26 Apr 2012
The Next Web Conference
The Next Web Conference started with a movie about growth, growth of population, growth of investments and off course the immense growth of The Next Web in the last year. After a warm welcome from Boris van Zanten it is time to be overwhelmed by the input of the speakers.
Digital Dramamine, the speech about the drama around PIPA/SOPA immediately pulled everyone’s attention. Alex Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, held this inspiring speech. As we all know is that Internet is the source to show our breakfast, but Ohanian pointed out that it could be and IS so much more. Internet is de marketplace of ideas; it is motivating revolutions (for example Egypt), and above all it is a level playing field.
When SOPA/PIPA tried to ruin the Internet, we web-users immediately said ‘Challenge accepted!’ Together the mass fought and there emerged an online movement. The Internet united and won an unprecedented victory against the dollars and voters in congress. This challenge, which unfortunately is not quiet over jet, was the beginning of the term crowdfunding. All over the world people can easily raise money for their small and interesting projects. With a website called yCombinator you can present you idea online and ask for money. And before you know you got ten times the amount you were asking for. Ohanian explained this movement. ‘Make something people love, deliver happiness, and you will be surprised how much everybody really cares.’
The highlight topic of Thursday’s TNW Conference was social media. Different speakers shared their point of view with the audience. I am talking about statics, comments and sometimes slightly hard opinions. Digital Vertigo, it is not all that pretty.
Andrew Keen a pessimist when it comes to social media said that, because of especially Facebook there is no difference between public and private. Digital Narcissism, as he calls it, is all about sharing too much information, and creating a world where we can watch each other all the time. We become the product, like the Trumanshow. Keen says ‘visibility is a trap’. The consumers will be constantly watched, and advertisers will use that given information. If we want to keep our true identity we should move forward, into the darkness. (Break through the screen, as Truman did) And then we will found out that solitude and mystical are important.
While leaving the The Next Web Conference with a head full of information, we can not wait till the next one. Definitley inspired, we will deliver happiness and noticed the importance of mystic.