What a silo used to be…

Dave Winer at Scripting News brings us this.  The funny thing is, I actually had to cheat and read the HTML IMG tag to figure out that the tall cylinder in Dave's picture is a silo! 

I just saw it as a graphic of a barn, and wondered, “Why is Dave Winer putting a barn on his blog?  Has he run out of pictures?”

In my shrinking mind, the word “silo” had been totally disconnected from its original meaning, and usurped by the very notion of segregated technology realms that Dave is telling us about.  So the farm thing didn't register.

Doc talks about a Vendor Management Systems, to balance the other side’s Customer Management Systems. I, of course, like. A prototype for this is a movie review system where I own and control my data. Today, I rate movies on Netflix and Yahoo, but I can’t get them to share the data with each other, so they make recommendations without info the other one has. If I had a place where I kept my movie ratings and gave each of them a pointer to it, they could read it and I would control the data. It would be very easy to set up, the technology is no trick at all. The hard part is getting enough users to do it this way to gain critical mass. This is also the idea behind Edgeio and Marc Canter’s People Aggregator. Open systems, users own the data, silos smell of sulfur.

This is exciting stuff – I'm talking Identity Big Bang content.

The way I read Doc's ideas, he's talking about a real inversion of what advertising is and means.  Instead of suppliers advertising what they want us to buy (by spamming our attention), we'll advertise what WE want to buy, and suppliers will make us offers.  Sounds a lot more efficient to me.  What am I missing?  Why doesn't everyone want to do this?

Maybe because a lot of what advertising is about is getting us to want things we don't know we want.  But even that can be done in other better ways too.  Like by producing cool things and having them explode into discussion.  Doc said this too, didn't he:  Markets are conversations.


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Kim Cameron

Work on identity.

10 thoughts on “What a silo used to be…”

  1. Thanks, Kim. I responded here:


    By the way, I'll bet one reason Dave showed a barn and silo, and not just a silo, is that it's not easy finding good images of silos, for some reason. That's been my experience, anyway.

    In any case, looking forward to working with you (and Dave, and others) on this.

    Kim responds: Wow. Do you think the people with silos could have gone around and bought all the pictures of silos and hidden them in a huge underground cave so no one would talk about them?&nbsp&nbsp I'll ask around.

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