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February 2008

Maine Caucus

It seems like nobody cares since it is only a few days before Super Tuesday, but results from Saturday’s Maine Republican caucuses are coming in now. With 68% reporting looks like Romney is running away with it. There are 18 delegates up for grabs in this caucus. I imagine that tomorrow I’ll have a delegate graph update for this which will show Romney closing the gap with McCain. Not that I think he’ll get anything out of it since nobody is paying attention for “momentum” and of the Super Tuesday states with polls out, Romney is only ahead in Massachusetts and Colorado… and MAYBE Georgia. He’s close in a few more states, but basically McCain is in a very strong position for Tuesday.

Anyway, looks like Romney will win Maine (although CNN hasn’t called it yet). I’m sure he is excited.

Goodbye Edwards

CNN finally adjusted the delegate counts to reflect Edwards being out of the race. He loses a bunch of delegates, but not all of them. Superdelegates obviously are free agents so now are uncommitted again. What happens to the other delegates varies by state. In many cases, the primaries and caucuses are just the first stage in the process, and if the process isn’t finished yet, then we end up with uncommitted delegates or delegates to other candidates eventually. In cases where the process is done, in most cases Edwards keeps his delegates. Of course, even then, the delegates are actual people and they may or may not end up voting for Edwards at the convention. This could be affected of course by if Edwards ever endorses. This is also affected by the fact that officially Edwards just “suspended” his campaign rather than ending it. If that status changes, the status of even more delegates changes.

In the mean time, despite all the talk about Edwards leaving potentially helping one candidate or the other, in the short term delegate race in percentage terms it helps Clinton more, as it widens the gap with Obama. Of course, in number of delegate terms, it stays the same. But I’d give the advantage to Hillary here. As a percent of delegates allocated, she is now almost as high as she has ever been.

Oh yeah, and on the Republican side, Guiliani’s two delegates go away. But since he had only 2… Ron Paul has three times that amount… it is just barely even noticeable on the charts.

Post-Copying Generatives


Better than Free
(Kevin Kelly, The Technium)

When copies are super abundant, they become worthless.

When copies are super abundant, stuff which can’t be copied becomes scarce and valuable.

When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.

Well, what can’t be copied?

There are a number of qualities that can’t be copied. Consider “trust.” Trust cannot be copied. You can’t purchase it. Trust must be earned, over time. It cannot be downloaded. Or faked. Or counterfeited (at least for long). If everything else is equal, you’ll always prefer to deal with someone you can trust. So trust is an intangible that has increasing value in a copy saturated world.

There are a number of other qualities similar to trust that are difficult to copy, and thus become valuable in this network economy. I think the best way to examine them is not from the eye of the producer, manufacturer, or creator, but from the eye of the user. We can start with a simple user question: why would we ever pay for anything that we could get for free? When anyone buys a version of something they could get for free, what are they purchasing?

From my study of the network economy I see roughly eight categories of intangible value that we buy when we pay for something that could be free.

In a real sense, these are eight things that are better than free. Eight uncopyable values. I call them “generatives.” A generative value is a quality or attribute that must be generated, grown, cultivated, nurtured. A generative thing can not be copied, cloned, faked, replicated, counterfeited, or reproduced. It is generated uniquely, in place, over time. In the digital arena, generative qualities add value to free copies, and therefore are something that can be sold.

(via Techmeme)

Then he goes on to outline eight different kinds of value people will pay for even after everybody eventually stops resisting that anything that can be copied, will be copied, will be widely distributed, and it will be free. DRM and lawsuits and making things illegal can only slow the tide, not stop it.

Anybody who plans to make money off “copyable” things in the 21st century should pay attention to this. This is the map to how to build a business that can succeed and thrive in a post-copying world.