In a nutshell...

  • Kerabu is a work in progress. So far there's a business plan, a blog and a draft of a book--all of which are about promoting a form of radical entrepreneurialism that is lucid, ecstatic and even sensual. (None too subtle, but that's why the blog is pretty and floaty--too many business blogs are IBM blue). My name is Hillary Johnson, and I'm the author of some books and a contributor to some other blogs (below), and sometimes write about business, entrepreneurialism and innovation for magazines like Inc.

    CONTACT: kerabuinc (AT)

    Current Banner Image: Hedy Lamarr as Delilah Pure Land

Articles & Essays




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June 22, 2006


John Dodds

Just came across news of this event of which I'm sorry I was unaware. Would like to have been there. I'm with you entirely about business models - it's a mean-nothing phrase that too many people ascribe to any aspect of a business or more likely a web 2.0 entity that is growing fast but has no revenues.

As for social networks, I don't believe the hype (especially when it comes to musical acts). I find your emergent characteristics to be far moreinteresting though I'm not sure if I agree re the lack of hierarchies. I have blogged frequently about this but think you might best see where I come from via this post written four days after yours yet in total ignorance.

Co-Operative Crowds Versus Narcissistic Networks.

The coining of the term crowdsourcing to define one of the best aspects of online communitarianism has made me think of crowds, not only in terms of wisdom, but as the antidote to social networking (which readers will know I view as over-hyped eye-ball collections). All this in spite of the slightly perjorative connotation that is often attached to crowds. Some thoughts on how they differ and how crowds are more likely to provide the benefits that so many people are ascribing to social networks.

Crowds are focussed self-moderating groupings.
Social Networks are self-selecting disparate webs.

Crowds are filled with real conversations and debate.
Social Networks are filled with shouting and self-promotion.

Crowds are altrusitically selfish (they want to give valued service).
Social Networks are inherently selfish (they want a voice).

Crowds can be monetised via permissive participation such as crowdsourcing and what I'd call crowdseeding.
Social Networks need interruptive marketing to be monetised.

Crowds generate energy and excitement.
Social Networks generate paranoia and neuroses.

Crowds embody the original concept of portal as marketplace.
Social Networks embody social climbing and status acquisition.

Crowds are something you want to be a part of.
Social Networks are something you feel you're expected to be a part of.

Don't be afraid of crowds.

Robert Kay

Crowds are good. But so are social networks -any paranoia is within, not intrinsic to the model. So also are teams, firms, groups, societies, clubs, and loose associations. The point is that they do different things, at different times, and serve different ends. It's not either - or, it's about being fit for purpose. Why create a false dichotomy where there is no need for one?

Dont be afraid of social networks. In fact, just dont be afraid of anything!


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