The mess is the message

Wired talks about the emergence of video on the web and comes up with the quote of the month: “the mess is the message”.

A Guide to the Online Video Explosion

We see, amid the flood of content and competing delivery services, a new medium emerging, one with fewer gatekeepers, more producers, and – somewhere – something for everyone. And that’s the point: The mess is the message.

Link (via Pedro)

694 million people use the web

Top 15 Online Populations by Country, Among Visitors Age 15+
March 2006, in unique visitors (000), excludes traffic from public computers such as Internet cafe and, access from mobile phones or PDAs

Worldwide Total 694,260
United States 152,046
China 74,727
Japan 52,100
Germany 31,813
United Kingdom 30,190
South Korea 24,645
France 23,884
Canada 18,996
Italy 16,834
India 16,713
Brazil 13,186
Spain 12,452
Netherlands 10,969
Russia 10,833
Australia 9,735

North America (170M) has a small lead over Asia (160M), with Europe (130M) a close third. What will these figures look like in five years with China and India continuing their growth?

Who controls / protects the digital me?

Identity is one of the web’s next big problem, so the Identity Mash-up conference should be a very interesting place to be on June 19 and 20.

The goal of the conference is to explore the role of identity systems in furthering or inhibiting privacy, civil liberties and new forms of civic participation and commerce.

We touched on these issues at LIFT, with Marc Besson talking about securing identities, and Bruno Giussani explaining that we enter an era where you can’t control your identity anymore (video here).

Via David Galipeau)

Less control, more credibility

David Weinberger interviews Richard Edelman, head of the world’s largest PR agency.

This discussion exposes the fundamental shift happening in marketing, with consumers getting more educated and developing a thick skin to mass marketing, i.e. taking the power back. We’re entering the consumactor era, permission based marketing will be the way to go for the next decades, and that forces a total change in attitude you can already feel in Edelman’s answers. Like when asked “what’s different about Edelman?”, he answers that they “try to be a good example” and “don’t always succeed”.

Wow! Marketers are human beings again, they are forced to be good guys, don’t always succeed, can’t have you to buy whatever they want, and even acknowledge they have to give up control on a message to make it credible. What a shift from just a few years ago, when one lousy Pringles ad could be used to sell greasy potato slices to the whole planet.

Q: Does the offer to provide product without strings scare companies?

A: Yes. Tech companies are scared the least. Heavy industry is worried the most. The mentality of corporations is the control of the message. We’re saying that if you want to be credible, you can’t control the message. E.g., GM Tahoe ads.

Q: If your product doesn’t suck, why do companies worry? It’s like 7th graders on the playground.

A: Marketers want to know they’re getting a certain audience at a certain frequency. The ad agencies have impressed on them for 30 years that you go from impressions to action. We — all of this in the room — deconstructing that model. You can’t have a topdown conversation where you buy a certain number of impressions. We’re saying it’s a horizontal conversation, peer to peer.

What will PR look like in five years by the way?

PR involved earlier on in the product life cycle: We’ll be a means by which a company can reach out to bloggers to affect prod development. Deconstructed press release. A more robust role in the corporate suite. I don’t see PR as being disintermediated. David Weinberger thinks PR gets in the way; no one wants to talk to the PR person. I think we should want the flak. We are indeed agents in that we represent our clients. I don’t see that PR has to be a negative connotation, which it currently has. We have to be about truth, listening, learning, and telling the corporation stuff it doesn’t want to hear. Five years from now, I hope PR people have the balls to say what they know. We need to give clients good advice. (We have thirty people blogging at Edelman. You learn by falling on your face.)



Hugh Macleod is here in Geneva for a few days to help us brainstorm on the coComment roadmap. We’ve just had a great fondue together, discussing in no particular order the death of branding (“markets are about what people do. Branding is about what people feel”), how Skype is crap, and that the future of web 2.0 is very likely in that small device 95% of us have in their pockets: mobile phones!

Hugh also caught the Nseries virus, shooting everything that comes in sight with his brand new phone.

True web 2.0

I am stuck in the Geneva airport, two hours – and counting – of wait thanks to Darwin Airlines and a plane that won’t take off to Lugano. The “more information soon” announcement we just got makes me fear the worst). Anyway every situation has a positive side and I finally had time to catch up with some RSS feeds.

Here is an interesting speech Tim O’Reilly gave to UC Berkeley, where he explains the roots of web 2.0, a term he coined:

A true Web 2.0 application is one that gets better the more people use it. Google gets smarter every time someone makes a link on the web. Google gets smarter every time someone makes a search. It gets smarter every time someone clicks on an ad. And it immediately acts on that information to improve the experience for everyone else.

It’s for this reason that I argue that the real heart of Web 2.0 is harnessing collective intelligence.

Good point, leveraging collective intelligence is the key to success these days. Now web 2.0 comes with a few issues:

First, privacy. Collective intelligence requires the storage of enormous amounts of data. And while this data can be used to deliver innovative applications, it can also be used to invade our privacy. The recent news disclosures about phone records being turned over to the NSA is one example. […]

Second, concentration of power. While it’s easy to see the user empowerment and democratization implicit in web 2.0, it’s also easy to overlook the enormous power that is being accrued by those who’ve successfully become the repository for our collective intelligence. Who owns that data? Is it ours, or does it belong to the vendor? […]

Third, greed. Web 2.0 has ignited a new feeding frenzy among venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. It’s perhaps too early to call it a bubble, but once again, enormous fortunes are being created by people with little more than a bright idea and an instinct for how to harness the power of new technology.

Full speech here (thx Marco)

Cup of tea

Victor Cerutti – lecteur de ce blog que j’ai eu le plaisir de rencontrer à Innovate Europe – m’a fait réaliser qu’il n’était pas très clair que ce blog existait également en version anglaise.

Comme j’ai tendance à poster en fonction de la langue du lien que je commente, et que je lis plus de choses anglophones, la version anglaise est en l’occurrence bien plus fournie et régulièrement mise à jour.

A visiter ici (RSS)!