This morning I gave a talk at New Paradigms for Using Computers on social computing. Most of my talk emphasized the virtues of wiki, freeform and focusing on social incentives for participation. In the Q&A, Ron Goldman of Sun pointed out that a focus on decreasing costs for publishing and group forming, and incentives to participate -- is scarcity thinking.
This was my first strong opinions, weakly held moment, and not just because of my respect for Ron. Sure, the costs are falling on the supply side. But that is nothing compared to the abundance of what people are ready to share.
What wikis and blogs really are is tools that don't get in people's way. Especially inside an enterprise, with all the organizational sediment. Yes, tool design and adoption practices can advance participation, but it is based on the most renewable resources.
Unfortunately, I couldn't stick around to see Stewart Butterfield, Sam Ruby and Tom Gruber because I had the Socialtext Open launch and other fun things to attend to. Sam's slides are a click-through joy.
If you want my powerpoint thinking, it is attached, in pdf, to guarantee the knowledge dies quickly. Big file: Socialtext NPUC 2006.pdfUPDATE: DocBug's conference blogging