Monday, November 17, 2008

The Golden Time of World Wide Web is coming

I have justed read a great post by Drake Bennett at Boston.com, which is titled "Depression 2009: What would it look like?" Despite of this inevitable modern depression, this post actually delivers an implicit message that the author himself might have overlooked. The golden time of World Wide Web is coming!

The Boston.com post is unquestionably excellent and everybody should read it carefully, more than once at least. There is, however, a regretful flaw in the article. Despite of the many differences between this "21st-century depression" and the old Great Depression at 1930s compared by the author, he forgot to mention the most critical and fundamental invention that distinguishes the two depressions---World Wide Web. Astonishingly, even Tim O'Reilly missed this distinction too in his post of recommendation.

In the post, Bennett repeated emphasizing that people who lose their jobs are going to stay at home watching TV for "free time is one thing a 21st-century depression would create in abundance." But wait a minute! Why not the people staying with computers and killing time on the Web in contrast to watching dumb TV shows? This distinction is incredibly crucial. By watching TV these jobless people could hardly produce any substantial value to the society. On the contrary, Web 2.0 has allowed people making substantial contribution to the world even if they are "jobless."

Before this 21st-century depression, most of the regular Web-2.0 content creators are either the less-experienced young generation (who have much free time to kill) or the few computer geeks (who are passionate on the Web). Due to this 21st-century depression, however, the Web is going to welcome a great force of new Web content generators who are more experienced in real life and with much greater diversity on the professional background. From the positive aspect, these people are freed from their previous labor work so that now they can be more actively participating into the creation of a new world. A truly blooming age of the Web is coming.

In this time of depression, the last thing we need is another depressive news. By contrast, we need to seek hope out of hopelessness and we must look for chances from crisis.

So, Web companies and Web investors, now it is your chance. You are going to have more users who are more experienced in real life. The input by these new users would significantly improve the quality and diversity of the Web content. Are you going to grasp this opportunity? Have you noticed their compelling capability of producing (comparing to the earlier regular Web content generators)? Are you able to provide these people new ways of value production from home?

The golden time of World Wide Web is just ahead. Thanks to the Web, we should all be wishful but not be depressive.

16 comments:

Twain said...

hi Yihong,

It's Twain. I commend your positivity. However, today I also found out that Facebook's valuation has fallen from US$15 billion when 1.6 percent was acquired by Microsoft for US$240 million to US$4 billion.

It's also now CLOSING down some third-party apps developed on its API to take revenue from third party developers and make that revenue facebook's because of dire economic times:


* http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/11/facebook-stock-now-worth-about-...

* http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/16/facebook-destroys-lucrative-bi...


THE GLOBAL BRAIN
============

Btw, just to let you know I've created my own bog to discuss technology, the Global Brain, the Singularity, SemWeb etc:

www.alwaysthetwain.com/blogs

Kingsley Uyi Idehen said...

Yihong,

Great post, and spot on, as per usual :-)

The color of capital is changing from "Green" to "Grey".

The nature of assets is changing for "Fixtures & Fittings" to digital units of value discernable via URIs.

The end of Quantity over Quality is finally here.

The legions of people being laid off, have an opportunity of a life time to exploit the disintermidiation that the Web accords. They only need a "Profile Page" on the Web to be discovered.

Interesting evolution of the basic unit of "Web Presence" (means of participation):

Web 1.0 - Web Site
Web 2.0 - Blog, Wiki, Social Network membership etc.
Web 3.0 - Your Profile Page

The Web 3.0 profile page is the front door into your Data Space, while your Data Space is the conduit to your "Grey Matter" value chest (Mind Asset).

Kingsley

Kingsley Uyi Idehen said...

Yihong,

Great post, and spot on, as per usual :-)

The color of capital is changing from "Green" to "Grey".

The nature of assets is changing for "Fixtures & Fittings" to digital units of value discernable via URIs.

The end of Quantity over Quality is finally here.

The legions of people being laid off, have an opportunity of a life time to exploit the disintermidiation that the Web accords. They only need a "Profile Page" on the Web to be discovered.

Interesting evolution of the basic unit of "Web Presence" (means of participation):

Web 1.0 - Web Site
Web 2.0 - Blog, Wiki, Social Network membership etc.
Web 3.0 - Your Profile Page

The Web 3.0 profile page is the front door into your Data Space, while your Data Space is the conduit to your "Grey Matter" value chest (Mind Asset).

Kingsley

Yihong Ding said...

Hi Kingsley,

Exactly! We need to create mind asset, the "grey matter". Before we may realize it, however, we need to have Web evolved so that people may consume this type of asset. That is, Web 2.0 is going to be passed and Web 3.0 is ahead. Look forward to collaborating with you more.

By the way, I will move to the eastern coast at Connectict at January 2009. I think you are also living in this area, aren't you? Maybe we can find a time to sit down and share. I will contact you in email.

cheers,

Yihong

Yihong Ding said...

Hi Twain,

Cool site! I love it. Please keep on and I look forward to reading more. ;-)

Yihong

Brian Dunbar said...

Yihong, you write about a golden time for the web. Tim noted that appliance shops will sell refurbished computers.

How are these guys going to get to the internet? The last time I had DSL I was paying $40 a month. That's not a lot but if I'm living on reduced means it's a cost I might not be able to pay.

Yet .. I've still got a computer and passive TV drives me nuts. Plus I gotta look for a job somehow.

So ... leach free internet from the coffee shop. But I can't sit there all day and they'll expect me to pay for coffee that I don't drink.

This leaves .. cheap dial-up as an alternative. If the dial-up provider can bring the cost down below $5.00 a month.

Could a depression bring back the dial-up service provider?

Thoughts?

* this is a slight edit of a comment I posted at the O'Reilly site you link to.

Yihong Ding said...

@Brian,

Thank you for the discussion. You have mentioned a very good question. It is a problem. However, it might be not a problem. Let us review history a little bit.

We should have remembered the last dot-com bubble. Could we imagine Web 2.0 before the bubble? No. There were several essential changes happened because of the bubble. One critical change was the price of Internet subscription fee, which Friedman has discussed in his book "The World is Flat." Web 2.0 could never have been realized by the Internet subscription fee normal users have to pay before the dot-com bubble. Due to the bubble, however, when many of these optical fiber companies bankrupted, users got very cheap Internet connection from the banks.

In similar, when you are worrying about the price of computer and etc, the industry will reorganize according to user demand. Cheap computers that support only network access with less of luxurious OS and hardware equipment could be more popular. New companies that help people build Internet Assets in contrast to just killing time on the Web will emerge. Many new things will happen because humans are alive. When we figure out all of these resolutions to overcome the difficult time, this is what I say the coming of the Golden Time.

Yihong

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