What is the success criteria for the internet applications of the future


Marika Luders

Marike Lüders writes in the last edition of DN Lørdag (29.12.07) about Google and the social network Facebook and how they both have the opportunity to embrace consumer privacy rights but both seem to ignore or challgenge them
. Lüders points out that the first one who does (and it doesn’t necessarily have to be any one of those two) will have an even greater market potential.

I’m sure she is right that the one who first goes forth and respects consumer privacy to a greater extent than what these two “worst in class” examples exhibit, will create a positivie buzz, and maybe even potentially generate more participants, but this doesn’t seem to be the most important incentive for people signing up or participating in such a network.

The problem here is that, perfectly summed up by this previous article in Aftenposten: At the same time that privacy is important to us, displaying pictures and information of ourselves and watching the same of others seem to be the most important incentive with the social networks. We want to share and we want to watch. As Anne Kirah pointed out some years ago: “We would need to redefine the whole notion of voyerism becuase the digital natives have a totally different take on privacy than we (the digital immigrants) do”.

Dagsavisen made a finding a couple of years ago. During the boycott against goods from Israel that SV tried to gather support for they interviewed five people in a supermarket about their actions for or against the boycott. Even though some of the subjects showed sympathy for the Palestinians they were not willing to strain themselves in order to find grapes from a different country or even turn the package of grapes around to see if they were from Israel in the first place.

Personally I believe we are to lazy. Way to lazy to even care about privacy to that extent that it makes us ditch all our friends on Facebook and try to start a new community on a different platform which nobody else knows about
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The “next big thing” isn’t going to happen because of extra concern to the privacy issue, it’s going to be the result of incentives that people car about, like realy care about
. Themselves, their friends, ease and frequency of communication. We want to share everything and we want everbody to know straight away

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Then again, “Innovation seems to happen when the force of an unexpected vector disrupts the trajectory of the set vector.” What we believe today most certainly will not be the cause of the next paradigm shift concerning participation and democratization of the net.

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