Sharing, Gifting, and the Moral Evolution of the Social Web

Tim Rayner, Medium, Oct 26, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I really like the image at the top of the article, and that by itself makes this article worth sharing. But I wish to be on the record as saying that (a) 'gifting' should not even be a word, much less a concept, and (b) the concept of 'gifting' proposed here should not be seen as some sort special and privileged type of sharing. Here's the concept: "Gifting is motivated by the desire to earn ‘reputation capital’ — community reputation and esteem." That's how we are supposed to know that it is sharing with the specific intent of helping a particular community. That's not a type of sharing, no more than Uber drivers 'share' rides with others, or AirBNB proprietors 'share' their houses with others. It's commerce, commercial exchange, a form of buying and selling influence (and hence, more apt to be gamed for personal profit than to lead to social good, intentional or otherwise).

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