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the Big Blog Company | Joi Ito’s presentation
“Who yer callin' a sparrow, you schmuck?!”
The bird on the back.
April 25 2005
Monday
Joi Ito’s presentation
Adriana Cronin-Lukas • lesblogs 
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These are going to be notes, rather than full text. If some of it makes sense, I did my job but I don’t expect all of it to be clear.

Internet is not the smartest netwok

There is a ‘creative class’ in different position in different country – that is why the Brazilian, Iranian and French bloggers have more in common with each other than let’s say with german blogs. There is similarity between Japanese, French, and Iranian. Gap inside the country – creative class – technology special class that provides openness and innovation.

Advertising – downloading music from internet – not a thing anyone can do about it – pepsi ad – selling to this ‘creative class’. Ito plays the add, playing on the fact that kids don’t care about whether dowloading is legal or not and will do it anyway.  Watch user behaviour and create products that fit that, understand that you can’t force them and change their behaviour – go with the flow. Then Joi plays the same clip with some ‘adjustments’ from the internet audience doing things to the advert that the authors certainly did not intend to! Very funny.. the link on the slide is here.

iPod shuffle, an example of a product outed by bloggers before its official release. They are not against companies, but they want to tell the story(ies). So don’t go around suing them.

Long tail. There are many movies, books, music that are now part of the long tail i.e. part of a curve that capture economic rational of stocking titles. There are a number of titles, for a bookstore you have to sell a number of books before you can make profit. Amazon, as a virtual bookstore, can go down the curve stocking not only content that makes sense in traditional physical distribution but also content in the long tail – space that does not fit into the traditional distribution view.

What is happening is that the sales in that space much bigger – the tail, stuff that wasn’t available before, is now bigger, huge rentals of documentary, not be able to go for distribution. Word of mouth becomes very important. The question is how you find the content. It’s delivery vs discovery. Before, the big problem was how you get it to customer. Now the question is what do I listen to, not how I get it. It is not about advertising, but word of mouth is the way to get attention. Example of talking in chat channels – there is some Chinese music that is very popular as a result of being shared on internet. Problem is not to protect the content but how to get people to listen to the stuff – 95% are copies. [ed: Quote of the day]: The worst thing than being copies is not being copied.

Blogs and Citizen Media
Ad and marketing – shouting and then figure out what we are thinking – you can stop shouting now as we are telling you directly what we are thinking… Example, Kryptonite – www.bikeforums.net. Joi show the infamous video of the lock being unpicked by a bic pen. The company lost 10 million dollars in 10 days – bloggers say your locks suck, can’t hide the truth.

Rathergate - Dan Rather had to apologise to G Bush, CBS may cancel the show. Some of the bloggers picked up the pieces, nobody used to do that.  He is an important icon, MSM and bloggers.

Fast Lane blog, another example, a frank discussion by guy who makes cars. Completely different kind of trust than from traditional brand building.

Another way, a BBC article put it in technorati and see what bloggers are saying. Infoworld article, the same but it already has technorati profile embedded in it.

Myth of intellectual property - creating something is investment and need to protect it. This is a new idea. Joi uses a different concept based on the commons and the fact that creativity can happen outside corporations. E.g. 93% books originate outside corporate world, so copyright exists to protect this small percentage.

There a common mistake to assume that just because someone is amateur they are not as good as professional. The amateur vs. professional is a false dichotomy. Amateurs can’t afford to do it for money - not true, see Linux developers who do not do it for money. This is a dangerous idea and can be disproved - professional sex is not always better than amateur sex! Much laughter follows…

So give it away for free [ed. content, not sex]. Creative commons clip is shown. The point is as long as you give me attribution, you can use it. Another clip of George Bush and Tony Blair footage synched to a romantic song – much hilarity ensues.

US republican national convention remix - Invoke 9/11 - clip of politicians repeating september eleven and saddam hussain and other phrases that characterised the debate of the events, terrorism… George W. Bush Keeping America Scared. Joi talks about how some tried to argue that you can’t use speeches as they are copyrighted. Importance of freedom of speech…

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