Congrats, Patty, on your new book; I look forward to reading it.
(See the source link below for more about the topic domain etc.)
The notion of shared effort (network as virtual brain) certainly has gathered a lot of momentum. Open source software keeps on marching up the technology stack. Wikis are blooming everywhere. And companies are using all sorts of gimmicks to get not only their employees but partners and customers involved in sizing up opportunities and solving problems. (Recent example: IBM's online "Innovation Jam.") Now Patricia Seybold, a long-time corporate technology and customer-relations consultant, has put together book about companies tapping their customers for ideas about new products and services. The book, Outside Innovation: How Your Customers Will Co-design Your Company's Future, is due out in October. A lot has been written about wikis, blogs, open source software, etc., but Seybold does a good job of showing and explaining the practical uses of this stuff for businesses.