The future is all about data. Stuff that’s produced by people like you and me. And how it is distributed, used and re-used.
Data you generate. Data that cannot exist without you. Now that data is valuable, it is the new lock-in. Anyone can build another auction site, but 200 million ratings can’t be acquired overnight. Anyone can build another bookstore, but 10 million reviews can’t be acquired overnight. Google. Amazon. eBay. Flickr. Facebook. YouTube. Everything where the value is created via data you create in the first place.
Is there such a thing as digital philosophy? If so, I think I’ve found one. A digital philosopher that is.
And I’m not sure I understand everything he’s saying. But what I like is that he’s challenging our existing paradigms (man after my own heart).
This piece, sent via twitter today is called Musings about evil. And he talks about the importance of data and careful experimentation.
Actually nobody “became evil”. Becoming evil is not suddenly getting easier. What we’re seeing is the confluence of a number of trends:
- Growth in the power of the consumer, in consumerism, a post-Nader, post-Sixties phenomenon
- Advances in information transmission and reproduction, particularly with the advent of the internet and the web
- Emergent affordability and ubiquity of edge devices that increase the number of people connected to each other
He contends that despite the huge amount of change that is occurring, business, and ways of doing business, have not changed. Which is creating problems.
No new business models have emerged … since the year dot, there have only been three ways of collecting value for services provided: pay-per-drink, all-you-can-eat, get-someone-else-to-pay. We have a litany of terms for the third way: advertising, sponsorship, patronage, gifting, subsidy, freemium, it doesn’t matter. There are still only three models.
The way we store, share and use data is becoming incredibly important.
These are some of the reasons why privacy and sharing and not-sharing are needing to be discussed, understood, legislated for. These are some of the reasons why identity and intellectual property and net neutrality are critical issues, issues that must be resolved in a sensible way.
It’s going to take some time before we have the conventions, practices and laws to make the digital landscape the land of the free and the home of the brave. Until then, our watchword should be careful experimentation. But experimentation nevertheless.
Read his piece. And think about this stuff.
This thinking lies at the heart of the issues that underpin copyright in the digital age. We must do some new thinking about what we produce, how important it is, who gets to use it and how they use it. Government can and should have an enabling role in this I believe.
If you’re interested, my speech in the first reading of the Govt’s Copyright Bill (replacement to Section 92A) raised some of these issues. The big question is, what to do about it?
Hat tip: @LaurenceMillar