Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Web 2.0

I thought that this quote was a great summary of the economic half of what "Web 2.0" is trying to accomplish. You can pick up context here. While you're there be sure to read the Joel Spolsky comment (he's the one that sparked off this blog post)

All he seems to be saying is that traditionally in business, you think of inputs (e.g. transistors, steel, etc.) and outputs (e.g PCs, cars, etc.). The basic problem is cast as "How do we organize and design and optimize the production of the outputs from the inputs (with the right dose(s) of capital)?" If we do that, the traditional capitalist thinks, we get money at the end from the outputs.

He claims that the distinguishing characteristic of "Web 2.0 stuff" is that it tries to monetize all these things that have no deliberate/designed place in a chain from inputs to outputs. An example would be a blog that's basically my personal diary that would generate revenue through contextual advertising. My personal journal is certainly something that's traditionally on the periphery of the economy. It has no place in any organized "production line" (unlike, say, an author writing/researching a book written under contract). This "Web 2.0 stuff" tries to extract value from the detritus of personal and social life.

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