Friday, March 28, 2014

The 'Hidden' Web - Mitch Joel on the Private Internet

Mitch Joel gave an interesting talk on the ’hidden’ web at Creative Morning Montreal's March 28, 2014 event.

How a new batch of apps are offering privacy and the promise of impermanence. Snapchat, cyber dust , secret ...Cloak a reaction or antidote to our over publicized Facebook lives.

The kids are of course leading the way not wanting parents to pry etc.  My first thoughts went to cyber bullying, and other nastiness, but it's not like that's not already happening.

His business is marketing, and the business takeaway is that privacy and 'hiding' is booming.  It was very interesting.   He's an accomplished speaker, relaxed, funny.  Steve Jobs in a sports jacket.  He told the little anecdote that wasn't an anecdote - about seeing a guy looking at Buckingham Palace under an umbrella wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, that has nothing to do with the presentation, other than that it's a slide, and the presentation is about anonymity...and got everyone laughing.

The hidden web - (not even the dark web where the real action no doubt is) it's all around us.   Not surprising that people are starting to push back - looking for alleged anonymity after Facebook got over run by parents and uncles.

I wanted to ask about Luddites. How there will be increasing numbers of people who reject technology or never had any to begin with. What will their world look like? How will they communicate? Who will market to them?

Hand delivered cards? Telegrams? Messengers waiting for the message to be destroyed? Sin eaters? People who have taken vows of silence available to hear confessions for a fee? Like 'Brick' I expect the hipsters will soon be at least publicly entirely offline....

And how will our personas evolve? How predictable will our profiles be and how good will algorithms get at guessing what's between the lines?  What will the psychic costs be of maintaining uber public (Facebook etc) and private personas?  Will we get confused?  Hell, managing more than one Twitter account almost gave me an embollism...

He mentioned how Facebook had guessed his high school, the sophistication of what we've already shared and what it says about us.

Will there be cleaners? Hackers skilled at erasing our tracks? Or will we just stop caring? Oh yeah, that's me, when I had a thing for sheep...

So 'chapeau Monsieur' - and thanks to the organizers and everyone who came out.  What will the future hold?  Will the genie ever go back into the bottle?  I think more people will start to turn off, but then again I saw my first glasshole ....

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