I may have initially missed the point of the internet, but no one could have imagined what would happen after the big bang in 1992 – that a fundamental paradox would develop between the ever-expanding diversity of sites devoted to information and the rapid concentration of sites selling goods.
Those of you familiar with current explanations for the formation of planets in our solar system will realise that the commercial side of the internet exactly mimics the accretion theory, which holds that the planets were formed by the gradual accumulation of material. As these bodies got larger, their gravitational fields pulled in more and more of the icy minnows swarming in the void.
Amazon, Yahoo, Google, eBay and craigslist are those planetary monsters. They formed in what will be seen in the future as the first few seconds after the big bang. They expanded and their influence already extends to neighbouring systems.
The Guardian and its sister paper the Observer have some of the best writing from the mainstream media about the future of… the media.
I was taken with this article by Henry Porter. Tell me this isn’t great writing:
Two things immediately struck me – firstly the quality of the analogy, but secondly the Holtstian procession… Craigslist as a planetary monster in its own right…. by the end of 06 that may not seem such a surprising claim.
And what a pleasure to see the next day’s Guardian offer an interview (lightweight registration required) with Craiglist founder the eponymous Mr Newmark, so we can join the dots.
I would recommend reading the Editor’s week section on a Saturday, because it often talks to important issues concerning the balance between blogs and print, readers and editors, grassroots and top down. Its always interesting to hear how practitioners deal with issues of old meets new media. The Guardian deserves kudos for wholeheartedly embracing blogs and podcasts and so on. It is a national newspaper that gets it.
I thought I posted this a few weeks ago, but seems not. Hey ho.