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Amanda Palmer "won" TED this year with a beautiful talk about crowdfunding and audience engagement.
I love this talk, and this philosophy. In a get-ahead, greed culture, this openness can definitely be both crazy rewarding, and also taken advantage of. Clearly an online product is easier to market like this... not sure how something that had to be repeatedly manufactured (ie ongoing cost for every single item) might survive in this climate, or a service that takes your actual time each and every service....
Consensus, you make an excellent point about Amanda's aesthetically appealing appearance... how would this work with someone with great ideas/products/services but without "stage presence" and curb appeal?
Overall, I find this philosophy infinitely more interesting than the standard capitalistic model, where only people with expendable income get to enjoy the amazing fruits of the culture... in arts, in learning, healing, in innovation....
This would be a culture of trust, of inter-dependence... I wonder what's the " 100th monkey" turning point where this dynamic could be part of the norm?
A volunteer reward economy already exists pretty much in the food service industry here in the US. Tipping is voluntary. And most of the personal services...hair, nails, massage... all of them, have suffered huge declines in employee pay, and rely more and more on the tip economy. One difference is that Amanda can just shout it out.... my income is about your voluntary support!!! Those of us in jobs just get to provide service and hope for the best! Still, when I think of offering my services independently, this volunteer support is how I would prefer to go. I would like to experience those with more being willing to pay more so that those with less could pay less. "Some may say I'm a dreamer...."
I think she's really on to something; which is to say, there's real reason to imagine a 'gift economy' could very well be viable (at least in the arts, if not everywhere). Still, when choosing to give, it's important to consider whether there is a net gain or net loss in utility; it's more than possible to give unwisely. And then there's other important factors, like the 'bystander effect' (you can get around that with claquers, but you start to move into con-man territory), or the fact that not everyone is as aesthetically appealing as Amanda Palmer (I doubt very much I'd make sixty bucks on a Tuesday as a living statue).
But yes. It's important to be willing to ask. And we shouldn't shame people for doing so.
Wow!!! She's right, asking does make you vulnerable, but the CONNECTION... so moving, confronting and wonderful!
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