behaviors.

At the same time, Web 2.0 has made all interactions and conversations concerning “new media “potentially relevant for shaping marketing offers and sales promotions. But, in order to function in the context of social networks and blogs, advertising must be based on information and connected to knowledge about phenomena and events of everyday life. These facts make it difficult to precisely define the boundary between advertising, business information, public relations and objective information. It is possible for unconventional marketing, based on spontaneous word of mouth and on viral news spreading on the Internet, to make people aware of what is happening in the world and by enabling them to interpret reality and events.

On the other hand, new rules have developed within the digital economy which provide previously unforeseen opportunities to individuals and social actors. One of the main innovations of the last few years has been the rapid spread of new economical paradigms that seem to challenge classical market dynamics. The economical relevance of services has greatly increased in relation to the prior industrial economy, and services are strongly affected by the relational aspects between producers and consumers. At the same time, new technologies, especially Web 2.0 technologies have greatly expanded communications possibilities and interactions between individuals, and has generated a new type of business involving the sharing of resources that are transformed into services which are directly offered to potential consumers, without intermediaries. This dynamic is based on the use of computing platforms that allow direct connections between producers and consumers, or supply and demand. This essay is aimed at exploring these issues and outlining some guidance for using open data as an opportunity for self-enhancement.


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