Thursday, January 7, 2010

We Must Start Thinking of Content as Service

My new nook, successfully rescued from its polycarbonate chinese puzzle box of a package, has brought one of my pet subjects to the fore.

Look around you. You probably use less than ten-percent of the objects you own on a daily basis.  I bet a third of the mass you bring in to your home goes right back out as trash.  Meanwhile, the consumer culture of mostly-unused objects is breaking economies and wrecking the earth.

So I'm going to put this bluntly.  In the future, we won't pay for things.  We'll pay for the use of things.  We'll pay for the service that things provide to us.

Specifically, we won't pay for books; not even e-books.  We'll pay for the privilege of reading them.


  1. hi Kate, I'm coming from Jason's blog. Thank you for your kind comment.
    re: use of objects-
    the one idea that came to my mind was that most people don't go to the movies nowadays. they just download.
    and people don't buy magazines and newspapers, too.
    as for reused things: I do hope their market keeps increasing.
    take used (hand me down) clothes for example. I do hope their use in on the increase.
    well, I don't know if this was what you meant by this post, but this is what it evoked within me.
    hope you don't mind my long comment.:P

  2. This is a really interesting way to put it, and given the rise of content on the internet, I think you're correct. Soon, we will be renting content, not owning it.

    But I'll have you know I need EVERY bit of junk and clutter in my closet. Or at least that's what I keep telling my husband.

  3. Welcome, SzélsőFa! I really loved The Blackbird and the Hen. And of course I don't mind the long comment :)

    JJ, I am sorry for projecting my troubles on you. Of course every atom of YOUR stuff is precious and necessary! Meanwhile there is a little plastic scuba-related thing sitting on my bookshelf that I know for a fact hasn't been used in over ten years. It still has the price tag on it: $2.99. Why-oh-why have we been storing a $3 item for ten years?