26 thoughts on “Web 2.0, Community & the Commerce Conundrum”

  1. This is all very interesting, however, there are many of us who do not buy into this Web 2.0 concept as a “religion”. They are tools.

    For example:

    1. I use Wikipedia articles for its external links and for some quick “facts”. For example, the other day, on TV, I heard the reporter state: “Edward Murrow died at a young age.” Okay, how young? So, I went to Wikipedia and in seconds I knew.

    2. Del.icio.us is a great product (I use Yahoo’s MyWeb). I don’t use it for a community affair. I use it as my “memory.” Now I can easily find/search for my saved sites. By the way, I switched to Yahoo’s MyWeb because it will search on descriptions as well as tags.

    3. It’s obvious a controlled, edited environment produces better results. The other day I was going to use Flickr photos of “Lewis and Clark” in a presentation. There were many photos, however, it wasn’t an ordered collection.

    While these sites are incredible, we the people need to be good editors.

  2. om,
    an interesting calculation will be time (at min. wage) and broadband costs (subsidized or direct) calculated per “participation” or skype/wiki/…. event. i dont think it will be far off from “web 1.0” or for that matter any commercial entity that will put up and charge. the so-called “community” does not put a price on their 2am net.vigils, chalking it up to their love of the community/participation/social responsibility. when someone else is going to concentrate that silent pool of dollars and make millions, the community better start billing itself – a simple ‘surf-meter’ on their PCs or macs will suffice –

  3. IMHO it’s not open unless I can run my own… I suspect, or at least hope, that the next wave of these apps will be more distributed, so that I run my own picture/bookmark/etc server that will network with others’ to collectively result in something like flikr or del.icio.us or livejournal or whatever… by federating with others, I probably do my share by caching popular content in order to spread the load, and know that if/when my content is popular, the same ad-hoc cache will keep my pipe from clogging.

  4. The concept of technology, in whatever form, as amoral isn’t a new one. No technology is this way or that, unless we make it so. I don’t think that’s harsh, it’s what we’re living with. Gunpowder anyone?

    What’s interesting here, and something worth pondering: who is in control? The investors, stockholders, owners, inventors, purveyors, and folks “on top” have a stake…

    The users, creators, tweakers, hackers, mashers, and pudits have what exactly? Obviously a desire to use this stuff, to embrace and extend… To DO things.

    But guess what? All business ride on our backs. Where would Apple be without the iTunes store? The iPod is pretty pricey, but kids and adults lust after them, and will beg, borrow, and steal just to get one.

    My blogging steals moments away all the time. Am I richer for it? Yes. If I felt otherwise, I’d quit. Not only will companies need to be responsible for themselves, so will users. Sharing in the upside? That IS a hippy concept…

  5. Thoughts similar to those of Nicholas was going through my mind whne I was coming across all the hype from the web 2 conference.
    So much so that the vibes coming off were almost communist. I got the feeling that they have such an overriding desire to make the web an all inclusive space that they will look at all technologies with rose tinted glasses. I’m not too enamored. Almost seems like many went ooh-aah at the collective orgasm, until reality started to dawn again.

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  7. > Will they share in their upside? Not likely!

    The purpose of many of the add ons are to save time…to make it easy for you to find information. They have to offer some value to you for them to be the tagging system you would want to use

    Building the best tagging system seems to save as mutch time as it costs, but I say this more as a tag leecher than as a person who spends hours and hours tagging.

  8. “So if we tag, bookmark or share, and help del.icio.us or Technorati or Yahoo become better commercial entities, aren’t we seemingly commoditizing our most valuable asset – time.”

    Yes, thank you. WELL said.

  9. Isn’t the upside a helpful service? People aren’t using Web 2.0 tools for the hope of some business upside, they’re using the tools because they are helpful at accomplishing their tasks.

    Flickr saves me time. Sure, it uses time, but I’d spend even more time managing and sharing my photos over email without flickr.

    Del.icio.us saves me time. I’d have to go back and find sites I have since forgotten because I didn’t want them clogging my brower bookmarks, but they were still important.

    People wouldn’t use Web 2.0 tools of they were useless.

    What’s the business model for some of these companies is the bigger question, but in some cases there might not even need to be one. I’m sure the del.icio.us investors want some return on equity, but I believe del.icio.us has one employee. This isn’t quite reaching the Web 1.0 craziness.

  10. Om

    I do not think it is a black and white issue.
    I see a number of companies in the Web 2.0 sphere who offer more hype than real innovation. I do see some people coming up with very good products though (Zimbra for example).
    The dilemna between openness and setting barriers is also not simple. Personally i started screaning comments on my BLOG ‘Serge the Concierge’ http://sergetheconcierge.typepad.com after a couple people started ‘flaming’ in their notes.
    Take care

    My other BLOG http://creativebusiness.typepad.com

  11. Hey i am an active member on Mouthshut.com and they dont pay either but they’re big and pretty popular.
    on another note Looks like access of data over handheld devices will shape the future of internet.

    A source in Indian media tells me that data access over GPRS even in India is becoming mainstream.

    CNBC is capturing this- perhaps the first of its kind- on a popular show called Young Turks. My source did not tell me when this show will be broadcast, but they’re doing a major story about Mouthshut.com and it’s ceo where the ceo makes mainstream use of GPRS.

    i’m gonna find out more about when this show will be on, but the bigger picture is GPRS and a consumer site ceo!

  12. Money is one thing and power is the other. As the money is carefully horded and was often created in the first place from environmentally and socially destructive activities, the site I contribute to concentrates on politics or power. Pointing out the amorality of politicians in the hope of getting rid of some of them and limiting the excesses of others. The purpose of the FutureOfCairns.net website is to break the strangle hold that the Cairns City Council has on information about local issues. Never once have they responded to reasonable question instead doing their business behind closed doors. So we have created bloggs to raise the issues and forums for people to have their say. FutureOfCairns.net is a real attempt to put the community, sharing and democrasy on the web. We would be very pleased if someone could share with us some links to similar efforts elsewhere

  13. I say why be sceptical or fear Web 2.0 it’s simply another wave of progress. For the little I’ve seen so far it seems like an exciting new way to relate and collaborate across the web, something we all try to do in our own lives.. I think sharing information and ideas is excellent, I tried sharing my photos on flickr a few days ago using a new concept called hubtag at hubtag.com it’s very simply and an idea that i think trully embraces the spirit of 2.0..

  14. Part of Google’s success is built on the free-flow of ideas to the extent that the ownership of them becomes unknown. Perhaps that is the greatest value of web 2.0; the proliferation of innovative ideas that provides value to everyone.

    Does it really matter if the big companies make money while doing it? We are all benefitting in one way or the other.

    The whole point of the patent offices is to publicize innovative ideas to advance society as a whole. Sure, companies race to have their patents approved and recognized for financial gains, but in the end, society benefits.

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