Skip to navigation

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Web 2.0 Workshops, Lightweight Business Models

I got to this session just in time to catch Marc Canter. [Update: Marc's slides.] A few notes:

Open infrastructure makes this a really exciting period of time. Paradigm shift. It's about the end-user experience, not about how much money you're going to make. Get that right. It works in reverse to the way you're used to.

Users bring technology into the enterprise through the back door, around the IT department. This happened with the laser printer. The old framework still exists (e.g., Apple v. Microsoft), but it's getting pretty boring

Come flog me, says Marc, I made one of those closed standards. Open standards make these small modules coming together work.

Part 1: blogging. Conversation, keeps the memes moving around.

Part 2: namespaces. Create lots of them and you can get around the techno/religious battles and you wind up with all kinds of new microcontent. The power of open standards means no one company controls it. You build some internal consensus, the aggregator vendors start to support it, as it catches on the VCs come into fund it, on we go. This is what's happening now with RSS and blogs, but there's no need for it to stop there.

Part 3: people. Let's get "people" right, and things will flow from there. FOAF includes a shared digital id wrapper that translates across platforms. FOAFnet is the antithesis of "customer lock in." Peoples' data moves with them, no need to enter the damn list of names (or other unique personal data) with each new tool. Sxip is doing this. We're going to give away the infrastructure, open source digital identity. Will gateway via PingID into enterprise digital id standards. Creates interconnected digital id. A person's digital life is scattered all over the Web, when you have a user experience that moves fluidly through the network you have a digital lifestyle aggregator, but you can call it what you want.

Part 4: ourmedia. Shared open source image albums, jukeboxes, and directories. Giant registry of licensed, usable content at your disposal. Includes the means for artists to take works out of Creative Commons licensing and re-trigger the standard copyright scheme. Called retraction. Designed to protect artists and ensure they're not disadvantaged by making works more publicly usable for as long as this is advantageous.

Part 5: OpenReviews. ePinions, Amazon reviews are the antithesis of Marc's model. OpenReviews aren't locked in a data silo. The idea is to provide a very thin layer of infrastructure that apps can be built on.

Put 'em all together, and you've got new kinds of microcontent that will drive the industry so much further.

Marc asks Steven Levy what he thinks; Steven says it sounds cool.

Flickr right now is having a viral effect because it's a viral experience. People will pay for that.

What's ahead: two business models, meeting in the middle. AOL and Yahoo! will become digital lifestyle aggregators, and the small fry will be better able to compete with them.

Listings: scraping listings (e.g. Craigslist), but with credit. The brand/meme is spread. No transaction fee, except on the way in. Gets the marketing.

I asked a question about the "retraction" point Marc raised, wondering if this would require a change in the Creative Commons licensing scheme. No, what Marc has in mind is the same scenario as exists now, licensed works remain licensed, but an artist retains flexibility about how to treat new works.

What's in it for Amazon, Craigslist, etc. to unwall the garden, why aren't the investment communities into this? Steven Levy wonders why reviews are so important, doesn't think there's a gap in his life concerning restaurant information. Regarding the altruism point, let's have a conference called Web 1.0 and go from there. Regarding reviews, it's fragmented, there's no central resource that gets you to the fine grained information you need.

Social networking:, idea is thousands of small social networks that interconnect. Sounds good to me, this is why blogging works as social networking software without additional infrastructure.

Creative Commons LicenseUnless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Denise M. Howell and included in the Bag and Baggage weblog and any related pages, including the weblog's archives, is licensed under a Creative Commons License.