I remember studying e-business in 2001. My lecturer said, “Check out google” I’d never heard of Google and didn’t check it out for a year or so. The difference between e-commerce and e-business is that e-commerce is just the sale of products online utilising the web as an interface, whereas e-business is doing business online. It’s setting up entire platforms and infrastructures for example: did you know that tiny little chips can be placed on individual pieces of fruit so that as the check-out chich scans your apples, the computer automatically orders more apples from the supplier? If you dont believe me read this 2003 article on Supermarket Tests RFID Chips
At the time the theory behind e-business was that convergence is happening. For example the mobile phone is a convergence between a telephone and a computer. An ipod is a convergence of say a personal audio device (ie walkman) and a computer for example. An iPad – convergence between a computer and an iPhone, and so on. Kindle: book + computer.
On the Internet convergence was killing traditional forms of media. Such as the newspaper. Traditionally “Print Media” the newspaper is now available online (a convergence of print media, computers, and telecommunications). However that was so web 1.0. Now, in web 2.0 (and 3.0 is being called!) the Internet has moved on from being a medium where INFORMATION is organised, to a PLACE where people gather.
The Internet IS society. It IS a place. It is community. It is chaordic.
Chaordic: The (beautiful) mix of chaos and order is often described as a harmonious coexistence displaying characteristics of both, with neither chaotic nor ordered behavior dominating.
I used to think the Internet was a convergence of all media. However I am now inclined to lean towards media guru and journalist Jeff Jarvis, “We in media have the wrong expectation. In fact, the internet is a place where people connect. The internet is not a medium, it’s a place.”
I realised that the Internet is a place where people connect. It used to be where information was stored (1.) became where people interacted with that information and each other (2.0) and is becoming a place (3.0?)
Once you see the Internet as a place; uncontrollable and chaordic; self-governing, then you realise that two things happen:
1. A threat exists for companies (like Google and Yahoo and Bing) who’s business model is based on organising INFORMATION: hence “search”
2. An opportunity exists for new business models that can efficiently and beautifully organsise the chaos so that people can freely gather together: hence “social”
Like bees to honey we The People flocked to the sweet smell of the web: a place where we could find all the INFORMATION we were after: be it porn or shopping or banking or weather; and now there are so many people in thisPLACE that there is a new problem and an opportunity to GATHER these people, organising the chaos not the people.
We are now seeing companies like Google, News Ltd, Bing and Rupert Murdoch attempting to organise a place that they incorrectly think it is data. Or they are fooling themselves. If they continue to try to organise people using the same methods that succeeded for them to organise our data they will fail, or they will succeed and we will revolt because people do not want to be controlled for the sake of coins, Journalism, news sites, even Google.
We are now seeing articles like these appear, evidence of the new place of the Internet emerging:
The Internet is a place! The opportunity remains to organise the chaos, not the people.