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The web evolves. All technology evolves. Advances are built on previous work. Sure there is the occaisional ‘leap’ or ‘paradigm shift’ but for the most part our tools are improvements upon earlier versions. As with Darwin’s theory there is a natural selection as one version gives way to the next.  Nexopia -> Myspace -> Facebook -> ???  Unlike Darwin’s theory, however, there is evidence of intelligent design, or in many cases unintelligent design. We are the creators of  our tools.

“Web 2” is an evolution of one of the earliest internet tools – newsgroups.  This lept over to the Web and evolved into forums which evolved some features and – I believe – branched into blogs. Now essentially we see micro forums attached to many web pages. They can be used by clients and customers to discuss products and services, get technical support, express opinions. Forums live on because they are well adapted. They fit a need. They encompase all the aspects of social media:  Sharing, collaberation, community, conversation, scope.  

I wonder what Youtube might evolve into?

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2 Comments

    • Wendy
    • Posted February 20, 2009 at 11:43 am
    • Permalink

    for another assessment of our “evolutionary” thinking, check out this MIT lecture by Ricardo Semler: http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/308

    • grejen711
    • Posted February 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm
    • Permalink

    Hi Wendy. Yes sometimes it seems we haven’t evolved much at all – the more things change the more they stay the same. I find his auto industry metaphor at the beginning to be distracting and even insulting to that industry. That they are unable to ‘solve the parallel parking’ thing or comparing modern vehicles to the Model T, points out to me that he doesn’t understand the engineering vs marketing issues involved. Of course people have created parallel parking cars. Such devices add a lot of complication and weight to a problem that can be solved with training. Later he’s talking about oil vs electric. At this point 50% of the electricity in the U.S. is generated by coal.

    The point he’s making, however, is that industries are not evolving into new things. The automotive and airline industries have actually evolved immensely but of course they have not become something else. “There must be something wrong with that.” He keeps saying. Perhaps and perhaps not. Of course the internet and .com industries came along and something new appeared. His example of Microsoft is pretty interesting too. “3 kids in a garage” created a new industry (perhaps 2) but of course the evolution of the computer/software industry has not created yet another industry. The anthropological term is speciation.

    His democratic workplace concept is wonderful. Social networking and media, I believe, is poised to create such an environment everywhere and anywhere wether existing organizations are ready to embrace it or not.


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