Farewell Web 2.0?

The sheen of Web 2.0 is fading. People have laid their claim on the next ‘version’ – 3.0. See how our thinking is so linear. Why are we forcing ourselves to believe, and in retrospect, that there was something called Web 1.0! Isn’t that how versioning happens?

I’d rather have called it Web-as-a-Platform (WaaP) because that’s really what it is.

My reasoning is simply that by ‘componentising’ the Web we have created –

  1. a way for individuals and groups to ‘talk’ to the world and to each other in ‘open spaces’;
  2. collaborative software to capture, exchange and share collective ideas and ideologies;
  3. a philosophy where people can improve upon – or add value – to other people’s efforts; and
  4. less dependence on technology ‘consultants’.

What I have yet not been able to see is the ‘meta’ part of the phenomenon. Call it Web-as-a-Vehicle (WaaV) – likened to a mass transportation system and not a car. I might call it Meta-more-for-less (sounds like metamorphosis). We need a hard look quickly at how to design the interfaces (if they do exist) between the existing technology components or we run the risk of building yet another set of ‘silos’ made up of existing Web 2.0 pieces. Which in simple terms means bridging the “gap in capability” between the ‘individual’ creating the content and the techie who built the component.

Google’s Chief economist, Hal Varian, says executives in wired organisations need a sharper understanding of how technology empowers innovation, here.

… the kinds of innovations I think will arise on top of that will be innovations in how work is done. And that’s going to be one of the most exciting aspects, in my opinion.

That’s the key here. How work is done must supersede how things work.

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Twitter is digital Marijuana – Wasted Time or Lost Opportunity

Twitter is a place to tell the world something in all of 140 characters. I’m not about to explain that the underlying sms technology is what creates this limit and it is not a number based on user research or any fancy stuff of the sort. So it’s a great way to waste company time for personal gratification. After all, how can anybody say something in just 140 characters (including spaces). How’s 20-odd words going to convey anything meaningfully?

imageOkay, so you want to be the first to tell the world what’s happening around you. You want to get your thoughts out of your system so new ones can be born. You want to keep checking how many people are following you. And you want your employer to pay for all this. Shame on you. What a waste of time! And some of you even try to convince your marketing guys get a company account for some ‘brand building and preservation’. The world is about ‘conversations’ you say.

Sorry, but I just don’t get it. Okay, the Dalai Lama tweets his spirituality. And Continue reading “Twitter is digital Marijuana – Wasted Time or Lost Opportunity”

Business as ‘social’?

Young people interacting within society.
Image via Wikipedia

A few months ago, a journalist friend asked for my view on What would motivate technopreneurs to consider building businesses around social technologies?”

My answer …

Building businesses around social technologies is like attempting to achieve the ideals of Communism using the methods of Capitalism. Look at the open source movement. It is not hard to guess why it has gained the status of a movement. The clues to countering the monolithic tendencies of technology builders are evidenced by the success of the open source philosophy. What it clearly shows is that power centres can and will be dismantled, it will be

less by the hunger for the power to own and more by the willingness to belong;

less by the striving for independence and more for the mutual value of interdependence;

less by the aggression of competition and more by the power of collaboration.

Golaiths beware the Davids are here to stay. The proof is Web 2.0. Here’s to the new wine and to the new bottle as well. 

There’s little value in prefixing the word ‘Social’ to media, networking, technologies, welfare or any other word. Wordplay sounds nice, looks good in a presentation and creates great news hooks. ‘Social’ has to do with society – a particular society. And society is shaped by people that have passion, conviction and a sense of urgency.

Technology is merely a toolbox for social change and technopreneurs must take it as their duty to identify the value that their ‘products’ will provide to those who will use them to positively transform and sustainably impact society as a whole.

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Hello folks. I am Kamesh, an old friend of Sunil. We studied in the same school but went different ways, and after many years we suddenly came across each other, and realized that both of us have ended up in the same vocation – Farming! He invited me to his Ideafarm to sow a few seeds, and so here I am. Thank you Sunil for inviting me to write in your blog.

So, shall we ‘let the music play on?’

Ok, here comes the Sun…

One person can be creative, but it takes two to create. Thats the law of nature 🙂

Jest apart, innovation is not a one person band. It works best when there is a buzz of creative players. Like the Beatles… Remember that song from their album “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”?

What would you think if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me.
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song,
And I’ll try not to sing out of key.

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends,
Oh, I get high with a little help from my friends,
Oh, Going to try with a little help from my friends

Lets sample some proof of the pudding, shall we?

ok, folks… Yesterday, as I was gazing at my Twitter screenscape, I chanced upon this conversation between two of my friends, Ashutosh and Sukumar. They are my twitter friends – I havent met Ashutosh at all, and dont have much of an idea where he is or what he does. I just like his tweets, and he reciprocates. I guess I must have retweeted some of his tweets, and another of my twitter friend Sukumar must have liked it, and then he connected with Ashutosh, and they started sharing  tweets.

As I am connected to both, I came across this conversation between the two of them, and they ‘twinnovated’.  Without further ado, I give below their tweets… Continue reading “Twinnovation!”

Cynicism 101 – Does India need Facebook?

I know nothing about sex because I was always married. – Zsa Zsa Gabor

With due respect – and with a slight twist while keeping the flavour: 

We know everything about social networking because we were never social.

I’d like to dedicate my quote to all social networking initiatives, sites, professionals and users. (And by the way, I too have memberships of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).

First, a bunch of disclaimers:
1. If it creates controversy, great. It is meant to. If it provokes your intelligence and emotions; and punctures your ego, my job is done. It is intended to.
2. I have no intention here to suggest ‘mine-is-better-than-yours’ OR that Indian culture is any better than others.
3. This is not a patriotic or a political rambling. So please read between the lines. (If you read only with your eyes, white space is all you’ll see).
4. This post is an ‘equal opportunity, equal responsibility’ piece. Me included.

My thesis is simple. India does NOT need Facebook.   Continue reading “Cynicism 101 – Does India need Facebook?”