Supernova: The New Internet

Janice Fraser, Adaptive Path

The new internet embraces openness, relinquishes control – large shift in philosophy.

Most online services assume the publisher provides value: difference between with content and events calendar decided by an editor, and Upcomming,org which shows events that friends are interested in. By relinquishing control over content and opening content up to users, increased value, more relevant.

Disintermediation adds value – best e.g. is Wikipedia. People take responsibility for publishing content which is accurately and valuable. Becoming asymptotically more correct – so are going to be 95% accurate.

Implications of collective wisdom in enterprise. What if people could tag information with useful tags in, say, Oracle.

Flicker is the commonest example, biggest competitor is Kodak EasyShare Gallery, but site is typical and comfortable for marketing communities. Compare that to Flickr, which is far more personal, with content and value that’s created not by a marketer but by friends and strangers.

So what does this do to marketing? It’s a form of disintermediation, and it’s not that it’s not commercial, it’s that the foundation …

Interruption from floor: You’re not saying anything controversial, but you are co-opting people to provide content for you so you can make money off. Flickr isn’t different, it’s just repackaging people’s materials as ‘authentic’.

Janice: It’s very different because it’s really authentic. Authentic is a word you don’t like. But marketers like messages, but that doesn’t matter, people develop their impressions based on their experience, not on your message. It’s about shifting the focus from what the ad agents want to present to what the community wants to create.

With Wikipedia, people expect to contribute. The expectations that people are coming to the internet with are different – instead of it being how MS does business, it’s how everyone does it. Instead of it being what developer communities know, it’s transferred to the wider world.

From floor: Having open standards which people can build upon is new.

From floor: Want to know what is new, not look at the differences between existing services.

Janice: I think a lot of what’s new is what existing packages are doing with providing more user-centric stuff.

AJAX. Big projects aren’t as interesting as small subtle ones. Very lightweight, small app, like BackPack or BaseCamp from 37 Signals. Tools that people can pull out on a case by case basis, so not supposed to have a big return, but will be used by lots of people.

Feature stinginess – over-wraught apps that have too many features are short lived and the pendulum is swinging towards lightweight, easy to implement, easy to maintain, single focus apps.

[Hard session to take notes in – lots of questions]

From floor: Flickr is actually feature rich, but easy to use etc.

Janice: A philosophical shift.

Kevin Marks: The release early, release often methodology of web apps is seeping into other areas of development, and APIs is a part of that because it allows incremental development.

[OK, I give up on note taking on this. I just can’t keep up.]