Much has been said about Web2.0 about being a “conversation” between parties on the Internet- shifting from the “broadcast” model of radio and TV where listeners were passive receivers of information to listeners being actively engaged in conversation. Web 2.0 conversations are happening many places, have been enabled by many service providers, including Austin’s own Bazaar Voice. Yet there is a shift happening, a major shift.
Just like the Internet was not “just like TV, but better”, the shift that is coming is not “just like Web 2.0 but better”. A fundamental shift is occurring. Do you see it?
Activities on the Internet are shifting from (1) broadcast to (2) Web 2.0 conversations to (3) cooperation (taking action together). Greater than at any point in the history of the Internet cooperative behaviors are taking place- where people are not just talking with each other, but an even greater amount of collective action is happening…. and in this, what is significant is not the large system collective action (as an example, political campaigns like the Obama campaign) but the small scale activities. What is unique about these new small scale activities, compared to grass roots activities of the past? This is not just grass roots happening, but the fact that these small scale activities are producing real business impact. Small groups of entrepreneurs around the world are connecting together, getting real work done, and creating better economic outcomes.
For myself, I have been doing this round the world with working with software developers world-wide- and other business people both in Austin as well as at considerable distance. Constraints- whether they be financial, skills, or resource limitations are being more easily overcome than at any point in the history of the world. Cooperation, not just conversation is the new, coming language of the Internet. We see this already in open source software projects and in the remix of certain parts of the music industry… but cooperation is not going to stop there. Although risk abound, a new language and new practices for cooperating world-wide is emerging. We’ll keep around Web 2.0 just like we have kept around our old TV’s… but it is time to make space for the cooperation-economy, and realize that it is not going to be “just like Web 2.0 but better.”
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