13 July 2012

New Media Connections

Is there an advantage to having a seamless internet, with its ebb and flow, like a sea ? This is connections existing for the possibilities that connections may bring, or not. The internet is not content predefined, it is an architecture that enables connectivity. Up till quite recently what defined the content of that connection, is simply the potential of that connection.

Thus a pure model of internet content, is what can the function of this content enable. The internet has exploded on this potential, however there was a clear distinction in past iterations of development between social space and virtual space, which now is not so clear. This seems to have had limiting effects, but does not seem to have limited the internet in terms of its monetization.

When I noted that the issue for future growth is a freedom issue, I mean this, that the limiting effects we have seen may limit future growth. If the internet is similar to the real world, in terms of limitations, which it inherently is not, it is designed not to be thus, then why have it except as an accessory, instead of a vast limitless engine of growth and freedom, continuing into the future.

It seems that the Internet does remarkably enable potential, with a time lag (which is why it can be described as a cornucopia). Internet commerce as the promise of the tech boom, is surely being realized. Seamless communication, the promise of connective websites, seems to be in realization presently.

But as always the fact the world outside of the internet is not connected except in concepts such as communities and states, collides with this connective architecture. However this was not a problem with internet commerce.

What seemed to happen with commerce is that it made part of the process of buying and selling more efficient (i.e. comparing products, finding the best one, finding the best price, all within your virtual space highly referenced to your personal space from experience of doing this in real life, among other factors).

But what increases efficiency in connections. The problem is that increasing efficiency may not be deemed desirable, in fact it can be seen as a possible roadblock that gets worked around for connective websites.

A possible development may be a change feeding back to the real world enabling increased efficiency in connective websites. That may come from commerce, but it may come from other expectations of freedom as well, and support for it.

One can view the battles of this year as this process. Once people have connection, they seems to want it, to the extent they will defend it strongly. One work around of the realities of this world is that it has become one way, an expression of views that may or may not be seen, with the limits of that undefined yet safe, assuming that the expression itself remains and is protected speech.

But that is speech, which is different from that complex social space interaction, even though there are graph like convergences.

How do commercial elements of these websites mesh with this process, because commerce can be the great defender and enabler, as it was for that wave of internet commerce websites and lately for those rising powers of connective websites, which seem to have a large rapid monetization.

There is a kind of engineering back to that potential in connective websites, yet that does not necessarily seem to happen. But there is that tantalizing power of the social.

Just being connected with a brand, seems to create something new, a feeling like those who are actually part of it. That is the bringing back, it is a quasi-social experience but may become collapsible and unstable as it is partly a construct from a virtual world (a feature as well of interactions where social and personal space are distinct).

But perhaps in a more stable form it is a realization of the promise of advertising, to make the brand personal and with you. So we are not mass consumers, but individual consumers, which is perhaps something of a shock of the new.

But if this is the case, it is up to those involved, to ride that social wave, in the right way (and could we see an important role for social media managers, to dynamically stabilize, perhaps). But doing that may be a function of that seamless connectivity, not a function of the divided reality of the world.

The internet unites, in that it makes things close to you and it brings them into your personal space. So there is something more, something native to the internet.

That is perhaps the experience of connective websites, dealing with this and realizing its potential. And we could see a stabilizing role for brands in this, something to hold onto as you ride the wave, which is not necessarily a smooth ride.

What happens if the real world segregates this content, will the wave find a way. That is an interesting question and as suggested it may come back to commerce. That is, the progress of  monetization of these websites protects the potential of the connectivity.

So the issue may be the interaction of that personal space with a personal space of a different kind defined by traditional media venturing into new media. That personal space of the media already exists, it is perhaps part of the experience of reading, or viewing. But this is that personal space of the company itself coming into your personal space.

That may cause friction, but can it cause liquidity, for the reason that stability brands can provide in social network interaction. Companies themselves are stabilized structures. The very point is to get away from the core reality of real time trading, to get perspective, to get conditions for growth.  The real time trading is always there, but the company tries to enable its longevity and its capacity to be liquid, which may be related.

However the virtual personal space and real world personal space can be quite different, and there is instability in that difference (with the caveat of possible convergence noted above). It may be a matter of whether one has that comfort level one desires in the real world or not.

But if one does not, there is a potential consumer with aspirations. Indeed it is a great question whether one really finds that comfort level and the extent to which the internet is a search itself for that, taken to new places.

One might say that living with the brand, in a semi-virtual way, may satisfy some of those desires, but it may as well help create a stronger sense of a rational basis for those desires, if done correctly. That is a challenge and an opportunity for commerce and the individual in a virtual space, already partly explored as noted above.

That changes advertising, and indeed that may have already happened, with the rise of internet advertising which has potential for that rational enhancement. That may be the enhancement, that networks allow for increased rational reflection on potential, through increased efficiency on connectivity, in ever enhancing virtual spaces.

So a more seamless internet may enhance commerce, by bringing the social into commerce. This is a motivation for connectivity, and indeed it may be that presently connective websites may be directed towards this end, because social connectivity may be inherently limited. Of course commerce runs into limitations, but they are of a different kind.

However it might be expected that such developments will continue and limitation may change. One can develop into a future, and indeed that may be a fact of life for internet creations but their power as well, and a differentiation from e-commerce. It does seem that so far roadblocks have been overcome, but this may be because of the speed at which the internet develops and the speed at which society reacts.

That is, some roadblocks are put up after the event, some already there. While there are constants in internet development, which are susceptible to roadblocking, as noted the dynamism which is partly the source of the speed of internet development, namely its users, can react as well.

It not so much that the internet need need be seamless, but to realize its potential, it may need to be, and may indeed inevitably be so, with potentially consequences for society. Each reduction in that seamlessness, by compartmentalizing the internet to locality, may impact its very source of potential monetization, by constraining those connections that its architecture has always allowed.

That is the source of the content similarity noted in this blog, the internet in 1992 had such separation of content from its creators that it was highly non-localized. Content has increased and a lot of it is more localized, yet that detachment remains. It seems to resist localization.

One could view the internet as a platform for creative development, simply because it is not tied down by regulation, it has an inherent sense of boundless possibility. That is a way ahead, increasing the efficiency of the internet as such a platform, or perhaps more realistically, not hampering this.

It is that one way yet enhanced expression but highly connected and open, delicate and powerful. Like many expressions of activity, from small business, to science and art, developments just happens and their effects can be astonishing.

What is new, is that there has developed quickly, a series of interrelated digital platforms for this development and its expression. The real issue is perhaps that these platforms do not shrink in terms of their capacity to provide for development by the people.

In the great expansion of the West, the ground did not shrink, it was only much later that issues of resource limitations emerged. But what exactly and expanding set of platforms is, remains an intriguing development in and of itself. However there is something almost limitless in a conception of digital development, especially as monetization and content here seem to go well together.

© 2012 Guy Barry - All Rights Reserved.