Subject:   Have and Have Not
Date:   2007-09-19 08:02:16
From:   tobywun
Response to: Have and Have Not

That is an equitable position but I suspect that convergence will allow a different value system to be placed on new technology. Where it is the use of and access to services that enables revenue to be generated, technology becomes the essential gateway and therefore an acceptable cost to industry, (lets face it, it is the existence of a revenue model which has allowed web 1.0 & now web 2.0 to be exploited so effectively). Take cable TV set top boxes for instance, they give them away! While this still relies on an annualised contract for service provision the parallel is pretty good. Also (very different example) Airline operators collaborate and bear the cost of reservation & inventory data processing via co-owned companies such as Gallileo, the cost is bourn by the customer eventually or the airlines take a hit on profit. (This was as an alternative to small travel agencies having to integrate all airlines data on multiple platforms which would have been unmanageable and prohibitively expensive).

In terms of individuals with few skills Ė web2.0 can represent who ever generates content, service, access and so on (my understanding is that you refer to the lowest common denominator). Or it can be used to target activity where the greatest revenue exists; and where is the biggest market in the world but amongst the uneducated. Also, Judging by mobile phone text language, there are millions of messages that are sent, received and understood by virtually illiterate people every day. Not left behind at all in this context.

With a heavy heart I believe that this is the down side: as with most technologies/ service platforms that trickle to the masses, they do so because the poor, vulnerable and uneducated are the largest market in the world, not because of an altruistic desire for everyone to keep up. Web 2.0 will not leave them behind but will commoditise them even further in exchange for some funky toys and the ability to participate. I hope I am wrong but each of us is already being used/ targeted as a revenue generating asset and our happy surrender of personal data and behaviour does not give us freedom, it simply takes away our power.

Will Web2.0 be the most accessible and greatest entrepreneurial opportunity we have ever seen, or will it be the clarion call for individuals who are desperate to regain their power in a way that the Communist revolutions could have only dreamed about? I canít wait to see!

For reference I am a Libertarian Anarchist, I know nothing and filter all I see through my beliefs and experience. Not the most reliable opinion as I am sure you will agree :-)