Monday, October 20, 2008

Centripetal web ... and centripetal networks ?

Another very good article by Nicholas Carr.

In this one, he argues that, more and more, the web is going to revolve around "large objects" (that is popular websites or blogs): "Yes, we still journey out to the far reaches of the still-expanding info-universe, but for most of us, most of the time, the World Wide Web has become a small and comfortable place".

It is a very interesting article, as, to my mind, it also points towards the web becoming a real new geography, that will therefore need some regulation (amènagement du territoire).

Think of the web as a new geography. It is good to remember that real geography also revolves around cities where most exchanges are done and value created. Other lands need the support of the state to be able to develop their economic activity (in interventionist countries) or else they may decay (as is the case for suburbs in developed or developing economies alike).

I think the web will also organize around the places where most of the exchange is done and value created. At the fringes, risk takers (with some free time), will be able to find sources of creativity, new ideas, innovation, ...

And some regulation will be needed so that blogs and websites that are not maintained are not just discarded but that they remain alive and can be explored by future explorers, and that people are able to live their virtual lives far from the center of the information-universe.

I think something similar could happen with social networks. One or two very large SN will cumulate most of the traffic, while valuable, innovative, thought-provoking SN will not emerge due to a lack of ... people!

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