Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Social Networks

After Smart Mobs and Flash Mobs comes a possible next generation of social networks. Birds of a feather meet on content of common interest. Without knowing each other in advance, they can meet by chance. Web Mobs do not have to leave their home.

They do not give up their anonymity.

Web Mobs meet on Web pages. This isn't new but maybe there is something here ... like meeting in the hallway ... informal power is becoming a power that needs to be dealt with, understood ...

I have read about organized crime using these features as well as this one. And then there are the avatars like FaceCommunicator. Not new but it will be interesting to see where this goes ...

And I have a hypothesis - Capitalism (read: globalization and the equitable sharing of opportunity) is failing the developing world because the people there are excluded from the formal system of property rights, business organization and identity that the modern economy requires. There is no Rosetta stone here to decipher .. we see this happening.

Only one billion people live in countries with fully functional property rights systems. Of the five billion people outside that "global economy," somewhere around 500 million are elites whose families enjoy property rights and have structured or supported the system to exclude the other 4.5 billion people.

And it's that 4.5 billion people who, with no chance for ever improving their lot, become the audience for extremist messages, whether from Osama bin Laden or the Shining Path.

Think about this: If 4.5 billion people do not have a legal address, title to their home, or the ability to set up a company, how can development spending result in progress?

Clearly, free trade will only serve the interests of those 500 million elites and increase inequality.

Macroeconomic restructuring is meaningless. This is where internet tools are filling the gap.

Hernando de Soto understands this but then again - so did Sheik Ahmed Yassin.


Blogger vag said...

Thank you David for an inspiring presentation in LIFT06 and for this inspriring too post. Are 'web mobs' a concept you came up with or do I have to cacth up with Howard Rheingold's last writtings?

Anyway I promise to follow this blog if you can further elaborate the issue.
By the way you agreed in an interview/e-nterview. Would it be possibe to schedule a day for that?

Salu2 (regards)

Víctor Abellón

8:35 PM, February 15, 2006  
Blogger J David Galipeau said...

Hey Victor - Thx for the kind words ...

Web Mobs originated with Rheingold but I don't thenk that even he forsaw what is happening lately. It's always a double edge sword - as one looks for the ways to introduce technology into a society that benefits (in a utilitarian way) that society, there are always others that will look at ways to disrupt society - in the current case of the world (cartoons, prison pictures, kidnappings, etc) good and evil are relative. i don't agree with whats going on BUT others are fully within their rights to use the same tools to 'mob' and express their anger.

9:31 AM, February 16, 2006  

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