You’ll soon learn why I’m posting shorter, but more frequent posts…In the mean time, I wanted to share with you something I’ve been thinking quite a bit about these days.
Think about the generation or two before us. A significant portion of free time was spent consuming media. From print to broadcast, everyday people simply digested information and content presented to them. But then, everything changed. We were gifted with the ability to share what we think, feel, and experience, on demand. The democratization of information was finally upon us and we the people would ensure that our voices would be heard and felt. This was our time, quite literally as Time Magazine named “us” as the person of the year.
You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world…
There was and is something missing however. It takes a dedicated investment and orchestrated movement to control the information age. Without it, we’re contributing to social distortion, a regime governed by information overload that threatens social anarchy. Just because we have the ability to say something, doesn’t mean it matters to our greater society, nor does it resonate. Even in the face of this new democracy of social media, the majority of “the social” are merely consuming content – 68% of all socialites according to Forrester simply listen, never saying or producing anything.
And while it’s not the same as generations before us, I wonder if we’re moving towards an era of consumption again, just under a new facade.
In all honesty, the long form of content creation is under constant scrutiny and its value is continually questioned. Blogs are seemingly losing favor to the statusphere in the rise of a Web that promotes curation and micro-sized content without true context. Minimalist self-expression masquerades as a new information economy and I think we have yet to show what we’re capable of contributing or truly changing.
You might disagree with me, but shortly after the iPad was released, I sold it. Why? Well, it wasn’t because I didn’t love it. I found myself thoroughly enjoying the ability to consume content in a very interactive manner that fooled me into thinking I was creating even though I was simply curating and sharing. To counter the sensation, I purchased a keyboard and a stand. They had me believing, but then I did the math. There’s more money in consumption tan creation. And, that’s when I realized I was simply trying to justify it as a tool for consumption AND creation. Truth is that it’s a beautiful tool for content consumption and curation. But, I challenge you to create at least equal to you what you consume…or at least more than you do today.
Who are you?
What about you that some adore that we all need to experience?
I believe in order for the social economy to thrive, it must balance creation and consumption.
Additionally, we must invest in the social economy by demonstrating literacy and our ability to take what we learn and share our insights with those populating our coveted digital societies.
In the process we’ll find that the balance is refined to the delicate, yet invaluable ecology of learning and teaching.
Google’s accusation today that Microsoft’s Bing is copying its search results feels like a telling moment in the long-running Search Wars.
When I caught up just now with Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search quality, he didn’t mince his words: “It’s crazy. I haven’t seen anything like this in ten years in search.” For Microsoft, it raises an uncomfortable question: after years of work and hundreds of millions of dollars, is it still unable to match Google without hanging onto its coattails?
The evidence of plagiarism that Google has unearthed looks pretty damning.
Cutts showed me screen shots of searches for nonsense terms on Google, for which Google had planted dummy results – and then shots of similar searches on Bing two to three weeks later, which showed the same dummy results being returned.
Microsoft captures information about how users are behaving on Google through the IE8 browser and toolbar, according to Cutts: users who have accepted the default settings on the toolbar, or have said they want Microsoft to show them “suggested sites” on IE8, are in effect opening up all their clicks to Bing.
For Microsoft, the timing is particularly unfortunate. It has sponsored an event in San Francisco today to address the future of search – but now finds itself dragged into a slanging match.
Harry Shum, Microsoft’s vice president in charge of search products, has just been on stage and tried to play down Google’s “gotcha” tests as “a few outlier examples”. He did not deny that Microsoft captures data about clicks on Google – but he put a very different spin on things.
“It’s not like we actually copy anything – we are learning from the data that customers share with us,” he said. “Users use search engines. They are willing to share the data – with us, for example. We collectively use the data to improve the share experience.”
He also argued that the search engine click data belongs to users to do with as they want – and if they want to share it with another search engine, why not?
When I asked Cutts earlier whether the Bing behaviour might raise any copyright issues, he ducked that question. But he was adamant that Microsoft’s behaviour over-stepped the mark: “I’m not sure that users realise that when they search on Google, those clicks appear to be encrypted and sent to Microsoft.”
Source – Financial Times