What is common about the successful web 2.0 businesses, asks Tim O’Reilly?
They are information businesses
Software as a service
Using the internet as a platform
Harnessing collective intelligence. “Amazon is a great example – they aren’t a breakthrough service but they just work really hard at getting users to add value.”
To finish: “The challenge for publishers is that we are intermediaries and it is doubtful if we will remain intermediaries unchallenged. We need to build webservices so that we have a place in the user generated world.”
What about payment in a user generated world?
People do pay, but not in usual ways.
Will you shift to an ad driven model?
Safari (O’Reilly’s online books play) is a subscription business – 30% of the page views are coming from books no longer in print. We asked ‘what business are we in?’ and then developed businesses to match.
What role for content creators in the UGC world?
We are in the age of the computer aided editor.
Will publishers face cynacism?
Absolutely. Companies are bubbles on the wave not the wave itself. There will be a huge amount of consolidation. There are so many frontiers for innovation. Think about when every device reports where it is, for example. Web 2.0 is just the internetisation of everything.
There are one or two candidates – device connected web; humans as a component of the software (Amazon’s Mechanical Turk or Google Image Labeler; blending of real and virtual – he cited a company called Electric Sheep which has a virtual office on Sheep Island in Second Life and no real-world office at all.