Newsweek has an article that argues that Web 3.0 is going to be all about injecting the experts back into the information production and dissemination process. I think they’ve gotten the big picture badly wrong, but the saddest quote in the article is about why one of the ‘experts’ they interview thinks this change will come about:

Fueling all this podium worship is the potential for premium audiences—and advertising revenue. “The more trusted an environment, the more you can charge for it,” says Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis, a former AOL executive who was previously involved with several Web start-ups. It’s also easier to woo advertisers with the promise of controlled content than with hit-and-miss blog blather. “Nobody wants to advertise next to crap,” says Andrew Keen, author of “The Cult of the Amateur,” a jeremiad against the ills of the unregulated Web.

Pretty amazing that the argument is that advertisers are going to fight to prevent the amateurs from taking over information processes so they can protect their advertising revenue. (Newsweek is, of course, heavily supported by advertising.)

It’s also interesting that none of the examples they give in the article — from Google’s wikipedia killer to the Maholo search engine — have any real traction in the marketplace. I think we’re seeing a fantasy here. People whose business depends on the elites managing who reads what where and when are arguing that we have to return to that model to make sure “good” information gets out.

I was speculating the other day about how different the world would be if there had been some way that radio and television could have been supported through a fee-based model, rather than the advertising-based model that we have today …


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