UK AOP: Publishing 2.0

Damn, some fool just announced that Wifi is available here. How does he expect me to finish downloading the last season of Lost now?

Oh well, Tim is up now. Web 2.0 meets publishing. They try to find people who are innovating from the edge and amplify that effect.

“The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.”

William Gibson

They saw hackers building yagi’s out of Pringle cans, and they thought WiFi was going to be big. Riffing more on William Gibson, they are in the business of patttern matching. What do the apps of Web 2.0 have in common: Google, eBay, Yahoo?

  • Information business
  • Software as a business
  • Use the internet as a platform. It is no longer an add-on. Google is one of the leading Linux applications, and you don’t even know it.
  • All of these applications are about harnessing collective intelligence, in one way or another.

Yahoo! the ultimate content aggregator. Google realised that it was about links not just documents. Google gets smarter every day because of the hundreds of millions of users making links everyday. eBay is 800,000 people making a living online .

Amazon, unlike other Web 2.0, no big breakthrough. They ask again and again and again to contribute.

CraigsList is user self-service.

Mapquest didn’t realise that users add value. They used it as a database publishing opportunity. How do you get your users to add value to what you do.

Web 2.0 is the era of asymmetric competition. Unlike Netscape and Lotus, Microsoft’s previous competitors, Google is a content company. Look at the top 10 sites on the internet, they have thousands of staff, but CraigsList has 18, well probably a little more, but still orders of magnitude smaller than competitors.

Britannica didn’t realise that Google was it’s competition. Google is O’Reilly’s competition for publishing. They now have tutorial books as opposed to reference books.

User-generated content. More than one way to do it.

  1. Volunteers – Wikipedia. 20th most trafficked site on the web. Tens of thousands of contributors. IBM research did a visual representation of the change log of a Wikipedia entry. Wow! Britannica growth flat.
  2. Harness users self-interest like CraigsList or eBay.
  3. Architecture of participation. He used the example of Flickr. They have tag clouds. He compared Flickr to Shutterfly. Default is to share on Flickr. Think of defaults that encourage participation.
  4. Content is a database and developers are journalists. Adrian Holovaty as Tim mentions Django. They build a page for every Little League team, every soccer team.

How they applied this at O’Reilly. They built Safari as a user-help syndication services.

Database+Webservices+Participation=Web 2.0 success

DRM? Don’t have too much DRM. DRM is like taking a cat to the vet. You have to hold the cat lightly or get scatched to hell. Apple blew Sony out of the water because they have loose, almost invisble DRM.

Two types of platforms.

  • Lord of the Rings. One Ring to Rule them All
  • Small Pieces Loosely Joined

This networked world is gaining steam. We have to figure out how to become players in this world.

Q: Is this about free versus pay?

No, they do pay but what are they paying for? It can be free. Google is minting money by selling eyeballs.

Talking about publishing and the Long Tail. With Safari, abbout 30% of page views come from books that aren’t successful in print.

Q: What is the role of traditional editors in the world of user-generated content?

A: Wikipedia does have editors. Google has human intervention to control spam. The editorial function of the future is computer-aided editing. They have much more powerful tools.

Q: Will new models of trust develop if users feel exploited?

A: Some people understood the dynamics. Some didn’t. They thought it was just like TV. Shout with loud ads. Lots of people won’t get it. There will be a lot of movement. Thik back to first days of personal computer. Think of companies that don’t exist. The companies are bubbles on the wave. They aren’t the wave.

There will be a lot of consolidation. In 5 or 6 years, the internet industry will become increasingly consolidated. This is the very beginnings. Just the beginning. Location aware devices. Managing the huge amount of data.

Q: How do communities scale?

Best opportunities how stay small while it grows. Can we build a social network access to everyone but retain small circle? How do we build value in these massive sites so that people are find the niche they like?

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