As I posted earlier, I am going to be posting my book outline in parts to my blog to get feedback and Ideas – please feel free to chime in!

Except from “Revolution of Me” – A book outline by Chris Saad

MAKING COMPARISONS

In this section I will write in the voice of Media 2.0 participant. Why? Because we are all Media 2.0 Participants.  I will compare and contrast the practices of old media against the expectations and demands of the participant.

OBSERVERS VS. PARTICIPANTS

Observers sit on their couch and surf channels. Participants surf the web. Observers are sampled by Neilson boxes. Participants can be carefully monitored – each and every one. They click to watch and click away just as quickly as soon as they lose interest. The act of clicking, while seemingly small, is profound. It reveals what Neilson boxes only hint at. It’s a gesture of Attention – or of being ignored.

Professional content producers think about media production in terms of creating and distributing content – usually at great cost and with high production values. We need to broaden our definition of production. Production and participation can now take the form amateur journalism (blogging), amateur radio (podcasting) and amateur video (video podcasting).

Uncomfortable? It doesn’t stop there. The definition of production is broader still. Commenting on a piece of content is an act of content creation. So is voting. So is clicking. So is browsing the web.

By an act of clicking, or linking, or sharing, participants are co-creating their media experiences. They are changing the face of their own personal front pages.

PASSIVE VS. ACTIVE

In more traditional media, broadcasters told us when to watch, and what to watch. They selected the programming and scheduled it on their own timetable. Online, we decide the schedule. We decide the format and the presentation.

We don’t want to watch it on your website; we want to watch it on ours. We don’t want to navigate your menu, we want to link to it directly. We don’t want to check back for updates, we want the content to come to us. We don’t want to use your rating system; we want to invent our own. We don’t want to listen to what we’re told; we want to tell you what we thought.

MONOLOGUE VS. DIALOGUE

Advertising was fun, for you, for a while. You made us sit there for 5 minutes at a time watching people jam messages down our throat. Most of them didn’t even apply to us. We don’t care about that sale or those shoes. We care about our own personal and individual interests. Interests that are both specific and diverse.

If you have a message to tell us, make it compelling. If you have something to say, make it worth listening to. If you have something to sell, make it worth buying. If you have something worth knowing, we will hear about it without you yelling about it. We have friends, social networks, personal profiles and search engines which will tell us what we need to know when we need to know it – our schedule – not yours.

If you want to reach us, come and find us. Talk to us, have a conversation with us. Ask us questions. Listen to our answers. Act on our answers. Empower us to share your message. Because the only person who can share your message, is us.

MAINSTREAM VS. THE LONG TAIL

Are you an editor? Do you have final say on what appears on your broadcast, on your site, in your magazine? Does your publication deal with broad categories of things? Is it for the mainstream – the masses, the lowest common denominator? You lose.

We are sick of hearing a little about everything and not really knowing anything. You constantly miss-represent or gloss over the real facts. We don’t trust you anymore. We are not the mainstream, we are individuals. We want to know things – real things – not just the things you think are worth sharing.

They call us ‘The Long Tail’. Don’t know what that is? Read the book by the same name. In short, The Long Tail is the opposite of everything the mainstream is. Amazon, eBay, Google, YouTube and many others have made a fortune by understanding how the tail works.

If you want to tell us about cars, we want to know about engines. If you want to tell us about engines, we want to know about pistons. If you want to tell us about pistons, we want to know about rivets.

Get specific or get out. Get intimate or go away.

YOUTUBE GENERATION

The YouTube generation is all this and more. YouTube caught lightening in a bottle because it allowed the audience to become the publishers. It allowed the viewers to become the editors of the front page. It allowed us to watch what we wanted when we wanted. A click was the most powerful thing around.

But YouTube is still only part of the way there. They still trap our personal profiles and content in their own data warehouses – their silos. Next up – even more user control. Control of our identities, our own profiles, our own content and our own value.

Read more on the wiki

Comments, ideas and contributions welcome!

As I posted earlier, I am going to be posting my book outline in parts to my blog to get feedback and Ideas – please feel free to chime in!

Except from “Revolution of Me” – A book outline by Chris Saad

THE AUDIENCE HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

There is no more audience. There are no more users. There are only participants. Participants in a human scale network.

Participants do not passively consume what an author, creator, director, developer, editor, critic or media outlet has to publish. They do not accept the authority. They do not sit silently ready to have their eyeballs converted into cash.

Participants participate. They create their own original information, entertainment and art. They remix their own version of mainstream pop culture – copyrighted or not. They post their thoughts, publish their fears and fact check every announcement faster than any newsroom. They share with their friends to discover the quirky and interesting, making it an instant blockbuster – at least for 15 minutes.

Participants have ideas to be declared. Individually they are a market of one. Collectively they are a trend, a publishing powerhouse and a voice to be heard. A voice that has something to say.

Participants have changed the way media is published and interactions are monetized. But more broadly and importantly than that, they have changed the flow of global information from top down to bottom up. They are changing the tone and tempo of the conversation.

Elvis? Who is he? The audience who has left the building. The only people left are fellow participants. We are all authors, creators, directors, developers, editors, critics and media outlets. We are a million voices saying one thing – listen to me.

Read more on the wiki

Comments, ideas and contributions welcome!

Open Web Foundation

July 23, 2008

Tomorrow, David Recordon will announce the Open Data Foundation at OSCON Open Web Foundation at OSCON.

As a co-founder of the DataPortability project, I’d like to be the first to welcome the Open Web Foundation to the conversation that was crystallized by the project early this year.

It seems like the foundation is well placed to provide a much needed level of oversight and legal protection for fledgling open standards. These standards will ultimately contribute to the ‘data portability’ vision of an inter-operable, standards-based web of data. In our investigations of the various standards, this has been a key concern for us and we feel encouraged people are stepping up to remove this potential roadblock. there is enormous value in getting more people involved in working towards a vision we all share, and for that reason I am genuinely excited by this development.

Two points to note however. I have always had concerns about using the term ‘Open’ when describing data – it sometimes invokes fears of a lack of privacy. Also, exclusive councils are somewhat of a dichotomy which don’t seem to be in keeping in dealing with ‘open’ technologies. Both these concerns, however, should not overshadow the value of a group of people working towards a vision we all share. For example I’d hope that the group is open to standards not developed by the founding individuals and companies.

We believe that governance is at the center of making these kinds of initiatives truly open and aligned with our shared visions of an open web. As such the DataPortability Project has ratified a radical new governance model that allows maximum participation while maintaining agility and accountability. This consolidates months of experience in managing a large, high-profile community, to go beyond a “benelovent dictatorship” or smoke filled rooms towards total transparency and community participation.

I have personally received a number of requests from other groups to learn from our model. With this in mind, I think there would be value in abstracting our governance model and providing it as a sort of ‘open source’ implementation of Roberts Rules for distributed, asynchronous groups that other global and transparent projects could use and contribute to.

Further, as per our governance framework, we have introduce a deliverable focused “Taskforce” model, whereby anyone in the community can create a Taskforce that fits with the goals of the DataPortability project to promote data portability in the community. Some Taskforces can be made official by the Steering group and will, as such, become responsible for official deliverables of the DataPortability Project.

So far a ‘Vision’ Taskforce has been created to describe our definition of ‘Data Portability’. Also a ‘Status Grid’ Taskforce to develop and maintain a grid of vendor compliance with various open philosophies. This was inspired by Marc Canter at the Data Sharing Summit and will be lead by Daniela Barbosa. We expect a number of new Taskforces to spring up with the common goal of promoting data portability throughout the technical and mainstream communities.

It’s exciting times for the web. We are watching the dawn of the data web emerge before our eyes, which is finally bringing together multiple efforts under simple memes to capture the attention of the mainstream. It will have as profound an impact on the world as the document web and social web before it.

I look forward to continuing the journey with all of you.

As I posted earlier, I am going to be posting my book outline in parts to my blog to get feedback and Ideas – please feel free to chime in!

Except from “Revolution of Me” – A book outline by Chris Saad

OVERVIEW

In recent years The revolution of Me has increased in tone and tempo as new technologies help us to better visualize and broaden our human scale network. Technology is actually a key driver of disintegration.

Technology allows us to find and communicate with more people at once. It helps us to reduce the cost of distribution to, in some cases, zero. It helps us bypass mediators and magnify the once insignificant to make it (seem?) profound. It helps us to visualize broad patterns and it can also cause us to lose ourselves in the noise.

In effect, technology has changed our perception of things while also giving us the power to far exceed our grasp. With this new found power, we find new economies of scale that diminish the need for our containers and enable greater personalization.

Continuing with the examples of Marriage and Music; We now have access to more potential mates, more potential temptations, more potential opportunities for travel, more work pressures and more distractions than ever before. Our exposure to more content and greater voyeuristic insight into other people’s lives has demystified our social structures to the point where people feel overwhelmed with choices for a partner, more distracted by travel, work and entertainment and more aware of how taboos and social conventions don’t always apply.

In addition to these the social changes, technology simply allows us to be in close contact from greater distances. The idea that people had to live in the same home in order to nurture and connect to each other is losing value for many. The result is an almost global selection pool.

Music has been affected by technology in other ways. It is now economically feasible to distribute music at almost no cost. The cost of a single download pales in comparison to shelf space in a record store, packaging, shipping and materials. Music production has also decreased in cost dramatically to the point where anyone with a computer can make a song. With the barrier to entry, production and distribution reduced to next to nothing record labels are being forced to compete in other ways.

Shipping individual songs electronically now costs the same as shipping the whole album. With access to more customers, artists and record companies are forced to cater more to individual tastes of audiences who now except to pay only for what they love. And there is no shortage of music to choose from.

So as we see in these two very different examples, technology has had a profound effect in creating a personalization revolution.

It is important to note that, in this text, I do not propose to pass judgment on the trends, only highlight them. For some, the breakdown of the family container of Marriage may be horrifying. There may be plenty of psychological, spiritual or economic reasons why this trend is not constructive for society. Or maybe not. This does not change the reality that the trend is indeed occurring.

What follows is a more detailed exploration of these two examples, as well as many others in the areas of Media, Business, Politics, Family and War.

Read more on the wiki

Comments, ideas and contributions welcome!

I’ve had a book outline kicking around in my head for more than a year now and I have posted most of it to a wiki page.

I thought I might also publish parts of the outline here from time to time to get feedback in the comments. So here’s the first try.

Except from “Revolution of Me” – A book outline by Chris Saad

INTRODUCTION

Our lives have many containers. Containers group things together so that they can be managed, distributed or understood more easily. Some of these containers are very old. Marriage for example, is a container of individuals who have a common goal for creating a life together. Some containers were created more recently. Albums, for example, are a container for individual songs compiled together for easy marketing and distribution.

These containers, however, are starting to disintegrate into their constituent parts. Marriages, for example, are starting later in life and more frequently ending in divorce. They are very often turning into dynamic combinations of steps and halves. Album sales are giving way to songs sold one at a time on iTunes and played on iPods.

This disintegration takes many forms and touches many aspects of our lives. The effects can be both positive and negative. A common result, however, is an increased emphasis on empowering an individual to make more granular choices as a free agent.

In the case of Marriage, individuals are now less likely to tolerate unhappy circumstances or bad pairings for the good of the family unit. They are choosing themselves – their individual needs – over the container.

In the case of iTunes, individuals are now able to have more personalization when choosing the songs they buy. They don’t have to buy a whole album just to get the 4 songs they really like. In fact, they can fill their iPods with just the songs they love.

In these two examples, we see two ends of a broad spectrum of changes occurring all around us as containers disintegrate and life becomes more personal. I call this disintegration process and the resulting personalization “The Revolution of Me”.

In this text I propose to highlight some examples of disintegration occurring in our social, political and economic containers, and examine how it results in greater personalization. My personal interest is in Technology, so I will tend to focus on anecdotal evidence in my field of interest. It is my hope that others will contribute to the text to fill in the blanks, provide supporting evidence and expand the other sections.

Read more on the wiki

Comments, ideas and contributions welcome!

Are you in Sydney or the Bay Area? If so – come join me, Robert Scoble, Loic Le Meur and our host Ross Dawson at the Future of Media Summit 08. A Cross-continental conference.

Otherwise track #fom08 on the various social networks.