Is the open internet doomed? – Media & Advertising

João Paulo Luz, digital business director and publishing company at Impresa

Gerhard Casper, the name of the president of Stanford University in the mid-1990s, was the first term to originate a Google search result. Larry Page had met Sergey Brin at that University in 1995, and in August of the following year they launched the search engine on the University’s network. Two years later, in August 1998, they founded Google with a $100,000 investment made by one of Sun’s founders.

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched the search engine, then called Backrub, they organized the information already available on the web, inspired by the value that the academic world attaches to published works. The more references this work accumulates from other works, the more recognized and valued it is. For information on the web the principle was the same. Pages relevant to a search term were sorted by the number of links that other web pages provided them. The more references the better, and the more references from heavily referenced pages the better.

The Backrub algorithm would certainly have some more complexity and the results for the research on the name of the University president were intended to show that the algorithm worked better than the existing solutions. In a short time the name passed to Google, which is the mathematical expression for the number 1 followed by 100 zeros, and it also didn’t take long to start asserting itself as better than its competitors.

Google was not the first search service, nor was it the first service to offer an auction to place ads in search results. In fact, it had to offer 2.7 million shares to Yahoo, which in the meantime had bought Overture and had a lawsuit against Google for claiming that this auction model was patented.
If there’s one thing the history of the web tells us, it’s that the most successful weren’t always the first in their field. It’s true for Google and it’s also true for Facebook, which is later than MySpace and even Orkut. However, like Google, it was more successful and today it is absolutely dominant. Of course, the permission of acquisitions such as Instagram and WhatAspp helped this domain, but it was still the one that best executed the vision that was formed about the evolution of social networks.

And if Facebook realized early on how it should grow its community and maintain it, we should take its vision for Metaverse seriously. Once again it’s nothing totally new, this 3D world where we can be actors through avatars, but it has conditions to run with tremendous success.
Bill Gates has envisioned in recent weeks that in three years virtually all professional meetings will be in the Metaverse virtual world. But, more important than trying to guess whether Bill Gates is right with this prediction, we should appreciate that the statement is made as a positive perspective on the impact of technology on our lives.

For most of us, technology is a good thing. It makes our lives easier, gives us more access to knowledge, allows us to communicate from anywhere at any time and all of this is fantastic because it came to function as the greatest social elevator. Never before has there been a real opportunity for a talent to emerge and shine, regardless of its origin.

It is not, however, clear that this new Metaverse internet is as democratic and open as the internet that was born in the late 1990s. in fact another direction.

At the beginning of the century, even after the burst of the dotcom bubble, there was a huge buzz because the barriers to entry were low. It wasn’t expensive to make a website or an e-commerce store, and significant audiences were immediately accessible. You fought for relevance, of course, but you couldn’t buy it. Today’s reality is very different. It is impossible to launch a project with ambition without reserving significant resources to promote it in search and social networks, as anyone who is not on those two doors does not exist. It was never free because investing in technical resources always made a difference, but the internet didn’t belong to anyone in particular.
Today we live in a world that hesitates about the need for regulatory intervention to recover this open internet, or to protect the privacy of its users, and the belief that the few dominant players will manage to do so.

If Apple’s initiative to launch features that identify which apps used our device’s micro or camera seems to give strength to the idea that self-regulation works, we should question how the same Apple let us get here. And the answer is always the same for every problem in every industry: because it made money.

We all anticipate that the impact of Metaverse on our lives will be huge and could be fantastic but it seems very unlikely that we will return to an open internet.

Opinion article signed by João Paulo Luz, digital business director and publisher of Impresa


Source: Meios & Publicidade by www.meiosepublicidade.pt.

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