Thursday, 15 November 2007

Convergence 2.0

Yesterday I watched Alan Yentob's "Imagine...WWW" again, as he covered the future of the Web. Although a year old, I was surprised to find a couple of items from it being cited later that day:

  1. David Firth, of SaladFingers fame, was on ScreenWipe last night on BBC2.
  2. "The Long Tail" being discussed on the new podcast. (YouTube video)

To me, this reflects the power of Web2.0. It is about sharing ideas, just-in-time learning, and creativity. A real meritocracy. Participate or not, it is your choice, just don't complain about missing out. Learn Japanese if you want. Learn how to create spheres in Photoshop if you want. Learn how to fold a lightcube if you want.

Leo and Amber described themselves as being Internet Content Creators. Not being pigeon-holed into one particular format. I thought back to the Yentob programme, where he mentioned convergence. The two ideas, memes if you will, merged, intertwingled. I had been thinking of convergence in a Web 1.0 way: the technologies coming together so that, for example, my mobile phone has a media player, so I don't need two devices. What if I think of convergence in a Web 2.0 way? The sharing, the communities, the people, the learning, the exploration, the fun, and the meritocracy is all that is important, and not the hosting technology.

Do I care that you are listening to this on a podcast? Nope. Do I care if you are using Safari on a Mac, or browsing via a mobile phone? Nope. So why should you care if this is posted on a blog, written on a forum or a wiki, in some class notes or discussed in a YouTube video. Is this not what converging technologies should be really about? Share the knowledge, share the creativity, share the power. In return you will gain new knowledge, find new creativity, and be empowered to take new strides forward.

Any media that fails to keep up has a problem. Any technology that fails to keep up has a problem. But that is their problem, and not ours.


WD said...

Nice piece, very thoughtful. Well done Hero of Web 2.0 ;)

WD said...

And from Leo's blog:
And thanks to Douglas Volk for this quote (which I paraphrased):

What’s fun and vital about the blogosphere is not that it doesn’t speak with the questionably unified (”smothered”?) voice of mass culture, but that individual bloggers only need to speak for themselves and about their own personal interests, and don’t need to triangulate themselves against any distinct or nebulous center; it doesn’t matter who’s paying attention and who isn’t, even when lots of people are paying attention! Each blogger is a gravitational center, great or small, but there’s no sun they’re all orbiting around.

AktoMan said...

Each blogger is a gravitational center, great or small, but there’s no sun they’re all orbiting around.


One person blogging with absolutely no-one reading has the blogger's ego replacing the sun in the centre of the system.

In forums, the sun is the main topic (eg hiking, computers, photography), and the threads are planets revolving around that. Some spin off the plane more, and others are like the Oort Cloud, barely affected by the main topic (or 'sun').

A meme can live on a planet in any atmosphere, and in any solar system (single sun, binary, tertiary, ringworld, etc) - the meme is the thing. Not the medium.

The meme is the message, not the medium. Stop getting bogged down in the importance of mediums, think Web 2.0, Darren.

WD said...

Web 2.0 is sooo last year, so I've decided to skip a generation and I'm thinking Web 4.0

AktoMan said...

Web1066? The one where the English-centred web get gubbed by the Franco-philes.

Le meme est la mémoire