Yihong-Ding has a great post (as usual) on web evolution, in which he makes the following claim about the measurement of mind assets:
“By presenting mind in Web resources, we are able to objectively measure its value as if we measure the value of capital asset. As we know, there is a large variety of capital asset (such as stocks, real estates, etc.). But we can uniformly measure the value by testing the capital asset in free market. In similar, we may objectively measure the value of a mind asset presented by Web resources. On the free Web, the value of a Web resource can be arranged completely by the mutual consent of producers and users.”
I had initiall misread the quote as claiming that mind assets could be measured as capital in a free market, but this is cleary not what Yihong-Ding claims, as he merely is pointing towards an analogy:
The claim of the ability to measure mind assets as market value would indeed have a number of objections:
1) how can something that exists in abundance (zero marginal reproduction costs in an open environment), have a tension between supply and demand, as required in a market for pricing purposes?
2) how can you measure the value of an idea, with its implementation in a marketplace? Can any idea really be ‘uniformly be measured as capital?’?
Of course, we’re not saying that mind assets produce no value, that would be absurd, or no exchange value, it’s rather about the direct relationship between one and the other, and the fact that a lot of the value is outside of monetary exchange, and difficult, if not impossible to measure in strict economic terms. A lot of it is measurable, its reception and distribution, but these peer acceptance measures are not market values.
“value becomes increasingly based on the ability to translate the products of one, ethical economy to the standards of another, monetary economy. There is a general agreement within the management literature that, overall, the products of the ethical economy do have important monetary values, that, for example, Share-holder Value Performance and Social Value Performance correlate in the abstract, or that strongly lived corporate values do have monetary values in that they increase the efficiency of cooperation. But there is, so far, no standard measure able to determine the exact, or even approximate value of the particular products of this ethical economy. (Rather there is a proliferation of ad hoc measures that work with very different standards.)
This absence of a measure points towards a power vacuum within the information economy.”
All this being said, the measurement of mind assets remains an important issue, even outside of an exclusive market paradigm.
See our overview page on P2P Metrics for some pointers of work being done in this area. Please do communicate us other projects in this area as well.