domingo, 5 de julio de 2009

Gurú come gurú

Que un señor como Malcolm Gladwell [<] te de un repaso es una pésima noticia si te ganas la vida como señalero de las ideas brillantes, osadas y rupturistas que configurarán la vida y la sociedad de este siglo. Y eso es exactamente lo que acaba de pasarle a Chris Free Anderson en esta reseña de New Yorker (Gràcies N*).

Anderson establece esta Ley de Hierro de la Nueva Economía:
“In the digital realm you can try to keep Free at bay with laws and locks, but eventually the force of economic gravity will win.”
Y acerca del periodismo, dice:
Out of the bloodbath will come a new role for professional journalists, […] There may be more of them, not fewer, as the ability to participate in journalism extends beyond the credentialed halls of traditional media. But they may be paid far less, and for many it won’t be a full time job at all. Journalism as a profession will share the stage with journalism as an avocation. Meanwhile, others may use their skills to teach and organize amateurs to do a better job covering their own communities, becoming more editor/coach than writer. If so, leveraging the Free—paying people to get other people to write for non-monetary rewards—may not be the enemy of professional journalists. Instead, it may be their salvation.
Bloodbath es, precisamente, una buena palabra para describir lo que Gladwell hace a continuación con las ideas de Anderson. La pieza no es larga –dos o tres folios. Dejo algunas perlas acá, pero léanla igual:
If you can afford to pay someone to get other people to write, why can’t you pay people to write? It would be nice to know, as well, just how a business goes about reorganizing itself around getting people to work for “non-monetary rewards.” Does he mean that The New York Times should be staffed by volunteers […]?

[…] there is his insistence that the relentless downward pressure on prices represents an iron law of the digital economy. Why is it a law? Free is just another price, and prices are set by individual actors, in accordance with the aggregated particulars of marketplace […]. Amazon wants the information in the Dallas paper to be free, because that way Amazon makes more money. Why are the self-interested motives of powerful companies being elevated to a philosophical principle?

[sobre las pérdidas de YouTube] Anderson is forced to admit that one of his main case studies, YouTube, “has so far failed to make any money for Google.” […] Why is that? Because of the very principles of Free that Anderson so energetically celebrates. […] That’s the magic of Free psychology: an estimated 75 billion videos will be served up by YouTube this year. Although the magic of Free technology means that the cost of serving up each video is “close enough to free to round down,” “close enough to free” multiplied by 75 billion is still a very large number. […] In the case of YouTube, the effects of technological Free and psychological Free work against each other.

[…] For Anderson, YouTube illustrates the principle that Free removes the necessity of aesthetic judgment. (As he puts it, YouTube proves that “crap is in the eye of the beholder.”) But, in order to make money, YouTube has been obliged to pay for programs that aren’t crap. To recap: YouTube is a great example of Free, except that Free technology ends up not being Free because of the way consumers respond to Free, fatally compromising YouTube’s ability to make money around Free, and forcing it to retreat from the “abundance thinking” that lies at the heart of Free.
Vale, puede ser que se trate de un choque de egos —Gladwell y Anderson son gurús en competencia— o una campaña muy bien orquestada para beneficiarse entre ambos de todo este ruido, que tanto gusta en el circuito de conferencias & debates y en las editoriales.

Y acaba:
Apple may soon make more money selling iPhone downloads (ideas) than it does from the iPhone itself (stuff). The company could one day give away the iPhone to boost downloads; it could give away the downloads to boost iPhone sales; or it could continue to do what it does now, and charge for both. Who knows? The only iron law here is the one too obvious to write a book about, which is that the digital age has so transformed the ways in which things are made and sold that there are no iron laws.
Gladwell no acaba con todo, por suerte. Deja escapar vivo ese absurdo conceptual llamado economía de la abundancia. Le pasaremos la garlopa en Esta Casa la semana que viene. Atentos. Y respecto a lo que se ventila esa reseña, ustedes ya lo sabían: Léalo Antes En PaperPapers.

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