Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
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Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.


 
Tuesday, June 08, 2004


I've been thinking for a while now that the Net is reaching diminishing returns, because it's value depends on two things:

1) how much info info there is in it (the size of the network)
2) how efficiently you can search it (the efficacy of the search mechanism)

It's not 2 that has me concerned (yet) - it's 1. The rate of change of the amount of info we put into the web is decreasing - the marginal value of the Net is dropping. This is because most of the info on the Net is now recycled - take the blogosphere, for example. Why didn't it emerge in 1996?

I think one big reason is that there was little incentive for discussion - because there was little to link to and discuss - ie, newspapers, magazines, and other information producers weren't all online yet. But in 2004, bloggers can endlessly reiterate and link to the same 50 articles for weeks - adding little value but much mass to the Net.

Agree with my example or not, I think the future of Net is not blogging, or social networks, etc - those are all information recyclers. I think the future is information producers - those who add whole new domains of information to the Net, and thus create radical value shifts (which you can build a nice business model on, because you can exchange the value created for cash).

What's going to be the first example of this? I think it's gonna be machines that slash political transaction, bargaining, enforcement, and coordination costs, and reshape the technics of democracy. Theyworkforyou is a great example.

I'll end this post with a related question: how long will it be before we see political blogging syndicates? My guess is not long - because the economics of 'bundled' bloggers are far superior to the economics of lone bloggers. Note that complementarity is the key to this model - unrelated bundled bloggers are kind of (not entirely, but mostly) pointless.

-- umair // 1:27 AM // 0 comments


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