Brilliance without wisdom is like fire without a hearth.


It was inevitable.  

Today I read that Twitter is vulnerable to a cross scripting attack. Forgetting the technical jargon for a moment, it is continued evidence of the overall state of social marketing … it is brilliance without wisdom.  

The innovation and brilliance of newer companies like Twitter is that they allow us to connect in diverse and wonderful ways, which underlies the truth that these are brilliant companies. Yet, their relative business “youth” suggests that wisdom is yet to come.  

They are creating huge networks of interconnected people who will become the key filter for how we see our online world. Yet, even as their influence grows, there is no ability to create an environment of trust. There is no ability to authenticate the person you are looking for or who has found you. There is no ability to efficiently harness the brilliance of your social networks to provide you with trustworthy information. Worse, the new social openness that these social networks enable can either be like a fire that can warm since it connects us so easily or, it can burn as in the case of identity theft, if not properly managed or contained.  

This is a tough balancing act to pull off (remaining open and connected yet secure) but I believe the introduction of trust into the web (via an authentication layer) will create the wisdom that lets the brilliance of social networks to fully emerge and warm the digital planet. 

That is what the next generation web should be about. Not just intelligent agents (courtesy of Google) or intelligent computers that understand context or some other “hot” technology that can burn if not well applied. But the next generation web should be about how to apply human wisdom (in the form trust) into the online world.  

We should not call this next generation web, Web 3.0 (after all – that refers to a software release). We should call this next generation web, The Trusted Web. 

Human wisdom — well applied in the digital world.    

Judy Shapiro


8 Responses

  1. It is quite evident that people must drive technology – not the other way around. You’re right – the name web 3.0 is all wrong 🙂

  2. Googling has become a verb in our language. This shows the deep impact of Google on our culture and our lives. But Google is not primarily about searching. Google is an information shovel selling adds. As to prominent linguists like Arbib and Lakoff mirror neurons explain the adaptive evolution of the human language faculty and the development of conceptual knowledge (Arbib, 2005; Gallese, Lakoff, 2007). The problem is our easy and accepting relationship with Google. We are geesing at Google and engage with it more and more every day, uncritically unthinkingly.

    Siva Vaidhyanathan is concerned about the fact that:

    “….we do not properly understand the nature of the nature of the transaction between us and Google. …into our relationship with Google we do not grasp that we are not really Google’s costumers. Google calls us users, but in fact we are Google’s products. Our attention is what Google sells to its customers, which are the advertisers.” (BBC interview)

    The thesis I want to develop here is that by using Google we stop developing our conceptual knowledge. Googling is not an intelligent information search strategy. But we are always communicating something. In using Google we express our intentions and the cleverness of Google is to incorporate our intentions in its advertising system and giving us the feel we are finding what we are looking for, but we aren’t. This is what Google wants us to look at.

    See my article Google’s one way Mirror

  3. The backlash against Google is inevitable. No one company can own how the planet evolves — not even Google. It remains with us humans to drive it and that’s my point.

    The response to this thread has created quite a stir (much in your vein) but we must remember that technology serves human race – and not the other way around.

  4. This post got me thinking. I do not like that people can just hook up with me in social places without my persmission. I guess your point is that we should be able to control who can access us and how to trust people online. This does not exit now and I know I need it 🙂 I never realized it.

  5. It’s weird — but this really makes sense. I thought Google had the right approach with their intelligent search agent — but maybe not. This opened my eyes. Thank you.

  6. I wish i believed that anyone can solve this. But good luck to you.

  7. Very true… in life and in business.

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