• Go forth and aggregate

    Community, Communication Design

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    One of the key business technology trends of 2008, according to The McKinsey Quarterly [registration required], is making businesses from capturing information.

    As we know from shopping sites and business-to-business product directories on the net, there's money to be made from accumulated pools of data.

    But something we're failing to do in parallel is understand and exploit the value of accumulation and - more importantly - aggregation to social and economic progress.

    A huge amount of information and relationships accumulate in national local government.

    Extensive networks of diverse social, economic and physical assets aggregate around the commercial redevelopment and regeneration of towns and cities.

    A vast diaspora of hopes and interests sit in devolved off and online groups of people, be it 5-a-side soccer leagues, Facebook groups, community gardeners or moderators of Wikipedia.

    There's a vast amount of dispersed energy, enthusiasm, activity and innovation out there. And it's brilliant.

    But a key challenge has to be how public managers - not just designers of online entertainment platforms - public initiatives - not just pressure groups - and central and local government - not just eccentric entrepreneurs or innovators - can aggregate this activity.

    Why bother?

    Because new value might be captured for the benefit of all.

    Go forth and aggregate.

    And start trading and packaging social, not just physical assets.

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