IPcentral Weblog
  The DACA Blog

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Negroponte's "Daily Me" = RSS Feeds + Google Alerts
(previous | next)

I've been re-reading Nicholas Negroponte's brilliant and extraordinarily prescient 1995 book Being Digital this week, and I just came to the famous section in Chapter 12 about "The Daily Me." It's his visionary discussion of a future of personalized filters for all things digital to perfectly tune news and entertainment to your personal preferences. Here's the key passage (again, remember that he wrote this in 1995, long before most of the digital things we take for granted today existed):

Imagine a future in which your interface agent can read every newswire and newspaper and catch every TV and radio broadcast on the planet, and then construct a personalized summary. This kind of newspaper is printed in an edition of one. [...]

Imagine a computer display of news stories with a knob that, like a volume control, allows you to crank personalization up or down. You could have many of these controls, including a slider that moves both literally and politically from left to right to modify stories about public affairs.

These cotnrols change your window onto the news, both in terms of size and its editorial tone. In the distant future, interface agents will read, listen to, and look at each story in its entirety. In the near future, the filtering process will happen by using headers, those bits about bits.

Well, that future came about sooner than even Negroponte could have predicted. We all have a "Daily Me" now; it's called our RSS feed. And there are other components to the "Daily Me," such as iGoogle and Google Alerts, which provide automated search results served up instantaneously. And there are many other digital tools and services out there today that help us personalize our media experience.

You really gotta hand it to Negroponte for being way ahead of the curve in foreseeing all of this at a time when most of us where still using Trumpet Winsock and 14.4 modems. Hell, Al Gore hadn't even built the Internet yet!

posted by Adam Thierer @ 3:15 PM | Books & Book Reviews , Generic Rant , Innovation , Mass Media

Share |

Link to this Entry | Printer-Friendly

Post a Comment:

Blog Main
RSS Feed  
Recent Posts
  EFF-PFF Amicus Brief in Schwarzenegger v. EMA Supreme Court Videogame Violence Case
New OECD Study Finds That Improved IPR Protections Benefit Developing Countries
Hubris, Cowardice, File-sharing, and TechDirt
iPhones, DRM, and Doom-Mongers
"Rogue Archivist" Carl Malamud On How to Fix Gov2.0
Coping with Information Overload: Thoughts on Hamlet's BlackBerry by William Powers
How Many Times Has Michael "Dr. Doom" Copps Forecast an Internet Apocalypse?
Google / Verizon Proposal May Be Important Compromise, But Regulatory Trajectory Concerns Many
Two Schools of Internet Pessimism
GAO: Wireless Prices Plummeting; Public Knowledge: We Must Regulate!
Archives by Month
  September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
  - (see all)
Archives by Topic
  - A La Carte
- Add category
- Advertising & Marketing
- Antitrust & Competition Policy
- Appleplectics
- Books & Book Reviews
- Broadband
- Cable
- Campaign Finance Law
- Capitalism
- Capitol Hill
- China
- Commons
- Communications
- Copyright
- Cutting the Video Cord
- Cyber-Security
- Digital Americas
- Digital Europe
- Digital Europe 2006
- Digital TV
- E-commerce
- e-Government & Transparency
- Economics
- Education
- Electricity
- Energy
- Events
- Exaflood
- Free Speech
- Gambling
- General
- Generic Rant
- Global Innovation
- Googlephobia
- Googlephobia
- Human Capital
- Innovation
- Intermediary Deputization & Section 230
- Internet
- Internet Governance
- Internet TV
- Interoperability
- IP
- Local Franchising
- Mass Media
- Media Regulation
- Monetary Policy
- Municipal Ownership
- Net Neutrality
- Neutrality
- Non-PFF Podcasts
- Ongoing Series
- Online Safety & Parental Controls
- Open Source
- PFF Podcasts
- Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism
- Privacy
- Privacy Solutions
- Regulation
- Search
- Security
- Software
- Space
- Spectrum
- Sports
- State Policy
- Supreme Court
- Taxes
- The FCC
- The FTC
- The News Frontier
- Think Tanks
- Trade
- Trademark
- Universal Service
- Video Games & Virtual Worlds
- VoIP
- What We're Reading
- Wireless
- Wireline
Archives by Author
PFF Blogosphere Archives
We welcome comments by email - look for a link to the author's email address in the byline of each post. Please let us know if we may publish your remarks.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation