Notes from the New Normal – 17th March

The web is 25, and needs a bill of rights. The (online) kids are fine (really) and shopping is about to get a lot more digital. And we have robot fish. This is the #newnormal

Five more stories from the culture change happening all around us…

This is not the anniversary you’re looking for

Last week saw the 25th anniversary of the internet, if you were to believe many media outlets. Of course NEXT attendees and readers are savvy enough to know that’s wrong. As David Weinberger explains:

A note to NPR and other media that have been reporting on “the 25th anniversary of the Internet”: NO, IT’S NOT. It’s the 25th anniversary of the Web. The Internet is way older than that. And the difference matters.

The web is something that happens on the internet, of course. But, as the app ecosystem shows us, far from the only thing…

Human Digital Rights

Meanwhile, the creator of that strapping 25-year old we call the web is calling for a bill of online rights:

On the 25th anniversary of his first draft of the first proposal for what would become the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee warns that the neutrality of the medium is under threat from governments and corporations. He tells The Guardian: ”Unless we have an open, neutral Internet we can rely on without worrying about what’s happening at the back door, we can’t have open government, good democracy, good healthcare, connected communities and diversity of culture. It’s not naive to think we can have that, but it is naive to think we can just sit back and get it.”

As always, when we have a freedom we treasure – we need to fight for it.

Trust your teenagers

If you’re in a state of panic about your teenagers and how they use the internet, you can relax – a little. danah boyd, the leading researcher in this field thinks we’re panicking, rather than making effective steps to keep our children safe as they explore:

Nothing is more nerve-racking than capitalizing on the fear of adults about their kids. That’s one of the problems; we need to be resisting that culture of fear if we want to actually get anywhere. We need to step back and think about what we’re doing and the consequences of our decisions. It’s not like our conversations about security in this country. We can go hog wild and spend all of our resources trying to make it marginally more secure, but we will never make the world entirely secure. We will never make anything entirely safe. The question is, what is the level of resources, time, energy, money that we want to spend. There are diminishing returns on this.

She also thinks that the centralisation of social activity on Facebook is an anomaly…

Bluetooth your Mallrats

Talking of favourite teenage hang-out locations, could low energy Bluetooth technologies like iBeacons making shopping fun (again)?

Browsing the aisles of a store with the help of an accompanying app is already a reality in today’s retail landscape. American Eagle Outfitters, Staples and Nordstrom are using mobile devices as a means to communicate offers and analyze physical shopping habits. For instance, when customers who have downloaded the companion app visit a Staples location, they receive a geo-fence-enabled coupon.

Combined with beacon and BLE technology, these technologies help to provide real-world shopping experiences inspired by tactics online.

Are customised experiences and offers a good swap for your shopping data – and privacy? Your call…

Piscine Automaton

And lastly, to complete your Monday, here’s a robot fish:

You can thank me later. Although, you should probably thank TechCrunch, instead.