‘Father of Internet’ Delivers Speech on Social Media; Audience Has No Clue What He is Saying, but Nonetheless Duly Impressed
ZDNet UK has posted a video of Tim Berners-Lee discussing The Future of the Internet. Whoo-hah! I watched it in trepid anticipation. What would the "(grand)father of the Internet" have to say in response to the Facebook craze? Would he perhaps comment on the advertising model and controversy around it? Or the predictions of a Social Media 2.0 collapse? (See what The Atlantic had to say about this – 6 months ago.)
Oh, no. He decided instead to focus on something far more interesting: the broadening of the system. The creation of a unified social network. "Where will we be in 5 years?" asked the moderator. And Tim delivered a speech that would truly send Martin Short packing.
Actually, is anyone else disturbed by the similarities between these two seemingly unrelated people? Think about it. They both talk incredibly fast, to the point where you do not know whether to laugh, cry, or throw a tomato. Both have cult followings – perhaps encouraged by their knowing, devilish grins. And finally, they both cater to kids. Awww.
Let’s get a little snappier. Cory Doctorow lashes out lashes out at the fake ‘walled gardens’ of social networks.
Facebook is no paragon of virtue. It bears the hallmarks of the kind of
pump-and-dump service that sees us as sticky, monetizable eyeballs in
need of pimping. What a quote! I couldn’t write it better myself.
And about the ad platform: "Even if you’re the kind of person who likes the sound of a benevolent dictatorship this clearly isn’t one." Ahh, but here’s the best remark, about the wrong people checking out your profile, which was also a concern that Tim also voiced in his (practically indecipherable) speech.
I’m inclined to think that these systems are subject to a Brook’s-law parallel: "Adding more users to a social network increases the probability that it will put you in an awkward social circumstance. Like the guy who missed work for a "family emergency" i.e. a huge Halloween party — and got busted by his boss when he posted photos from it on his Facebook profile.
So, we should be talking of "will they see, will they not" instead of "will they sell, will they not." –though, the UK has been buzzing with news of a possible LinkedIn takeover. We’d only sell for a "helluva lot," I guess they said. Why am I not surprised.