David Weinberger - What is the net's value?


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David Weinberger chiude il Web Economy Festival il 23 marzo con un'illuminante presentazione sul valore della rete come nuova sede dei mercati

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David Weinberger - What is the net's value?

  1. 1. What is the Net’s value? David Weinberger Ph.D.
 Harvard Library Innovation Lab
 Co-Director Harvard Berkman Center 
 for Internet & Society
 Senior Researcher Web Economic Forum Cesena, Italy March 23, 2014 I want to ask what the Net’s actual value is, because …
  2. 2. Assumption Business Internet Real world My assumption is not that the Internet is an additional domain businesses have to deal with.
  3. 3. Rather, the Internet will absorb everything, and everything will look like the Internet, even things that are off line. [amoeba]
  4. 4. What is the Net? It’s not the internet routers, the ISPs, etc.
  5. 5. (cc) ChuckP @ Flickr.com The Net is a set of agreements or protocols … (cc) ChuckP @ flickr.com
  6. 6. I will do my best to transmit your data packets to their next stop, without giving preference to any. These agreement say your Net will join the Internet if you agree to this.
  7. 7. Democracy of bits Without central control We thus get…
  8. 8. control size That this means giving up on an ancient and quite reasonable assumption that there is a strong relationship between the size of a project and the need for control. The bigger the project, the more control it needs. As the size increases, the amount of control and management increases even more steeply. This makes perfect sense, up to a point.
  9. 9. Permission But it fails at web scale. The sheer amount of content, far surpasses the cumulative total of all of human history. Not to mention all of the projects that been built. And all of this was done in a permission-free zone. No one had to ask permission to join, to add pages, to start a new project.
  10. 10. World Wide Web Connecting Strangers Since 1993 Chris  Smith   Manager   chris_smith@web.com And it was done without there being a single person with the title Manager, World Wide Web. And that’s entirely on purpose. Management does not scale. If you want something to get really really big, you’ve got to get the managers out of the center. In fact, you have to get the center out of the center.
  11. 11. Employees Decision-makers Customers I want to look at what this new architecture means fo employees, decision-makers and customers.
  12. 12. SECTION: Employees in the age of connection
  13. 13. I want to give you-Net, we wrote memos. Memos were much more formal than how we communicate today.
  14. 14. We used to meet once a week.
  15. 15. Now we have fewer meetings and far more continuous. Startups even share space, even with competitors. Why? Because they recognize that the power of the networks is greater than the power of secrecy and winner-take-all competition
  16. 16. Iteration Public learning We see these values all over the Net. Here’s just one example. At Stackoverflow, developers ask programming questions. Strangers answers and improve upon their suggested answers. We see two things here: First, the power of iteration at scale (lots of people making small changes). Second, we see the default switching from learning as a private act between a teacher and a student, to learning in public. If you’re answering my question, it’s selfish for just me to benefit when everyone could learn from your answer.
  17. 17. Imperfect democracy Favors certain personalities The old barriers may re-emerge This is great, but …
  18. 18. SECTION: Leadership in the Age of Connection
  19. 19. Old style leaders like JAck Welch of GE led…
  20. 20. Power Responsibility Money Information? … by placed at the top of a pyramid. At the top are power, responsibility, and money. But less information. Hierarchical corporations were built explicitly to limit the flow of info since the person at the top couldn’t possibly handle it all.
  21. 21. It’s different on the Net. Instead of seeing decisions as an on-off switch, the Net encourages many small attempts.
  22. 22. Imagine this is a map of Wikipedia. jimmy wales could make a decision the way Jack Welch did. Instead, Wikipedia keeps decisions local. The system contains more information that way
  23. 23. SECTION: Customers in the Age of Connection
  24. 24. Fort Business Most businesses confused themselves with forts. The walls of the fort protected against the flow of information. Businesses could control their customers by selectively releasing info.
  25. 25. But now the walls are down. There (basically) are no secrets, because customers are talking with one another.Networked markets know more than businesses do about products and services because we tell one another the truth, we’re not biased, and because these markets contain surprising expertise.
  26. 26. If you want to know how a mini cooper is going to do in the winter in Boston, you’re better off asking this guy than this guy. [car salesman]
  27. 27. Markets are conversations. Markets are networks. Doc Searls said markets are conversations. They are. But these conversations occur across networks.
  28. 28. Markets are networks. The nature of that network affects the nature of markets, just as the one-way mass communication infrastructure in the Age of Broadcast turned markets into targets for one-way marketing messages.
  29. 29. People tired of their carPeople tired of their car So, people who are tired of their car and are talking about what to get next are a networked market. Over the next day or hours, the network shifts...
  30. 30. Looking for a kids’ cough medicine Here’s another networked market
  31. 31. Advanced Windows 8 Adopters Or another network forms of Windows users looking to talk about the new operating system release.
  32. 32. People angry at a politician Or people angry at a news report last night. Maybe they get so angry that they organize a protest, as conversation and connection become political.
  33. 33. People angry at a politician Two structural reasons the Web is hard for businesses IThere are two structural reasons why the Net is a hard medium for traditional businesses
  34. 34. People angry at a politician These markets are real And they’re hard for businesses These markets are not abstractions or a set of people 2% of whom are really in the market. These are people who are actually connected to one another, even if just for a few minutes. But these markets are hard for businesses, for two structural reasons.
  35. 35. Timid Voiceless (Body-less) Slow 1 First, hierarchical organizations don’t fit well on the Web. They are too slow. Too scared. Who speaks for it? They don’t have a mouth because they don’t have a body. Some companies do succeed on the Web. For example, here’s Comcast’s twitter feed.It works because there’s a named human behind it who is comfortable acknowledging Comcast’s fallibility.
  36. 36. The Net is not a medium 2 Pronto Rponto A second structural reason business has trouble with the medium of the Net is that the Net is not a medium. A medium is a pipe (e.g., telegraph wire) through which messages pass unaltered. If the pipe alters them, it’s a bad medium. But the Net doesn’t work that way. It’s not a pipe through which messages move.
  37. 37. tweettweettweettweettweettweet Here’s a social network of twitters. Let’s say one person sends out a tweet and it goes to all his followers.
  38. 38. tweet The message only moves on if people are interested, and are willing to express themselves by moving the tweet. We, the people of the Net, are the medium, but we are not empty pipes. We decide what moves, we tweak the message we move (which no good medium does) and a little bit of our social self -- our reputation -- rides with each message we move. We are the medium.
  39. 39. Interest The Net returns to the control of users And what is the motive force of the Internet moving all those tweets and posts and images and jokes? What moves every message through the Internet? Interest. It moves if we’re interested in it and it doesn’t move if we’re not. In that way the Net reflects what we actually care about. In the old days of Broadcast, companies got to assert their interests over ours; they determined what was available, and they made us watch ads. But the Internet returns the control of interest to users.
  40. 40. Business Individual interests This is a fundamental change. For hundreds of years we’ve assumed that a business’ interests are different from our interests as customers. Our interests might be more or less aligned, but ultimately the business wants our money.
  41. 41. But that’s changing. So, here’s a well-known page. There’s nothing on it that isn’t about addressing our needs. No ads on this prime piece of Web real estate. The fact that its home page is completely about meeting our needs is one reason Google has been so successful.!
  42. 42. Likewise for Craigslist. It’s a horribly ugly page, but it’s all about what we need. There isn’t anything on this page that isn’t designed to help us do what we came to do.
  43. 43. But, Jeff, then they’ll buy fewer books. No, they’ll buy fewer books they don’t want. Even Amazon. When Jeff Bezos said they were going to start letting customers review books, a manager said that people will write negative reviews, so people will buy fewer books. Bezos said,. “No. They’ll buy fewer books they don’t want.”
  44. 44. Another example. In this sort of blog post on a company’s site we can see the company’s values on display. Also, notice that it’s an individual doing the talking. This is a company that is acknowledging that it is like us — made up of individuals with their own outlooks and their own unpolished imperfections.
  45. 45. Ben & Jerry’s is a premium ice cream in the US, and it isn’t shy about telling us that it has a political point of view. “Here’s our interests. Feel free to disagree.” The other day Tim Cook of Apple said something similar: If you disagree with our position on global warming, don’t invest in us. And Google even does what every marketer warns against: It alters its own logo, sometimes expressing its own values as a company — in this case, protesting Russia’s anti- gay laws. These are companies that are not pretending to be without a point of view. Even if we disagree, we sense that these companies are like us in caring about the world.
  46. 46. HumbleBundle is a game site that lets you pay whatever you’d like for a bundle of games. If you pay more than the current average, you get a couple of extra games. A portion of what you pay goes to charity, and you get to say what portion. And they’re completely transparent about everything. Then, a week or so after you’ve gotten an incredible bargain on games, you’re likely to get an email saying that they’ve thrown another couple of games into the bundle, for free. This is a business that deeply shares our values.
  47. 47. Business Individual interests What all these examples have in common is that they are a change from a clash of interests…
  48. 48. Business Individual interests … a realignment in which not only are the users in control of their interests, but something even better is happening: there is an actual and real sharing of interests and values.
  49. 49. The Net is made of care Care is the fundamental unit of economics, and the Net is care’s purest expression.
  50. 50. Care is the fundamental unit of economics The Net is care’s purest expression Care is the fundamental unit of economics, and the Net is care’s purest expression.
  51. 51. ! Thank you. David Weinberger 
 Blog: www . JohoTheBlog . Com 
 Email: self@evident . com
 Twitter: dweinberger