Nobel Prize Goes to Social Media


NobelWell, not explicitly, but given the firestorm over the Nobel Peace Prize, the Economics Prize ought not go unnoticed.   The Irony is that that just because we don’t know how to model some economic phenomena does not mean that the impact should be ignored.  Whether you agree with the Peace Prize decision or not, clearly the impact of Social Media cannot be ignored.

Many Students of Social Media have long argued that the shortcomings of government and corporatism are more and more often becoming filled by innovation in Social Media.  Likewise, the notable successes of Democratic Government and Corporatism should be preserved.  Thereby, we form the basis of Social Capitalism.

Two American economists, Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson, who study economic governance and the way decisions are made outside the markets, were awarded Monday with the Nobel Prize in economics.

Ms. Ostrom, who teaches at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., is the first woman to win the prize.  The judges cited Ms. Ostrom’s “analysis of economic governance, especially the commons,” the way in which natural resources are managed as shared resources. Ms. Ostrom argues, “Over time, people often develop institutions, social networks and ways of interacting that solves the problem.” Even her critics agree that what’s important, is that Ms. Ostrom’s work points out the importance of the networks that many economists had ignored, in part, because they couldn’t come up with elegant models to describe how they worked.

On the other hand, Mr. Williamson, 77, who teaches at the University of California at Berkeley argues that some decisions are [best meant to be made within the corporate structure.  “What he found was that many economic decisions that standard theory said would be more efficiently left to the market place were actually better left within a firm.”].  In short, even competitors form tacit social networks to do what is in the best interest of markets.

The Nobel Committee Agreed, “Competitive markets work relatively well because buyers and sellers can turn to other trading partners in case of dissent,” the Nobel judges said. “But when market competition is limited, firms are better suited for conflict resolution than markets.”

The bottom line is that just because you we don’t know how to model economic phenomena does not mean that their impact can be ignored.  President Obama, whether you like him or not, has had a profound social and economic impact that is not yet clearly understood.  The objective then is to at least try and understand the impact of social media.

Given the statements of the Norwegian committee that awards the prizes, Alfred Nobel would agree that the currency, therefore, is the conversation.

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