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Gnomedex 6 Day Two: Dave Winer

Dave Winer’s on stage now. Some notes:

  • How to make money on the internet: it’s easier for a user to become a manufacturer than it is for a manufacturer to become a user
  • Dell, the largest computer manufacturer in the world, was started by a kid in his dorm room. He was a user.
  • We live in the age of the individual – the magic of Scoble was that he didn’t lose his individuality even as he blogged for a big corporation.
  • Blogging is the end of a long road, that started with the personal computer, desktop publishing, and the web, all making it easy to publish ideas and get them out to lots of people.
  • Bill Gates was a user that became a manufacturer. He was a college dropout that thought he had a better way to make an operating system. Most thought he didn’t have a chance against the giants of the time.
  • Ads on websites are vestigal – they come from the century we used to live in. Our websites are ads for ourselves. They represent (hopefully) our best thinking, and allow us to share useful stuff and connect with other people.
  • Current manufacturing companies, if they have a future, will be fulfilment companies for the users, who are the visionaries. The users know not only what they want, but what others want, too.
  • Comment: There will be a transitional period before users are completely in control, and will still have to deal with big companies and their appendages. Dave says Microsoft now is like IBM was when Microsoft was coming up. Of course Microsoft is going to be around for a long time, just like IBM, but there are users now that are coming up with the ideas that are going to be the big companies tomorrow.
  • Comment: Information was available 10-12 years ago, in little walled gardens like Compuserve, etc. Dave agrees about the walled gardens, but disagrees that the information was there. Did an experiment with his brother to try to find the score of a current Mets game, using Compuserve, calling the New York Times, etc., and couldn’t find the information, because they weren’t doing real time sports scores, etc.
  • Comment: Co-housing is already putting users in control. breakingranks.net
  • Comment: What kind of business execution models do you see arising as users take control? Creating and distributing a physical product is not easy. Dave: Cafepress as an example. If you want a new feature in your web browser, you have the option today, either doing it yourself, or describing the idea to a programmer on your blog, etc. Business creation is not getting easier. You have to have a good idea, and insight that others don’t have, and be lucky.
  • Comment: IE7 and its support for RSS, but lacking support for authentication. Dave: They should. IE7 is going to have a long road back to browser leadership because they let us down so hard.
  • Comment: Senator Edwards kissing up to the web community. Can you see a point where the web community starts to self select leaders? Dave: The community is starting to flex its political muscle, and that’s what politicians respect. If we want it to be a real two way conversation, we need to make sure we’re not taken for granted, and decide whether it’s worth the cost and effort to invest in the current system. Dave feels that some kind of big change is coming the future, and maybe you want to focus your efforts on that.
  • Comment: Dave as a bellweather of the industry, why quit blogging now? Dave: Don’t see it as a bad sign. Dave wants change in his personal life. He’s been blogging forever, and wants to do something new. Blogging is doing just fine.

Thanks Dave!

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