At the Web 2.0 Expo & Conference in San Francisco, Kevin Kelly, co-founder and Editor-At-Large for Wired Magazine, delivered a brilliant keynote outlining his vision for the future of the web. I was impressed by his clarity and by how simply and succinctly he was able to simplify complex concepts to share his vision.
Kelly described six broad trends for what lies ahead at a 5 to 10 years horizon. What he envisions can be summarized in six words: screening, interacting, sharing, flowing, accessing, and generating. I’ll do my best to convey what he said.
6 Directions for the Future Web
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Jean-Marie Bonthous, PhD, is Principal of Seamless Social.
Grazie for capturing this talk for those not there!
The trend that interests me most.
The web is the largest copy machine. Anyone can make copies of anything, which makes copies less valuable. What becomes more valuable, however, is what cannot be copied easily. What is hard to copy and easy to pay for is what has a future.
Trust and reputation cannot be copied easily. They have to be generated inside the context of each exchange with the customer. They are generatives. There are 6 generatives, or areas where it is not possible to copy and where value will be created: immediacy, personalization, authenticity, attention, and interpretation.
Attention is the ability to capture people’s attention. Whoever can get people’s attention can get paid for it. According to Om Malik from GigaOm, the economics of attention are much more unforgiving than the real economic underpinning of a product. You can find money for your company from an investor, but it wouldn’t really matter if you don’t have users’ attention. Attentionomics is a hard reality especially in highly competitive and somewhat subjective marketplaces like Hollywood movies, music and even fashion are markets where “attention” determines the outcome.
Immediacy is a reason to pay. If I can get a free copy of an article right now, without having to wait, I am ready to pay for it rather than wait one hour for it. I am not paying for the article but for the immediacy.
Personalization is another thing worth paying for. Maybe it will be a custom version of a symphony tuned specifically for the acoustics of your home. You will be glad to pay for this customization of a symphony otherwise available for free on the web.
Access to software may be free, but you will be ready to pay for authentication.
You will pay Amazon not for books but for recommendations, findability, and reviews. And if you want music, it will be free but you will be ready to pay for embodiment–to see the musicians in person.
In the upcoming web, we will also be ready to pay for interpretation. Maybe software will be free, but the manual explaining how to use it or how to customize it for your specific needs will be something you are ready to pay for. Accessibility will be where there is a frictionless charge, 24/7.
Where will the money flow?..."
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