Sunday, September 19, 2010

Real-time economy feeds and ambient economics

Social economic networks are just one part of the broader context of the transformational economics that may eventually lead to a post-scarcity economy for material goods. In addition monetizing alternative currencies and unlocking previously inaccessible value, social economic networks are also generating a critical meta asset: billions of data points which can be aggregated into real-time economy feeds.

At present, the pulse of the real-time economy can be read first through crowd-sourced websites such as Blippy, where users automatically post personal economic transactions as they occur, and consumer prediction markets sites like the Hollywood Stock Exchange and the simExchange, where users opine on box office receipts of new movie releases and the sales levels of new video games.

Aggregated longitudinal comparisons can be made, for example getting an early look as to whether this is a slower quarter for a particular company, or whether consumer spending in general is lower in this period compared to another.

Just as social media ‘likes’ and status update commentary can be used to infer consumer values and preferences with a sentiment engine for anticipatory demand, this data too can be aggregated. While many dismiss ‘I ate a hotdog’ as meaningless social media drivel, when aggregated at the macro level, it could be more broadly meaningful as a leading indicator of pork consumption.

Connecting social economic networks with real-time location through mobile networks and smartphone applications could be another significant step in shifting economics as buyers and sellers connect seamlessly in an ongoing process of ambient supply and demand interaction and automatic markets.

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