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What Would You Ask Nicholas Carr?

Posted by: Jon Fine on May 20, 2008

Tomorrow afternoon I have the privilege of interviewing Nicholas Carr onstage about the Web, technology, and how it’s all inflecting the world of media at the Mediabistro Circus conference.

What should I ask him?

Carr's newest book is The Big Switch, which applies an overarching metaphor to the Web-ification and the broadband-ization of today's world--he finds it analogous to the development of the electrical grid. (His book is, obviously, much more nuanced and textured than that grievous oversimplification.)

On his excellent blog Rough Type, he's written (along with many other things) his doubts about the Web 2.0 economy and the wares it produces.

I'm looking forward to this conversation immensely. But, as always, I'm curious to hear what you think would be an interesting question or two to ask.

(The obligatory disclosure: My wife, Laurel Touby, founded Mediabistro.)

Reader Comments

A. Lipton

May 20, 2008 3:33 PM

What do you see that has to be put/kept in place to prevent the inevitable consolidation of the web over time? Whether it is the super highway threat or the Rupert Murdock push to own everything in media, consolidation is a certainty. This is something we have seen in just about all other forms of media.


May 21, 2008 2:23 PM

Carr's argument doesn't make consolidation inevitable.

That being the case, all of the individualism and data sharing that is making the Web so powerful still contrasts with the an increasingly protectionist attitude of existing media leaders (DRM, copyrighted content).

Are we slowly progressing toward a collision course? Can the two be reconciled, or will one disappear?

It seems like DRM is the inevitable one to go away because there are so many individuals, but the media conglomerates have better lawyers. So which one is it?


May 22, 2008 4:13 PM

Sadly, I had several questions about his faulty Gilligan's Web hypothesis- he misunderstands both how the Nielsen Ratings were compiled in 1967 and how the counter culture was formed. But it looks like I missed the deadline.

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