Making Sense of P2P Content

Looking around at the proliferation of Web 2.0 applications that involve peer production of content in one form or another, I find I’m still scratching my head and wondering where it’s all going. There are now so many YouTube wannabes that you need a specialised search engine just to index all the crazy video content sitting around on servers out there.

On a more positive note, check out the prophetic and highly rated, an internet magazine that connects people with ideas, models and technologies aimed at social equity and environmental sustainability. It’s a thoughtful site that shares knowledge rather than preaches and I predict we will hear more about it in the future. Let’s use the Web to do some good in the World.

I’m also currently enjoying exploring the O’Reilly Radar blog that examines Web 2.0 and other emerging technologies. O’Reilly produce research, publish books and organise technology sector events in the United States. However, the firm has a Kiwi connection in writer Nathan Torkington who has recently moved his family back home to NZ. Torkington is also regarded as a leading light in the Perl developer community and a prime mover behind the New Zealand Foo Camp (another form of peer-to-peer knowledge network). His move lends some more weight to the idea that the peer production of content is breaking down old economic paradigms. You can now dream up good ideas and share them just as easily from Washington as you can from Warkworth.

And with weblogs hovering around the 70 million mark, some commentators are now questioning whether there needs to be some rules and etiquette in place to govern blog usage…if we are to fulfil the democratic potential of peer to peer content. A recent incident, in which Digg had to censor postings because of a legal liability, demonstrates just how loose the protocols around peer produced content really are.

Of course it may be a moot point considering how few of the visitors to Web 2.0 sites actually contribute content. The power of peer produced multimedia still resides with a relatively small group of people for the time being.

[tags] Web 2.0, P2P [/tags]

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