The Web Runs on Love, Not Greed

Owen Byrne owen@permafrost.net
Fri, 4 Jan 2002 21:47:04 -0400


> the carringtons -- from dynasty? -- if yes, this was a soap opera, not a
> miniseries. i was thinking more of roots, which was really an excellent
> series. but i was naming different types of tv business models, not saying
> anything about their quality. mtv and vh1 strike you as something that's
> more useful/entertaining? no? well, it doesn't really matter.what i was
> trying to say was, there are lots of business models still waiting to be
> discovered for the net, and for other -- even well-established -- media as
> well. and for the net, even more.
>  
Miniseries, nightime soaps - all lost in the haze of the eighties. Roots was pretty
good, but wasn't it, ummm, the first?

> > > or make up some new ones. this is a new medium -- or at least, it could
> > > be. guess it isn't possible to say that it is, as only a handful of sites
> > > (still! after 10 years of popularization) actually do stuff online that
> > > isn't a mere shadow of the offline world. and even those have more or less
> > > been ruined. slashdot was one, ebay another, amazon another. all now suck,
> > > but they are among the very, very few that actually did stuff you just
> > > can't do offline. 
> > > 
> > Maybe they suck because its not sustainable to not suck. 
> 
> no, these were among the few that were profitable even before being
> morphed into their current sucky incarnations. 
> 
profitable != sustainable. Required, but not sufficient.

> > You have to emulate the technology you're replacing before people even
> > notice things you do better. 
> 
> i'm not sure what you mean? 
> 
> > And making up new mediums doesn't quite have a cachet that it did a
> > couple of years ago. 
> 
> it's already made up -- we're on it. it's just not reaching its potential.
> not by a long, long shot.
> 
> > Now its looking more like conquering the wild west circa 1880. Yep,
> > there's still gold out there but no world-changing amounts. The rush is
> > over. The gold isn't just lying around. Now you have to mine it - big
> > machines, big labor, big bucks. 
> 
> after gold, land. then movies, computers.. and land again... also tourism. 
> agriculture.  there's lots more to california than the gold rush of 1849 =)
> 

The whole argument here is the initial excitement over gold in California and the
promise of riches brought a lot of people there. And most of them were disappointed.
It was after the excitement died down that the real wealth-building began. 

> > Amazon, e.g., given that the whole use of ink and paper to pass bits
> > around the planet seems rather ludicrous, might see themselves <epic> as
> > the scourge of tree-killers and paperists everywhere and mount a holy
> > campaign that might ultimately strike fear into the hearts of the
> > international tree-killing conspiracy , the smut magnates and
> > propornganda vendors by finally overthrowing the vast tide, the fearful
> > ageless hegemony of books and paperist thought.</epic> but first it
> > actually has to get large enough and profitable enough to _survive_.
> > Even before they take on the tree-killers, they will have to be big to
> > get a segment of the tree-savers market (Adobe and Microsoft would
> > probably want a slice, for starters). 
> 
> not sure what this is about.
> 
Books are bad. Online is good. If I want to convince the billions of people who
disagree with me, and all the businesses that make money off books, I need lots
of money. The best way to do that is to sell lots of books online, hoping for the
day when I can seamlessly remove the actual book from the equation.

> > > > Its like we're building the Borg. Its not the technology, its not the
> > > > human behaviour, its the integration of the technology and the human
> > > > behaviour thats the real challenge. 
> > 
> > > i am not sure what you mean? besides, <geek-mode>the borg are primarily
> > > non-human species</geek-mode>.
> > > 
> > Building a single human consciousness, baby. Isn't that the whole point?
> 
> gads, i hope not.

Its human progress. Once upon a time, we were 3 or 4 families in a village a weeks journey
away from the next village. We built roads. We built cities. We wrote books and built 
mechanisms to direct them around the world and translate them so that every human being 
could theoretically read them. We directed scientific resources towards communication, 
transportation (mostly so we could communicate), and more communication. 
Maybe I'm defining the words "single", and "consciousness" a little loosely. But then I'm 
not sure if I'm spelling the latter word properly.

Embrace the Borg!
Owen