By Micah Sifry - Over the Horizon: User-Centered Online Politics?

By Micah Sifry - Over the Horizon: User-Centered Online Politics?
"On the end of the spectrum, Dyson sees a new user-centric practice emerging, where individuals custom-make their own walled gardens and decide exactly what information they want their friends, acquaintances, and even commercial marketers to have about them. Orbitz, she notes, still doesn't know her preferred airlines after five years of her using that travel service, while Dopplr, a new platform that enables her to share her travel schedule with her friends, could conceivably market her and her travel preferences to an airline like British Airways--provided that she approves and shares in the arrangement.

Her conclusion: "new value is being created ... in users' own walled gardens, which they will cultivate for themselves in real estate owned by the social networks and by highly targeted, user-data-rich vertical communities. The new value creators are not efficient ad networks, but companies that know how to create platforms like Facebook and communities like Dopplr."

Now, what does this analysis mean for our brave new world of internet-powered politics? At a granular level, many political activists already self-determine online—they have built their ecology around personal sites they control (their blogs and/or their profiles on social networks) and thus controlled who they link to, what products (candidates) they plug, etc."

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