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San Francisco, CA
Serial entrepreneur, Web futurist
Interests: The future of the Web, the Global Brain, science, technology, search, Buddhism, travel.
Recent Activity
Please see this article -- my comments on the Evri/Twine deal, as CEO of Twine. This provides more details about the history of Twine and what led to the acquisition. Continue reading
Nova is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010
If you see this post in your RSS feed, that's because you are still subscribed to an old archived version of my blog. Please go to and subscribe to the new feed address there to keep up with my ongoing current content. Thanks! Continue reading
My blog has moved to a new URL: Please update your RSS subscription (RSS is now working properly on the new blog site). The new RSS address is Continue reading
Nova has shared their blog This Blog has Moved to
Dec 15, 2009
I have moved my blog to (also All my new articles and content will be posted there. This site (here) is maintained at typepad for archival purposes. Continue reading
I have noticed an interesting and important trend of late. The Web is starting to spread outside of what we think of as "the Web" and into "the World." This trend is exemplified by many data points. For example: The Web on mobile devices like the iPhone. Finally it's really usable on a phone. Now it goes everywhere with us. Soon we will track our own paths on our phones as we move around, creating a virtual map of our favorite places and routes. Location aware applications and services, such as Google Maps Mobile. They link physical places to virtual places on the Web. The Web in cars. Auto avigation units will soon be Web-enabled. Next-generation Wi-Fi digital cameras are wifi-enabled, linking directly to camera GPS and to photo sharing and storage services. Will cloud-centric wireless cameras with zero local storage come next? Web picture frames such as Ceiva bring the Web into your grandma's livingroom. The Web in restaurants and stores. Your server gets your reservation on the Web from OpenTable. In-store kiosks connect to the Web to help you shop, or to bring up your online account and shopping cart. The Web in your garden. GardenGro's sensor connects your garden to the Web, in order to figure out what to plant and how to cultivate it in your actual location. Everything becomes trackable with RFID. Physical objects have virtual locations. Sensors are connecting to the Web and popping up everywhere. For example here. Plastic Logic's portable plastic reading device. The pad of paper, version 2.0. The beginnings of an Internet of Things -- where every thing has an address on the Web. The rise of Lifestreaming, in which everything (or much of what) one does is captured to the Web and even broadcast. Progress on Augmented Reality -- instead of the physical world going into virtual worlds, the virtual world is going to flow into the physical world. These are just a few data points. There are many many more. The trendline is clear to me. Things are not going to turn out the way we thought. Instead of everything going digital -- a future in which we all live as avatars in cyberspace -- The digital world is going to invade the physical world. We already are the avatars and the physical world is becoming cyberspace. The idea that cyberspace is some other place is going to dissolve because everything will be part of the Web. The digital world is going physical. When this happens -- and it will happen soon, perhaps within 20 years or less -- the notion of "the Web" will become just a quaint, antique concept from the early days when the Web still lived in a box. Nobody will think about "going on the Web" or "going online" because they will never NOT be on the Web, they will always be online. Think about that. A world in which every physical object, everything we do, and eventually perhaps our every thought and... Continue reading
(FIRST DRAFT -- A Work in Progress. Comments Welcome) ------ Print media publications of all kinds -- newspapers and magazines -- are dying out, as the Web and online advertising take their place. Increasing amounts of what used to be premium content (via paid wire services and databases for example) is now available for free on the Web. At the same time the rise of blogs and wikis is giving individuals and groups of people effective ways to publish and distribute content to global audiences. As the major publishing brands decline in audience, upstart online brands are rapidly gaining eyeballs. And now, in the middle of this chaos, social networks like Twitter and Facebook are changing the way content is discovered, further chipping away at the value of the traditional leading media brands. Major newspapers are closing, journalists, writers and editors are being fired in droves, and there is a sense among those who work in print media that it is the end of an era. Print as a medium is in the process of being superceded by online media. As this happens the content and advertising industries that have formed around print media will undergo radical disruptions and change as well. As we shift to an online media-centric world the economics of content and advertising must and will adapt. But what will the new model be like? How will the economics of content publishing and distribution be different in the near future of the Web? In this brief article I will propose the beginnings of a possible new economic framework for Web 3.0 and beyond -- one which could revitalize the media business and help it transition to the online world. I'll call this new economic model "Content 3.0" or "C3" (to coincide with Web 3.0, the third-decade of the Web, when media goes completely online). In the Content 3.0 (C3) media economy it all begins with pieces of original content. Each piece of content has a corresponding block of "stock" available to be owned by various kinds of investors. The principal classes of stock are: Creators Writers, journalists, photographers, artists, designers, editors and their representatives such as agents etc. Distributors Publishers or other types of distributors that aggregate audience for content, and who monetize access to that content by their audiences, and their agents if any. Participants Audience members or customers who consume the content (for free or for a fee), rate, annotate, discuss, and share the content. Participants are not just any consumer of the content, they are consumers of the content who choose to invest to earn or purchase shares in the content. Each piece of content has a certain number of shares of virtual stock, just like a corporation. When a piece of content is first created 100% of its stock is owned by the Creators. The Creators may then sell some of their shares to Distributors in order to bring it to market. Distributors bring Participants and revenues to the content, creating a market... Continue reading
In typical Web-industry style we're all focused minutely on the leading trend-of-the-year, the real-time Web. But in this obsession we have become a bit myopic. The real-time Web, or what some of us call "The Stream," is not an end in itself, it's a means to an end. So what will it enable, where is it headed, and what's it going to look like when we look back at this trend in 10 or 20 years? In the next 10 years, The Stream is going to go through two big phases, focused on two problems, as it evolves: Web Attention Deficit Disorder. The first problem with the real-time Web that is becoming increasingly evident is that it has a bad case of ADD. There is so much information streaming in from so many places at once that it's simply impossible to focus on anything for very long, and a lot of important things are missed in the chaos. The first generation of tools for the Stream are going to need to address this problem. Web Intention Deficit Disorder. The second problem with the real-time Web will emerge after we have made some real headway in solving Web attention deficit disorder. This second problem is about how to get large numbers of people to focus their intention not just their attention. It's not just difficult to get people to notice something, it's even more difficult to get them to do something. Attending to something is simply noticing it. Intending to do something is actually taking action, expending some energy or effort to do something. Intending is a lot more expensive, cognitively speaking, than merely attending. The power of collective intention is literally what changes the world, but we don't have the tools to direct it yet. The Stream is not the only big trend taking place right now. In fact, it's just a strand that is being braided together with several other trends, as part of a larger pattern. Here are some of the other strands I'm tracking: Messaging. The real-time Web aka The Stream is really about messaging in essence. It's a subset of the global trend towards building a better messaging layer for the Web. Multiple forms of messaging are emerging, from the publish-and-subscribe nature of Twitter and RSS, to things like Google Wave, Pubsubhubub, and broadcast style messaging or multicasting via screencast, conferencing and media streaming and events in virtual worlds. The effect of these tools is that the speed and interactivity of the Web areincreasing -- the Web is getting faster. Information spreads more virally, more rapidly -- in other words, "memes" (which we can think of as collective thoughts) are getting more sophisticated and gaining more mobility. Semantics. The Web becomes more like a database. The resolution of search, ad targeting, and publishing increases. In other words, it's a higher-resolution Web. Search will be able to target not just keywords but specific meaning. For example, you will be able to search precisely for products or content... Continue reading
My friend Gil Elbaz is launching Factual today. It's a new service that aims to aggregate spreadsheet style data from around the Web to create a vast open database of facts. Interesting stuff. Check it out. Here's the TechCrunch coverage. Continue reading