Two Videos From Nalts
Posted by danspira
Here’s a couple of old chestnuts from Kevin Nalty… I thought they’d go well together:
The business side of this cultural revolution we call “Web 2.0″ still needs more imagination and work — and less tackiness.
(I use quotes around “Web 2.0″ because of all the hype, and also because I don’t really see it as a thing unto itself. I think of it more as a set of attributes, or a layer, of the Internet.)
The world is screaming for a serious user-generated-content / social media business model. So far, it’s been mainly about “ads for eyeballs” or “upgrade for features/widgets” and both of those rely on massive scale. I know I’m over-generalizing… there *are* variations and even some real gems out there… but they’re hard to find.
Once in a while you see a user generated content business that creates value which is greater than the sum of its parts (think of Wikipedia, the way individual contributions are pieced together to create a bigger whole… but then again, Wikipedia is a not-for-profit), and it’s that intrinsic value itself — beyond its eyeball scale — which can be monetized. (Paid marketing panels — a decidedly pre-“Web 2.0″ phenomenon — are kind of like that, but fraught with problems of incentive bias, even if they use virtual cash or “points.”) Also, I’m ignoring the “business model” of creating something that’s enough of a threat to established companies so that one of them will pay a lot of money to own it. That’s an outcome, not a model.
At this point, I’ve drifted from “how can they share profits with their user-contributors” to “how can they even cover payroll, bandwidth and other overhead expenses?” (God help them if they have marketing expenses.) I enjoy the “Web 2.0 revolution” in its various manifestations… but mainly as a user, not as an investor. Unlike Web 1.0, in this particular gold-rush it’s difficult even to make a living as a supplier of the proverbial mining equipment and dungarees.
Returning to the big picture: “Web 2.0″ is first and foremost a cultural revolution, a deep change to the communication landscape, which business is still working its way into. It’s possible that parts of the landscape will not be hospitable to business, but will exist out of neccessity anyway. Conversely, there will also be some fertile areas of opportunity… it will just take some more exploration to find them.