The Internet as “idea processor”

I followed the thread about how bad a term “user generated content,” is and I fully agree. It misses the point completely, so completely that it betrays a perspective bug.

The value of writing publicly on the Internet is that you can solve problems quickly, by using a network of people who pool what they know to create something larger. When the Internet works this is why it works. It’s why conferences of VCs and their employees miss the point on technologies like RSS and even new stuff like Amazon S3 (which isn’t actually entirely new, but it’s still cool, very).

Without the Internet to develop RSS, it would have turned into something like CDF or ICE. Never heard of them? Exactly my point. S3 is likely to benefit from the Internet as a development platform because it will require a healthy sharing of ideas to make it work. Whether Amazon realizes this and lets it happen will determine whether S3 is a go or a no-go.

You need a village to raise a child, and you need an Internet to fully develop an idea.

In the 80s I called my outliners “idea processors” to focus on the application over the technology. But even then I was sure that networking was going to amplify the power of these tools. In that way, instead of thinking of “user generated content” think of the Internet as an idea processor, and you’ll be much closer to the power of what’s going on.

12 responses to this post.

  1. [...] Essay: The Internet as “idea processor”.  [...]

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  2. The Internet is a thinking machine. It’s more than the sum of its parts and part of it is magic.

    Reply

  3. I definetly agree that the Interent is the “Idea Processor” and would say that without the Internet, to implement the Idea will be like travelling across the continent without Airways, Waterways….

    Reply

  4. [...] Essay: “You need a village to raise a child, and you need an Internet to fully develop an idea.”  [...]

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  5. [...] Dave Winer: “Instead of thinking of “user generated content” think of the Internet as an idea processor, and you’ll be much closer to the power of what’s going on”. [...]

    Reply

  6. “You need a village to raise a child, and you need an Internet to fully develop an idea.”
    I like this quote.

    Reply

  7. [...] Dave Winer says we should think of the Internet as an "idea processor". The value of writing publicly on the Internet is that you can solve problems quickly, by using a network of people who pool what they know to create something larger. When the Internet works this is why it works. [...]

    Reply

  8. Cluetrain Again, User Generated Content

      Perhaps, it’s time to purchase another round of The Cluetrain Manifesto for a new round of technology executives.   "We are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers – we are human beings".   – The Cluetrain Manifesto,…

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  9. [...] Quick questions for those interesting in thinking -and discussing- about these topics (in the spirit of using the Internet as an idea processor): [...]

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  10. internet as idea processor

    The Internet as Idea Processor [da: scripting.wordpress.com]

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  11. [...] I was reminded of this complex software genealogy recently as I read a page that Winer recently linked to — a detailed chronicle, written in 1988, of how his once-popular outliners (ThinkTank and More) came to be developed. (I found it because Winer linked to it from another page about thinking about the Internet as an idea processor — which is also food for thought.) [...]

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  12. internet as idea processor ? I don’t understand.

    Reply

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