The "new" new web
Monday, November 20, 2006
The new internet (the web really) is all about collaboration, and we've all known that for quite some time. However, what we haven't known is that we can use all those people connected to internet to do stuff that creates value for companies (for free).
For example, google has this really cool "game" where two people are connected, at the same time, via a google application to put labels on images so that they are easier to search, i.e., millions of pairs of people look at an image and suggest labels and if the labels match the users get points and the image catalog is probably updated with the keyword that the users suggested.
It's really quite addictive: try it for yourself.
You will feel very good to have helped the small company make images easier to search.
Has this collaboration been planned all along? I really doubt it, however, it is one of those things where the growth of the technology and acceptance of the users create brand new business opportunities and forces companies to revise their corporate and business strategies.
You can come with a myriad of products that use this same "non-artificial massively distributed human intelligence." With very little knowledge about your users, you can find out a lot of things about a lot of different things.
(Note that marketing department in large software and gadget companies keep talking about collaboration, but I doubt this is what they had in mind. I think that their "collaboration" ridden ads have to do with using your own data to do different things within your organization and in the end create value and hence "mo money" to shareholders. And I'm all for value creation and shareholders' satisfaction--there is no other way.)
And speaking of different things, you should read Wired's "The Secret World of Lonelygirl"
article. If you don't know who "lonelygirld15" is, you should. It is quite an interesting story of how the evolution of entertainment is taking shape.
There is always something missing with interesting and cool new ways of content distribution, though, for example: how does anyone make money?
And for the world of "content" (and this includes blogs), it is all about advertisement dollars, unless the content is sponsored by some major corporation.
Sponsoring will probably become the norm in the future, and this fact will make finding bias-free content almost an impossibility. For example, how do you know that Wired didn't pay me to write about their article? Or that google didn't pay me to advertise their "imagelabeler" game? For the record, no one pays me to write, but will every blog come with a disclaimer that they are totally and completely independent? I surely hope so.
It's the "new" new web, I guess...And we'll soon find out if product placement will actually become the content. If that happens, will content be king?