Sunday, May 31, 2009

The browser is the new desktop! Last september, I commented Google's launch of Chrome with thoughts along those lines. Having watched the demo of Google Wave yesterday, I am even more convinced that the browser is the new desktop (screenshots from 7:40 into the video)

For our digital society, this development brings the power of the web and computing closer to the masses - consumers at all levels of society. The ubiquity of the mobile phone with built-in browsers paves the way for broadbased access to the masses. Admittedly, it will be a while before the phones morph to mobile internet devices (MIDs), but the potential is definitely there. And soon the MID will be the new PC.

It is tempting to view Wave as Google's "reply" to Microsoft's Bing and Vine services. And while its a bit hard to nail these Microsoft services, I suspect Wave will catalyse Redmond in "bringing it together".

Aside: Interestingly Google is copying Microsoft's market approach - i.e. targetting the developer community. But with a big difference, they are making this product Open Source. In my mind, I can see that this competition is going to benefit everyone... except probably the manipulators and lobbyist. Transparency and mass-participation are getting powerful tools!

I'm confident that the difficult challenges with technology will be solved as the masses put these technologies to use in regular tasks at work and in social contexts -- to support their work and improve their lives. The developments in Wave and Vine definitely encourage sharing of knowledge and co-creation. Thus promoting crowdsourcing as a means of value-creation and
innovation. I revisted the Harvard Business review article "Disruptive innovation for social change" by Clayton Christensen that I blogged here.

I am reminded once again that disruption is continuous -- happening as we speak; that there is no such thing as a revolution, just rapid evolution.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just not had enough time to blog -- with so much happening on different fronts. I suspect my posts in the future will be something between micro-blogging and long blogposts. My Twitter feed can fill in the blanks (see right-hand-side column of this blog for Twitter updates).

As I make yet another attempt to scope a research proposal on the Digital Society, I am drawn by Larry Lessig's work and highlight two articles (1) lecture on new media is great because of great content on a relevant theme (2) post on citizen-funding vs public-funding. I find both these posts relevant for the discussion around "deep democracy" --- one where the grassroots are more involved; and where the role of a societal infrastruture is critical.

"Us Now" the film on grassroots democracy had a global webcast last week. The film touched on many topics, the most fascinating was about Ebbfleets United football club where owners can actually choose the team before each match. Interesting use of technology from MyFootball club. Hopefully the message of the film spreads to all corners of the world. What would be cool, is if the film could be sub-titled in a crowdsourced manner. (My tweet).

Just learned that Shashi Tharoor (ex under Secretary General of the UN) has won his seat in the Indian parliament. Last week he wrote and interesting article on the nature of "soft power". Definitely worth the read. The next few months in Indian politics look to be very interesting!