So this is the future heh. Google Grids, Newsbotsters and globally controlled and (moderated?) customized news ?

EPIC produces a custom contents package for each user, using his choices, his consumption habits, his interests, his demographics, his social network – to shape the product.

Road to Sierras © Gary Hayes 2005EPIC is a fictional personalized future by Robin Sloan, a short flash film from late last year. A great piece of work and some real applied (albeit straight line) thinking has gone into it. It wins in its vision of a highly targeted and data mined future, mass opt in personalized media world, created by everyone, consumed by everyone. It fails in that it overlooks that fact that Google, Amazon and Microsoft are and will not be the only players in town – true democratization of media means that corporations (including the garage internet to billionaire brigades) become conduits and not controllers. We are moving from the age of the portal to transparent personalization – many players can take part. That is the big failing, the film stylized (perhaps the SMS equivalent of Citizen Kane) with GoogleZon up for world domination through its clever search and publish algorithms.

I have grown to hate those long languid deliveries by media types predicting the end of old media models and introducing new ones as if they have discovered the secret of eternal youth! It’s called change. Embrace it, enjoy it, getting brownie points from saying ‘The New York Times” or TV is doomed gets us nowhere fast – mediums are EVOLVING, content is EVOLVING, our vocabulary is changing (radio sprouts podcast, tv sprouts vod, news sprouts people news)- very little is dying , thank goodness, layer upon layer – “EVOLUTION is good, DIVERSITY is good”. Lets paint a bright, diverse media future and aim for it and stop looking back – “we put a man on the moon yet we still carry on walking to the corner shop”.

In any event well worth a look for those who haven’t seen this Robin Sloan video looking at a personalized future albeit from a journalistic perspective. A future where we all get individualized news delivered in text, video and any other medium we can think of in 2014 – the point which the prediction takes us up to. Would be interested in hearing what other people think of the ‘fictitious’ GoogleZon take over of the media planet. Nice to think that 20 million blogs and camera phones do become the next CNN, Fox News, BBC World Service – hold it are we not already some way down that road 😉

Here is the link to the Creative Commons Video Evolving Personalized Information Construct and of course its creator Robin Sloan

Here is a second half excerpt from the 8 minute movie, the first half being ‘real’ history – well one persons historical perspective. Amazed how little old TiVo gets a look in 😉 and shame about the ePaper thing!

“Awash in new capital, the company makes a major acquisition. Google buys TiVo. 2005 – In response to Google’s recent moves, Microsoft buys Friendster. 2006 – Google combines all of its services – TiVo, Blogger, GMail, GoogleNews and all of its searches into the Google Grid, a universal platform that provides a functionally limitless amount of storage space and bandwidth to store and share media of all kinds. Always online, accessible from anywhere. Each user selects her own level of privacy. She can store her content securely on the Google Grid, or publish it for all to see. It has never been easier for anyone, everyone to create as well as consume media.

2007 – Microsoft responds to Google’s mounting challenge with Newsbotster, a social news network and participatory journalism platform. Newsbotster ranks and sorts news, based on what each user’s friends and colleagues are reading and viewing and it allows everyone to comment on what they see. Sony’s ePaper is cheaper than real paper this year. It’s the medium of choice for Newsbotster.

2008 sees the alliance that will challenge Microsoft’s ambitions. Google and Amazon join forces to form Googlezon. Google supplies the Google Grid and unparalled search technology. Amazon supplies the social recommendation engine and its huge commercial infrastructure. Together, they use their detailed knowledge of every user’s social network, demographics, consumption habits and interests to provide total customization of content – and advertising.

The News Wars of 2010 are notable for the fact that no actual news organizations take part. Googlezon finally checkmates Microsoft with features the software giant cannot match. Using a new algorithm, Googlezon’s computers construct news stories dynamically, stripping sentences and facts from all content sources and recombining them. The computer writes a news story for every user. In 2011, the slumbering Fourth Estate awakes to make its first and final stand. The New York Times Company sues Googlezon, claiming that the company’s fact-stripping robots are a violation of copyright law. The case goes all the way to the Supreme Court, which on August 4, 2011 decides in favour of Googlezon.

On Sunday, March 9 2014, Googlezon unleashes EPIC. Welcome to our world. The ‘Evolving Personalized Information Construct’ is the system by which our sprawling, chaotic mediascape is filtered, ordered and delivered. Everyone contributes now – from blog entries, to phone-cam images, to video reports, to full investigations. Many people get paid too – a tiny cut of Googlezon’s immense advertising revenue, proportional to the popularity of their contributions. EPIC produces a custom contents package for each user, using his choices, his consumption habits, his interests, his demographics, his social network – to shape the product. A new generation of freelance editors has sprung up, people who sell their ability to connect, filter and prioritize the contents of EPIC. We all subscribe to many Editors; EPIC allows us to mix and match their choices however we like. At its best, edited for the savviest readers, EPIC is a summary of the world – deeper, broader and more nuanced than anything ever available before. “

Posted by: © Gary Hayes 2005