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The New Wisdom of the Web 167

theodp writes "In a cover story, Newsweek takes a look at the new wave of start-ups cashing in on the next stage of the Internet by Putting The 'We' in Web. Sites built on user-generated content like YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, Digg and Facebook have all taken a page from Tom Sawyer's playbook, engaging the community to do their work, prompting Google CEO Eric Schmidt to suggest he finds MySpace more interesting than Microsoft."
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The New Wisdom of the Web

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  • by Susceptor ( 559115 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @11:59AM (#14998081) Journal
    The internet was built by users, it only makers sense that as the tools to create content become easier to use more and more ordinary people are likely to create their own content. for all their creativity, large companies cannot create anything other than a standardized product, individuals on the other hand create content that companies would never even think of making.
  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @12:04PM (#14998100) Homepage Journal
    Your sat on a site with user generated content and asking yourself if its worth it?

    Of course its worth it - Spending time in a community of like minded people is always worth it.

    You have made 38 comments here (relative newbie), theres people with thousands of postings and reading loads of stories (myself included) and spending time here because this feels better than sitting bored watching tv - its interactive.

  • by ndogg ( 158021 ) <> on Sunday March 26, 2006 @12:12PM (#14998133) Homepage Journal
    If one throws a million darts at a dartboard, it's highly unlikely that none of them will hit the bullseye.
  • by _eb0la_reston_ ( 930919 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @12:17PM (#14998154) Homepage
    I see no *revolution* on YouTube, Flickr, blogging, etc.. You could post, and share photos and/or videos on the Internet back in 1994.

    IMHO - The "difference" between now and 1994 are just Demographics and Usability:
    * Nowadays, we have much more people online than in 1994, 1998, or 2001.
    * Back in 1994 you had to be a computer whiz to post photos/videos, etc... most "business" built then assumed their users had some kind of "computer skills" normal people usually lack of.

    *IF* you lower your product entry barrier (making it easy to use), WHILE there's more and more audience available, you're business will likely succeed ;-)
  • by expro ( 597113 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @12:18PM (#14998156)
    Do not confuse leveraged market share with any real contribution they are making to peoples' experience.
  • by Caltheos ( 573406 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @12:32PM (#14998214)
    When will people understand, its not how technically cool something is that makes it cool. Its how interesting and useful it is to the mass community. They are the ones that drive technology by using and buying it.
  • by same_old_story ( 833424 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @01:20PM (#14998378)
    Yes. And I see no revolution on this *web* thing you people've been doing.

    You could communicate with people far away instantly (hello telephone).
    You could write or receive written content from fiends / work for a long time (letters are pretty old stuff).

    The only "difference" between those and 1930 is just Usability / Demographics / Price.

    Demographics and Usability are EVERYTHING (specially since they are key factor to price )
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @01:57PM (#14998515) Homepage
    Remember when Internet dating was cool? Now it's a bottom-feeder thing. That may well happen to blithering your life story out on Myspace. Craiglist is already collapsing under the weight of spam.

    The "hey, if we give it away, we'll get eyeballs and mind share" concept is very 1999. There's only so much advertising revenue possible, since sellers have finite advertising budgets which are some fraction of their sales. An increase in one area means a decrease somewhere else. Or, more likely, lower advertising prices. Look what happened to banner ad pricing. And now Microsoft wants in. The only thing that makes this work is if the users are doing all the work and the infrastructure is cheap to run.

    The eBay model and the Yahoo Store model work, because they're involved in the transaction and do some of the work of making it happen, in exchange for a cut. They have a real revenue model.

  • by Evro ( 18923 ) <> on Sunday March 26, 2006 @02:05PM (#14998548) Homepage Journal
    I don't think quality matters in this "new" Web. MySpace is a terrible site: the design is terrible, the interface is terrible, and the user-supplied content is horrible. Go to 20 random users' MySpace profiles and probably 15+ of them will burn your eyes. Despite these obvious shortcomings, my 14-year-old niece can't live without having 24/7 access to the site and the ability to see what drivel and stupid pics her friends have posted today. The point being that these sites are popular because of the community of users who use them, not because they provide "quality" content.
  • myspace ?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ravee ( 201020 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @02:07PM (#14998557) Homepage Journal
    I wonder why they didn't find any other blog to give as an example. the blogs on myspace are the most cluttered and ugly ones I have ever seen. I can think of a lot of other more interesting ones like and just to name a few.

    Flickr and digg are good examples. What about ? This is also driven entirely by the readers albeit with some strict moderation in accepting stories.
  • Remember when Internet dating was cool? Now it's a bottom-feeder thing.

    You might have that mixed up. 5 + years ago, internet dating was totally uncool, now it's a fast growing multi-billion dollar industry and a logical avenue for meeting people (because lo and behold, it works) , and thusly socially acceptable.

    Internet dating has never and will never be cool however, just like find a job or doing your income taxes has and will never be "cool". It's a facet of mortal existance, just done in a different way.
  • by corblix ( 856231 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @10:09PM (#15000196)
    "If one throws a million darts at a dartboard, it's highly unlikely that none of them will hit the bullseye."

    But can you tell where the bullseye is, by looking at the distribution of darts?

    Actually, I think you probably can.

  • by hpcanswers ( 960441 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @06:23AM (#15001551)

    User-generated content has existed for years on EBay, Amazon, and even Slashdot. All of these sites understood that they could simply aggregate data and then distribute it. Ok, it's actually not that simple, especially for the larger sites, given the amount of logistics involved to coordinate it all. But it's been around far longer than MySpace or YouTube.

    One of the dangers with this model, as others have pointed out, is the fallacy of collective intelligence, that we can some how vote on facts. Had Wikipedia been around in the Middle Ages, the entries on astronomy would have presented a geocentric view of the universe. There is much less quality control on these sites than in traditional media. While the editors of Slashdot do a better of managing content than say, the Internet as a whole, this webpage is not the Wall Street Journal. It's a good starting point, but definitely not the last word.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"