It’s time to ditch the idea that, when not paying for a service, we’re the product.
Privacy in the digital age: We can argue whether or not we should be concerned, but there’s no question that the amount of private data that companies collect on us should be carefully thought about.
So, Google introduce Play.
Hey look, it’s no longer the browser you hate! We know it used to be! So here we have a little hilarious video for you showing how people used to hate it. We’re, like, so honest.
But of course:
- The hater only hated it because it was an old browser. Because that’s definitely why you hated it. That’s also why you hated the newer older browser too. Not because it was the monopolising, hole-ridden, sit-on-its-arse-for-a-decade browser that held back the web, which turned into… a newer version which nearly caught up.
One thing the Internet is great for is helping you find stuff that you’ll like. You can get recommendations from the likes of Amazon based on what else you’ve bought, and there are countless tools out there for curating your own little drip-feed of information from the Web.
Digital works, completely divorced from a physical medium and transferable between devices, now lack one of the key ways we’ve given value to these cultural products in the past: their physical size.
Ebooks are not books. They’re not ‘electronic’ books. In the same way that MP3s are not vinyl and Second Life isn’t real life (who’da thunk?).
The book industry is not moving to ebooks. The publishing industry is expanding from paper to electronic screens. The losers will be those who think they are moving to electronic books. The Kindle has electronic books, but tablets allow publishers to look beyond electronic books. An interactive experience is not an electronic book experience. It’s something different altogether.
All this ‘shopping shifting’ – from physical goods to electronic goods, and shopping in physical spaces to shopping from ‘wherever you are’ (i.e. via mobile phone web/app) – will further reduce the quality of the stuff we can buy.
Martha Lane Fox was appointed by Gordon Brown as the UK Digital Champion, and has founded the RaceOnline2012 campaign to get all people of working age on the Internet (10 million of us Brits haven’t used the Net, but to do so would help us a lot).