Calling all bloggers... calling all bloggers... there's a spill on Aisle 13... and your services are no longer needed for clean up! Line up for your pink slips and check your Web 2.0 propaganda at the door, as that's no longer needed either. That's right wordsmiths, it looks like the new Industrial Revolution is steamrolling its way into our digital landscape, and you Mr. & Ms. Blogger just happen to be a disposable commodity.
No sooner did we finish mourning the death of the legacy newspapers of our youth (last week), we are now facing the prospect of all future content being assembled by machines! Yes, that's right... machines! Lest we forget the first Industrial Revolution when artisans and hand-crafted goods were replaced by assembly lines, we will not be prepared for the next Industrial Revolution and the introduction of manufactured content.
As we all know, Internet technology has the lifespan of a fruit-fly! Having lived and breathed social media for the last 5 years, we were all getting very comfortable with just how social we had become. However, as you also noticed, the Web 2.0 phenomenon spawned a lot of worker bees who became the underbelly of this new economy. Website designers, content providers, bloggers and the like grew up more plentiful and at a faster rate than the gestation period of an army of OctoMoms! And whenever overpopulation emerges, history has shown that controls will step in just as fast to slow its trajectory.
Like myself, my fellow bloggers still create content by hand. We draw on our life experience, world views, educational backgrounds, literary insights and centuries of scholarship teachings from all fields. We piece together fact with research, sprinkle metaphors and analogies where needed and sometimes reach great heights of insight when we get really lucky!
In stark contrast, according to Peter Sweeney, founder of the semantic technology firm Primal Fusion, "Web 3.0 is industrial" and as an industrial entity "the automation of tasks displaces human work." He further states that "instead of users manually creating content, machines will automate the heavy lifting. Consumers simply push the buttons and get stuff done. Think textile mills versus spinning wheels."
So are we in the midst of a new Industrial Revolution where billions are to be spent on semantic technologies to create factories for manufacturing content? Sweeney notes that there are "railways of linked data" being laid down as we speak to allow these data-mining establishments to trade and co-operate.
Primal Fusion, is building one of these industrial Web 3.0 complexes. It has enabled individual consumers to build personal websites not in weeks or days, but in minutes, merely by brainstorming their interests. Accordingly, the company's semantic technology will be making significant gains over the Web 2.0 user-generated content models, in the weeks and months to come.
If you don't believe that this type of semantic technology is imminent, just look around you at the examples that have already flourished:
- Google News: A computer-generated news site where the articles are selected and ranked by computers.
- Kosmix: A "categorization engine" that organizes the Internet into magazine-style topic pages.
- Wolfram Alpha: A "knowledge computation engine" that dynamically calculates facts in response to questions.
And the trade-off for this type of progress is based on cost-reduction. As legacy newspapers close shop every day because of their inability to develop new business models and adapt quick enough to these types of changes, companies like Primal Fusion are pushing the pedal to the metal hard and fast to ride the next gravy train into the future.
One may ask: Were the machine-manufactured creations of a lower quality than those created by artisans during the last Industrial Revolution? Of course, they were. But according to Sweeney "who can afford handcrafted goods?"
So Mr. & Mrs. Blogger, as much as we believe we bring value to the zeitgeist of the world we live, we are really only as good as our last post. And unfortunately, our last post might just come sooner than we think. Happy future blogging (but check your egos at the door)!Calling All Bloggers... there's a spill on Aisle 13!