Building web 3.0
The key to dealing not only with the problems of the present but also of the future, is building a more accessible internet, says American journalist and blogger Jeff Jarvis.
March 15, 2009 11:54 by Aarti Nagraj
You’ve been to the Gulf and you’ve looked also at the future of the internet. How can those two integrate? Can they integrate?
Yes, I think so because it’s only to do with things like blogs that I’ve made friends in the Gulf, and I’ve made friends in Iran and Iraq. And those connections among the young people of today are, I think, going to pay off. Not just in terms of friendships, but also in terms of business, and understanding, and openness and education.
Now, that also threatens some people, that it’s going to mean more influences that aren’t controllable. But I believe in the goodness of the people, wherever they are and the more opportunities they have and the more education they have. I’m an optimist – we’re going to be better off.
What about broadband?
Broadband for me should be the highest priority. Right now it should be what we invest most of the government money [in] because it will bring up business and education and understanding and everything else. It’s not happening yet.
What lies after broadband?
I don’t know – that’s the beauty of it. It’s probably being a lot smarter about the data and giving it more order. I just wrote a book called, ‘What would Google do?’ Google doesn’t try to own everything, Google tries to add value to everything. Google tries to organize the world – and the more there is to organize, the happier they are. Google becomes a platform and a network to allow others to grow and gain value. And the currency in all this is knowledge. Amazon doesn’t just sell books – Amazon knows more about what we buy than anybody else where it operates. Finding those new ways to organize knowledge, and the software that does it, I think is the next frontier.
We’re awash in information these days. How do we distinguish between what’s knowledge and what’s useless?
Clay Shirky was a brilliant professor and wrote a book called, ‘Here Comes Everybody.’ When we complain about this and complain that there is ‘too much information,’ that’s always been the case. It’s nothing new. Too much of more is still too much. … What Clay says the problem is ‘filter failure.’ What we’re complaining about is the system to find the good stuff, the stuff that isn’t [useless]. The system fails us. That’s why we complain. … And that’s when you get into the problem of what’s [useless] and what’s not. Then you could curate it. You can select the best, and that’s where you can add value in this world, I think.
Do you foresee a decrease in spending on technology because of the credit crisis?
Yes, that’s the fear – that the companies are going to cut back on everything in the company including the things that are going to save them money. My bigger fear is that venture money is going to get very tight and that’s the only place we’re going to have growth.
First seen in Trends magazine.
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