"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Do Unto / "Cognitive Surplus", "The New Capitalist Manifesto" and "Cloud Atlas"

I took a bunch of books with me on vacation — facilitated while traveling light thanks to the Kindle (that's my one and only plug; I'm aware opinions are mixed) — and over the past three weeks I managed to get through five volumes. Today I'm going to write a little about the two non-fiction works, Clay Shirky's Cognitive Surplus), Umair Haque's New Capitalist Manifesto and David Mitchell's novelly-structured novel, Cloud Atlas.

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Competition For The Rebel Unicorn

Tresler points me to Joi Ito talking about Six Apart's new joint, Vox. It's a good name for a good product, and a nice logical next step between typepad and livejournal (which they bought).

But I like the name "Rebel Unicorn" better.

Basically my take is that the future is not in having some magic technology that lets you run a huge site that everyone uses. That's why the myspace and youtube buys don't seem like good moves to me: the functionality can and will be replicated 100 times over, so all you're buying is the community. Google may have a chance at holding that, but Fox is almost guaranteed to fuck it up over the next five years.

Not that myspace will evaporate, but it will cease to be the phenomena that it is, and just become a national "scene" site for emo kids. You might as well have bought makeoutclub.com, Rupert.

Where the future is at is in running a more modest site (or if you're not modest, a site that lets people run sites) which actually serves a real community, but which can interoperate. The future is in enabling a network of social websites, not in running some kind of monolith.

I'll write about this and how it wiil happen on my work blog soon.

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