Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Remarkable World We Live In

This morning I woke to see another avalanche of emails descending on my inbox.

As usual, I scanned through to see if there was anything interesting…

Sure enough, there was and one in particular stood out.

It was from someone in the US who was asking for permission to use one of my images in a PowerPoint presentation she was preparing.

In our world of click and grab from the web this was a pleasant surprise.

I know I’ve grabbed images from other sites without asking. And, I bet you have too! Haven’t you…

I replied with a ‘Yes’.

And, as I wrote my reply it got me thinking…

I know I read about this stuff and talk about this to anyone who’ll listen and I still think the web is amazing. I think this example personalized a whole bunch of goings-on for me.

It brought home to me how the world has changed…

  • From the other side of the planet, someone I don’t even know can contact me with a direct and personalized email. I can reply the same. We’re all just living a few clicks away from each other now!
  • Even better, someone can view my work via my website – and most of the time, apart from an anonymous statistic on my web server, I’d never know. We don’t know who’s reading our blog, watching our videos or downloading our documents. We just don’t know what difference we make!
  • I wonder how this person found my work? Was it Google? Did they search for an image? What words did she use? The web is such a colossal resource and the tools to find the needles in the haystack are equally spectacular!
  • Using her email address I was able to track down her role as a member of the Library faculty at a US university. It shows what we can find out about others. For those still advocating privacy rights, a quick web search makes one realize that privacy is no longer yours! And, who cares…
  • Finally, copyright may be dead – she could have just taken my image - and maybe politeness and permission isn’t.
What experiences have you had recently that have brought home how the web has changed the world? Share them by adding a comment...

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's a Short Stack to the top if you to rock Web2.0 style

In previous RAPs, notably We Blog and Marketing Now-How, we've been discussing how the new Web 2.0 tools are changing the dynamics of business.
In particular, the use of social media to promote and market yourself.
There's a great article on The Age website that captures this beautifully in the arena of music.
The article is:
Online Band's Net Recipe for Success by Asher Moses (February 16, 2009).
It tells the story of Australian band Short Stack. Too young to play in pubs they have instead created an army of fans on MySpace and YouTube. And now, they're going on a national tour with The Veronicas.
That's music to my ears as it once again shows how the internet is decentralizing big media and the music industry... the spider and the starfish lives on!

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Great Web 2.0 Distinction

Web 2.0 is big. I don’t need to tell you that.

I often find myself talking about it to people who simply don’t get it. They think Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are a waste of time. Perhaps they’re right or perhaps they’ve been left behind…

I’m currently reading Sarah Lacy’s book on Web 2.0. She’s been reporting on startups and venture capital in Silicon Valley, the heart of all things internet, for almost a decade.

She writes Valley Girl, a biweekly column for BusinessWeek and co-hosts Tech Ticker on Yahoo!

If you get the US version of her book it’s called: Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0. Penguin publishes this one (May 2008). What a crap title! (View it on Amazon)

If you get the UK version, which is the one I’m reading, it’s called: The Stories of Facebook, YouTube and MySpace; The People, the hype and the deals behind the giants of Web 2.0. Published by Crimson Publishing (November 2008).

The book is an engaging inside story of how some of the giants of Web 2.0 came to be. It’s got some useful distinctions in it and the best one I’ve ever heard to put Web 2.0 into context.

On page 145, Lacy is talking about Sean Parker. He was pivotal in a number of key internet plays, including Napster with Shawn Fanning and Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg.

He gets the web. He gets it at a gut, visceral, intuitive level. He also gets it way before most.

This distinction is attributed to him and it puts Web 2.0 into a context where you can hear the potential opportunities. Here goes…

Web 1.0 was about the digitization of media. Think Napster. You take your content and you make it available in new ways digitally via the net. Why buy a CD when you can get it for nothing online? The recording companies and the movie companies didn’t get it, Napster did.

The holy grail of Web 1.0 was the portal. You built a big website that had news, weather, sport, stockmarket prices etc. It was a one-stop shop and the direct translation of a newspaper. It was the geek’s newspaper because the web really hadn’t invaded everyone’s lives just yet.

Web 2.0 is about the digitization of identity. Sounds impressive huh? But what does it mean?

Basically, it’s the translation of you as an individual online. You get to tell the world who you are online through your name, contact details, photos, likes and dislikes, music, video and anything else you want to link to.

Your blog is one such outlet of your identity. I get to be me and I get to say what I want to whoever wants to listen. No wonder 75 million blogs have been created in less than 10 years!

Now take this one step further. I have my identity online and my friends have theirs online as well, so do a couple of million other people so… let’s hang out.

Facebook is the poster child of hanging out online. Those who get it, live it. They wake up in the morning and log straight on. They find out what their friends are doing right now, they organize their next social event or share their photos from their last one. No spam, minimal advertising and no big media or other company telling them what to do – only your boss at work standing over you!

And the best part… this is public domain. You don’t have to be a geek to join in because the interface is adult-proof. Even better you can socialize without getting out of your pyjamas. The ultimate global village - Long live Marshall McLuhan!

That’s the great Web 2.0 distinction. Do you get it now?

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