Manufacturing2.0 – Ponoko’s personal manufacturing community

Paul Raven @ 19-09-2007

When Bruce Sterling spots something and considers it worthy of note, you can assume he knows what he’s on about – especially if it’s connected to his spimes idea.

But it doesn’t take a genius to see the huge disruptive potential of the "personal manufacturing network" business model behind Ponoko. I’ll simply quote their site, because I couldn’t put it more succinctly than this:

"Ponoko is the world’s first personal manufacturing platform. It’s the online space for a community of creators and consumers to use a global network of digital manufacturing hardware to co-create, make and trade individualized product ideas on demand.

The marketplace connects creators, consumers, digital manufacturing hardware and service providers to promote, make and trade products on Ponoko and social networking websites."

Poke around the site, and think about it. One of the few things I’ve seen recently where the tired cliche "this could change everything" really does apply.

[tags]fabbing, design, manufacture, social networking, spimes[/tags]

Social network friends aren’t real friends. SRSLY.

Paul Raven @ 11-09-2007

Facebook screenshotSocial science once again uncovers what would have been obvious after a ten minute think and a cup of coffee: recent research indicates that, despite enabling you to connect with literally thousands of people, social networking sites rarely foster genuine friendships without the two parties actually meeting in meatspace too. To which, I imagine, the response of 90% of teenage MySpace and Facebook users would be “well, duh!” (or possibly O RLY?

While this may initially seem like a shocking conclusion, what it actually highlights is the rapid shift of the use and meaning of the word “friend”. Perhaps the post-structuralists were right – will we evolve new words and meanings to cope with the greater number of relationship strata that an increasingly wired world will feature? [Image by Brain Solis]

Democracy2.0 for the UK?

Paul Raven @ 14-06-2007

Interesting news from my side of the pond, in that the UK government has published a report that recommends it begins to engage fully with grassroots web-based activism and user-created communities online. As that article notes, it’ll take a radical change in attitude for it to succeed, but it’s a relief to know that they’re not completely stuck in the 20th Century any more. I’d like to think that my essay on Government 2.0 had something to do with it, but I’m not quite that deluded.

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