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Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to DevelopYour Business Online by Chris Brogan

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Chapter 45. Authority, Ownership, and Mechanics

Three things change the way we're using these tools for social media: authority, ownership, and mechanics. These are three of the five sources of a revolution, as stated by Moshe Yudkowsky in a podcast I heard recently. Here are my definitions for these three terms. Authority: "Who has the ability to change things?" Ownership: "Who owns what we create?" Mechanics: "How do we put it all together?" If you look at what matters to us in this age of making social media, using the Web our way, and sharing information, I believe these are the three forces in play.

Now the question becomes: How do you, as a professional, as a business, as someone with a product or service, contemplate those forces on your ideas, products, services, deliverables? Are you the sole author of your efforts? Do you own the intellectual property, or have you open-sourced it? Who can tinker with how it is used, displayed, and/or consumed?

It's easy to think about these things when we're talking about someone else: "Record industry: Let music be free," but does it become a bit more difficult when you consider you and your relationship to these ideas?

Authority, ownership, mechanics. How do these forces impact what you're doing?

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