Google is paying close on £900m for Youtube, a profitless business little more than a year old. Wikipedia continues to draw more traffic than much more established media brands, employing hundreds more people. Open source programmes such as Linux insistently chip away at corporate providers of proprietary software. Immersive multi user computer games, such as Second Life, which depend on high levels of user participation and creativity are booming. Craigslist a self help approach to searching for jobs and other useful stuff is eating into the ad revenues of newspapers. Youth magazines such as Smash Hits have been overwhelmed by the rise of social networking sites such as MySpace and Bebo. What is going on?
We-Think: the power of mass creativity is about what the rise of the likes of Wikipedia and Youtube, Linux and Craigslist means for the way we organise ourselves, not just in digital businesses but in schools and hospitals, cities and mainstream corporations. My argument is that these new forms of mass, creative collaboration announce the arrival of a society in which participation will be the key organising idea rather than consumption and work. People want to be players not just spectators, part of the action, not on the sidelines.
Charles Leadbeater has released his book prior to formal publication in 2007 so that people can comment upon the text, add to it, disagree with it. This open approach to peer review is in itself an experiment in collaborative creativity and will help to create new ways for people to write books and share ideas.
All comments people make will be acknowledged in the text, through footnotes or in the acknowledgements of the published book in 2007.
You can go to ‚Read & Comment‘ to look at chapters on-screen and leave your immediate feedback. Alternatively, you can download and print the draft text here, before returning to the site to let me know what you think: