Published on Sep 26, 2012
An introduction to the internet for PR people.
We live in a time when mankind has delivered the first organism in its own image
The internet is organic
Its evolution is Darwinian
So many ideas, so much code, such brilliant concepts come and most shrivel and die in
this blazing netshine.
The internet comes from great endeavours.
Over 70 years ago the first computers came to us. In Berlin it was Enigma - the first PC
and in Britain, it was Colossus -he first mainframe.
The intellectual horsepower and deep thinking that went into these enterprises inspired
great computing advances.
The need to communicate more information in the emerging globalisation of manufacture
and intelligence gave us the internet.
Bulletin Boards gave us social media in the '80's
Over 30 years ago the first ecommerce site went live
Cern, that amazing investment in research gave us the World Wide Web
With Mosaic, we could link the web sites and begin to develop search.
A decade ago, the internet was beginning to look like and organism in the model of
It gave us a prodigious memory
Access to knowledge
The ability to build social groups
The means by which we can control our environment
If this sounds like the evolution of mankind, do not be surprised.
Humankind is creating an internet in its own image.
Millions of us are doing it without thought by just adopting what we like and discarding
what we dislike.
Not much of this is new. Some of use were writing about it over ten years ago.
We have been so good at creating this digital companion that it is creeping into our
We want to remember things - we go to files online
We want to remember things we search for them in Google or email search
We keep our photographic memories in Picasa and share them on Pinterest
We have learned not to remember.
Our social life is mediated by the internet
We are changing our minds by using this thing designed by all mankind for all
How good is it
Internet activity is worth 5% of the European Gross Domestic Product.
In the UK it is 7.8%. It is the third largest economic sector.
As a proportion of economic activity it is growing at a double digit rate. Not just in the
UK but across Europe.
Have sympathy for those people in declining sectors.
Unless they join us, and as we will discover today, it is getting harder, they will shrink
into a sad decline.
In two years, day Deloitte, 4 in 10 UK shops will have vanished.
Retail sales are moving online and are getting close to that tipping point of about 20%
when they become dominant. This is true across all of Northern Europe, Italy, Western
Turkey and with Spain and the rest of Europe catching up.
But what next?
Do we seek a digital companion?
Does it have to be part of our family, our tribe, our culture?
Can we make it think for us.
The answer is
Here comes the internet of things and the semantic web.