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Tuesday 20 November 2012

Walking backwards into the future - #ndf2012 opening by @vikram_nz

Am at National Digital Forum 2012 doing my liveblogging thing...

Opening address
Vikram Kumar (@vikram_nz), InternetNZ

[ETA: Vikram's posted slides (and will link to video when available.]

Vikram Kumar is currently Chief Executive of InternetNZ and has previously worked with government (State Services Commission) and the private sector (Telecom). He writes regularly at on a range of issues related to the future of internet in New Zealand. Recent topics have included re-invention and evolution of the internet, piracy, privacy and cyber-security. A regular at NDF over the years, he's interested in how the GLAM sector can support new creative and commercial models online.

"I curate stories about the internet - how it changes individuals, organisations, countries." Internet driving massive disruptive change. Such change has happened before, eg television.

Quotes: Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore from The Medium is the Massage: "When faced with a totally new situation, we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future."

Disruptive change like a midlife crisis - does God exist? why am I here?

Shows excerpt from TED talk Thomas P. Campbell: Weaving narratives in museum galleries

How do we look forward and use digital technologies in context of social, political, economic change. When looking at technologies we wonder, "What can I do with this?" Sometimes this is wrong question - should ask, "What should I be doing?" Don't extrapolate the past to define the future.

Look at what we want to achieve, don't worry about how we're going to do it.

New media affect society not just by the content, but by the characteristics of the medium itself. Eg how does the internet affect copyright? Copyright from an age when cost of producing copies was high. Internet disrupts this - copying becomes not just cheap and easy but inherent to how the internet transmits information.

Internet is:
  • ubiquitous - especially with APNK. What does it mean when people are constantly connected? Need to think of ourselves not as a destination - we can go where our community is. Eg Quake Stories. Organisations coming together to deliver virtual reality - overlaying past street images over present empty lots.
  • End-to-end principle, layered architecture - internet itself is simple, just moving bits around, but it allows all sorts of things to be built on top of this. Need to permission to innovate. Semantic web emerging slowly. 1762 means nothing by itself - but add context/metadata and (a year), it gives meaning.
  • Everyone can be a producer - people we're trying to reach needn't be passive consumers. We don't have to do all the education/preservation on our own.
  • Openness - goes back to not needing permission. Lets us experiment. Deep engagement. Get people involved in projects - even to put in money. Pledge Me to crowdfund NZ creativity. But only works if you've got engagement.
  • Bottom-up evolution - new areas of collaboration all the time.
  • Global and universal

What future do you want?