By Wallace Wood
As any parent would do, what you give birth to, you tend to watch, observe, protect and nourish. Our creations, inventions and discoveries fall under that same scrutiny in the course of their existence. It’s something we can’t seem to help. It’s a natural thing within us. We protect and guard over what we birth.
As this website fully attests (and myriad other places on the ‘Net), I gave birth to the word “diginomics” in 1998, and its birthing definition was simply: “digital economics.” As it has matured over the years in the fields of digital culture, social networking, academia and national media, the essence of its original definition has “expanded” (not “changed”) to include “the digitization of society at-large” … the transformation from mechanical analogue to high-definition digital.
Sadly, though, as in the case of raising children, bring the outside world into their protective domain, and you end up with conflicts and contradictions to your earlier instincts on how to raise them as you see fit. Likewise in this case: As the concept of the term has captured outside attention, there have been those who have tinkered with its original definition and, hence, it’s viable identity. There have been efforts by some to even claim origination and ownership of the word to the extent of seeking copyright and even trademark of the word, thereby limiting its use to their own financial benefit. This runs contrary to my earlier purposes for the word, for I did not wish to constrain its public usage through the restrictions common to licensing (copyright, trademark). I want the dictionaries to pick it up. I want media to use it. I want editors, authors, teachers, and people everywhere to make it a common part of the public vocabulary.
More recently, another effort seems to be emerging that raises caution with this parent. The world of cybercurrencies has exploded to over 700 “denominations” since the conception of ecash in 1983 and the start-up of DigiCash in 1990. In some circles, the discovery of the term “diginomics” has been made equivalent to that particular denomination of e-currency that has used the term. In other words, the claims are that “Diginomics is XYZ cybercurrency” … when such claims should be correctly stated to say, “XYZ cybercurrency is diginomics.”
Semantics? No … clarification of meaning!
One final thought — “Diginomics” is NOT a political movement or philosophy! It is a definition term to a global economic/cultural change. Any attempt to politicize this word is a misguidance and misrepresentation of its true definition.
That’s why we have this website on the subject: DiginomicsCentral.com (aka: DiginomicsDefined.com).