Showing posts from July, 2015

Internet Frankenstein – Digital Prometheus

Frankenstein is still with us. It is the Internet. A creature assembled from bits and pieces of hundreds of other things – some alive, some dead, some beautiful, some criminal, some incomprehensible  – all stitched together and “scientifically” endowed with life. The result for Mary Shelley, as it is for us, is an over-sized, somewhat dangerous, hideous yet beautiful creature.

And with the monster loose, the town’s people are panicking. The politicians, listening to the loudest and least informed town folk, demand that the monster be destroyed. People hate it, people fear it. Pitchforks are sharpened, torches are lit  - the monster must be controlled or destroyed, the Internet must be legislated into mediocrity.  

The monster, for its part, is largely misunderstood. Nothing like it has ever lived before. It is viewed with awe and suspicion. It is always in danger. It is always striving to find its true nature.

Just as the monster from the book forces us to examine our humanity, so th…

Aging is Inevitable, Maturing is Optional.

Mid July 2015  - Twitter and Reddit separately  announced major changes which signal an almost unavoidable maturing. It happens to all of us. We get a job, get a car, get an apartment, get a houseplant, get a goldfish, get a dog/cat and figure we can handle a house and a family. Each step in that process comes with additional burdens. Turns out the Internet industry is not so different. Marketing gurus will tell you it is all product cycle related, but anyone who has been in the online business long enough will tell you it is more than that.
Historically, platforms start with a product idealistic, free-speech, community-will-self-regulate and morality-will-win-out approach.  In time community, legal, moral or stockholder forces become significant and Internet companies discover the need to take a direct role in the safety of their users and the nature of the online environment they create.
This cycle has been repeated by every successful Internet platform. It is not a conspiracy. I…

Hitting Big Targets