Free sharing

This is the form of sharing we understand best. We have something, we make it available. Please feel free to take it. It is a gift, and this form of gifting has a noble tradition.

In a modern networked society we are most familiar with this form of sharing when we post things on social media. We find something - we share it. Twitter, chat programs, micro-blogging platforms, Facebook and their kind make it easy to share (to stream our thoughts) this way.

# Values and value

A whole industry has grown up around this form of sharing. Billions of streams of ideas and dreams are sent out on social media daily. Each shared item is valuable in aggregate, based on what the act of sharing reveals about the person sharing. That is to say the value around which this industry has been built is not based on what is shared, but what it says about who shared it.

# Birds of Paradise

It is useful to explore the values that are important, that is that incentivise and maintain this form of sharing. The values motivating this gifting are based around concepts like ease, generosity, freedom, authenticity, sexuality, preaching, opinion, selling and popularity.

This is not to demean this form of sharing or these motivations. These motivations are essential part of any living being. They are human. To loose them is to become a machine, and most likely (though some see a different future) to fail to evolve and ossify.

# Content

In informational terms this form of sharing lends itself best to gossip. Of course I can share a detailed scientific argument, or a great documentary, but I can just as easily share a picture of a cat, or share my frustrations and opinions about a movie star or my neighbour.

How many followers I have is more important than the value, wisdom or accuracy of the information I share.

Free sharing favours gossip both in terms of the lower cost of production, and the increased likelihood of social payback in terms of the number of followers I am likely to generate and the degree of attention my stream will produce.

In addition should I share say a documentary, or a piece of attested knowledge, when I share it freely as opposed to constructively, I share it without grounding. In doing this I contribute to the devaluing of the attestation, that is I help transform knowledge to hearsay or gossip.

It is important and rather counterintuitive to note that it is the very ease (or as defined here freedom) of sharing that devalues the knowledge. If instead I used constructive sharing (which is more difficult and constrained in its form), I would have shared the knowledge in a way that allows it to grow - or as we define it here __progress__.

The financial value of free sharing is driven by advertising, and the reputational value by the attention your stream of shared content receives. This reputational value in in turn largely derived or layered on top of the financial value the market places on your ability to sell product. If you could not make money as an influencer then being an influencer would not be a thing.