The Architecture of Participation

My partner Brad turned me on to Tim O’Reilly’s conversations on The Architecture of Participation.

I have come to believe that the open source movement is not really about code, and its quickly moving way beyond software.  I told a journalist friend of mine yesterday that blogging is really open source media.  But open source is way more than that too.

I really like Tim’s words – The Architecture of Participation.

Let’s look at my effort on monday to get Wilco’s cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear The Reaper into my iPod and posted on my blog.

This effort required to integration of about eight web services, most of which were supplied by individuals, not businesses.

Web Service #1 – Wilcoworld webcasts the Fillmore Show live over the internet

Web Service #2 – Somebody records the internet stream using Total Recorder

Web Service #3 – HappyKev uploades the Bittorrent of the show into etree

Web Service #4 – Wilcobase posts the setlist from the Fillmore show

Web Service #5 – Bloglines shows me the setlist via RSS

Web Service #6 – I find the torrent on etree and download it using Azureus

Web Service #7 – I convert the files to MP3 using dbPowerAmp

Web Service #8 – I blog it using Typepad

Now I was complaining about how all this needs to get integrated and some people have commented that iPodder has done that.  I am going to dig into iPodder this weekend, but in any case the fact that all of this needs to get integrated is missing a bigger point.

This is the Architecture of Participation in action.  Don’t Fear the Reaper would not have shown up in my blog and my iPod had it not been for the actions of a bunch of people I don’t know and will probably never meet, participating in a medium where that participation adds incredible value.  And where that participation can be easily integrated into a larger and more valuable service.

And that’s a very big deal.