PORTALS, PLATFORMS AND RULE-SETS
Blogfriend Critt Jarvis has reinvented his online presence and returned to some of his original intellectual concerns from back in the days when he was a founding member of The New Rule-Sets Project, later purchased by Enterra Solutions. Critt is jumping off a post by Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion and extending the argument with “Steve Rubel is right, do you know why ?“:
“He’s right. Here’s why. Web portals are social networks, and social networks aggregate to a global conversation market.
Like global or world cities — for example, New York, Paris, Tokyo, London — where, from the transparent nexus of culture, governance, infrastructure, commerce, and fashion, we expect to consistently have a really good time,
The global conversation market has the necessary resources to accommodate a global social network.
For a really good time in the global conversation market …
Find your portal to social networks
Web portals provide stability in social networks, requisite to emerging conversation markets.
Web portals provide growth of social networks.
Web portals provide resources for social networks.
Web portals provide infrastructure for social networks.
Web portals provide money for social networks.
Web portals provide rules for social networks.
Web portals provide security for social networks.
And remember this
Absent stability, there’s no conversation market.
Absent growth, there’s no stability.
Absent resources, there’s no growth.
Absent infrastructure, there’s no resources.
Absent money, there’s no infrastructure.
Absent rules, trust me, there’s no institutional investor money.
Absent security, the rules don’t work.
For me, the social networking wars are over. What I need to do now is find my place in the portals. Which makes me wonder, What is going to happen to Twitter?”
One of the interesting things about Critt is his ability to embed a large number of important concepts at the implicit level in his writing. Critt’s primary interest for the past few years has been facilitating “global conversation”; that is people to people connection on a global scale of magnitude. An interest that is congruent with his expertise in technical platforms as tools of communication.
These platforms and by extension, the portals that serve as gateways, represent rule-set systems that offer maximum connectivity and transaction of a certain kind with a minimum of friction and direct cost. These are rule-sets for the enjoyment of “ordered liberty”. For example, Second Life provides the user with system access and tools with which to communicate and create but within these strong minimalist confines, citizens of Second Life primarily must self-regulate. This contrasts with the fairly stringent, proprietary, ethos of other MMORPG like Everquest or World of Warcraft.
These services, while entertaining, stifle user creativity and innovation via techno-paternalism. Arguably, in an economic sense, these companies have a business model that opts for maintaining hierarchical control over outcomes within their system over maximizing the growth of their market share or the growth of the user-market itself by limiting user transactions by orders of magnitude. Ultimately, as Web 2.0 concepts permeate the wider global culture, this position becomes self-defeating – the creation of virtual ghettos.
Mr. Jarvis understands that, in the long run, it’s a road to nowhere.