Back when I (almost) made a living playing music, my friends and I used to riff on the idea that people who showed up early to concerts ought to get to sit in with the band. We figured it was only fair, given the first-come, first-served ticketing approach used by clubs and concert promoters. Of course, we’d laugh ourselves silly at the notion that you could sit in with David Bowie, bumping Carmine Rojas or Earl Slick from the show (this was the 80′s, after all), solely because we’d made it to the stage before they had.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and that notion is rapidly becoming a business model. I really need to pay more attention to my bad ideas. I could be running Yahoo by now, I think.
Actually, I think that Bradley, with some clarification, is right. The beauty of Web 2.0 as a paradigm is that the inmates are running the asylum and generally do a better job of it than the previous keepers did (does anyone remember Pathfinder or Boo.com?). Engaging your customers in the creation process helps drive loyalty, because your customers now have a vested interest in the process itself. Ebay probably has done a better job than anyone in this regard and they’re not anything close to a Web 2.0 environment (though might have influenced its direction more than anyone’s willing to admit). Stay tuned. As ever, where we’re going is infinitely more interesting as we get closer to it. Earl and Carmine may not have had to worry about their jobs, but in this model, he who gets there first may indeed get to play in the band.
Credit where due, I wouldn’t have run across this without Richard MacManus’ weekly roundup of media and Web 2.0 content. Thanks, Richard.