Web 2.0 is the new rock and roll

I’ve just seen an interesting discussion started by BBC director of global news, Richard Sambrook, describing Web 2.0 as the new rock and roll. It’s snipped by We Media blogger Alfred Hermida here.

Hermida quotes Sambrook as saying that: “The comparison isn’t quite as ridiculous as it may appear. Forty years ago, music was leading a social revolution, disrupting the establishment and empowering a new generation.”

Sambrook goes on to say: “Today’s web technology and social media, known as Web 2.0, or the second wave of the internet, are leading a similar challenge and the long-term effects are likely to be greater.”

Hermida chimed in by saying that, “As someone who has been working in online news for nine years, I am somewhat of an internet evangelist. I believe that we have only just started to feel the impact of networking technologies and no one really knows where this will take us.”

To which one commenter on Hermida’s blog wrote: “You would also have to wonder just how real can any ‘revolution’ actually be when people like Murdoch own the platform…”

As I just told that commenter, I couldn’t disagree more. I think Sambrook is spot on – Web 2.0 is revolutionary, and its long-term effects will be profound.

For one thing, the whole point about Web 2.0 is that no one ‘owns the platform’, especially not Murdoch. You only need to read some Tom Foremski, or Dion Hinchcliffe, to work that one out.

Low-cost, intuitive software that enables non-technical people to publish blogs – and others to comment on them – are just one example of the way that power in the media is moving from a few publishing empires into the hands of the masses.

Only last week a Telegraph reporter was telling me that his publisher is concerned that as more and more of its journalists speak directly to readers through blogs, the publisher will no longer ‘own’ its journalists, and those journalists will not ‘need’ the Telegraph to speak to their own readers.

I am not predicting the demise of publishers, nor of newspapers. But I do predict that in coming years the line between journalism and blogging will blur, and more and more people will be communicating with one another through a far more inclusive medium: call that Web 2.0 if you will.

What’s more, in the current Web 2.0 ecosystem I believe Google wields more power than any publishing empire.

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