What is the Internet?

Joho the Blog posts “Three models of the Internet. Grant McCracken blogs about three ways of taking the depth and seriousness of the Net’s effect on culture. Here’s a distillation, but you should read the whole thing: 1. Disintermediation – “The Internet is an efficiency machine. It removes the friction…” 2. Long Tail – “The Internet is a profusion machine. It allows small cultural producers to find small cultural consumers, and as a result, all hell is breaking lose…” 3. Reformation – “It change the units of analysis and the relationships between them. This reformation model says, in other words, that the coming changes will deeply cultural…and not merely…”

End of the year is a good time for some heavy thinking. The Internet has been through several phases. Like the blind men studying the elephant, each of us may have different perceptions of what it is and where it is. Tim O’Reilly loves to quote that “the future is here, just not evenly distributed.” I think this is how it has always been.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.