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Links for 2007-08-31

4 replies on “Links for 2007-08-31”

I do like the idea of shared repositories of social data, but what O’Reilly is describing sounds more like expropriation of data – what he says about Google 411 is positively creepy. Which resonates with a line on that ‘social search’ page about “collaborative content harvesting” (if content’s being harvested, can the process possibly be collaborative?) Which in turn brings us to Seth Finkelstein’s comments on Clay’s ‘indigenous’ line – we know what happens to indigenous peoples…
My take on Web 2.0 (not that you were asking) is that there is a lot of very cool stuff going on out there, much of it clearly born under the sign of WELL-esque collective net libertarianism. Which is great. The trouble is, there’s also a strong drive to carve all this up and make money out of it – and that, too, is Web 2.0.

Clearly people are trying to make money with this stuff online, but there’s nothing wrong with making money particularly when the value created for the company is in tune with value created for the individual. Flickr’s a really good example here. It makes money, but no one is angry or pissed off at then. Flickr owns none of the content on its servers but it still is the place that people go to in order to find and explore and enjoy photography.

Actually Flickr provides good examples both of how to make money out of social media and of how not to. They’re providing a service which people are willing to pay for, supplemented by a cut-down service which they provide free as a taster/loss-leader: this is fine. But this treats the content as completely neutral: people could be using Flickr to store black squares or pages of handwritten text or their favourite prime numbers, the basic model would work just as well. What’s more iffy is making money out of the aggregated content itself, as Virgin Mobile effectively did when they mined Flickr for images to use in their advertising. This is what ‘content harvesting’ suggests to me (even collaborative ditto) – and if Flickr themselves were doing this, rather than providing a paid-for service, I think people would be pissed off with them.

Did you see Comics Britannia? What did you think?
Our TV magazine billed the programme as something to do with “British Comedians”. Hmmm.
I’m hoping the non-Beano/Dandy stuff will be covered in the next 2 episodes.

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