The Economist writes in a survey of the world economy: “China, India and other developing countries are set to give the world economy its biggest boost in the whole of history, says Pam Woodall. What will that mean for today’s rich countries?”
As developing countries and the former Soviet block have embraced market-friendly economic reforms and opened their borders to trade and investment, more countries are industrialising and participating in the global economy than ever before. This survey will map out the many ways in which these economic newcomers are affecting the developed world. As it happens, their influence helps to explain a whole host of puzzling economic developments, such as the record share of profits in national income, sluggish growth in real wages, high oil prices alongside low inflation, low global interest rates and America’s vast current-account deficit.
Emerging countries are looming larger in the world economy by a wide range of measures. Their share of world exports has jumped to 43%, from 20% in 1970. They consume over half of the world’s energy and have accounted for four-fifths of the growth in oil demand in the past five years. They also hold 70% of the world’s foreign-exchange reserves.
The New Web can be thought of as incremental in Topics. Topics relate to our interests. The New Web is about tracking people or topics. RSS (or a feed) is central to this Web.
Take a look at our own lives and interests. There are so many situations in which one would want a relationship to track whats new. I want to know the new books that Crossword has got in the past week and the deals that are on offer. I want to be able to track flights that I am booked on a few hours from now. I want to know traffic conditions on roads every evening along the routes to home. My wife would like to know the sales around town every weekend. As parents, we want to know the dates for the anti-polio drops.
Life is about the New. For much of human history, the combination of easy publishing and notification has not been available. Now, with blog-like publishing tools and RSS for syndication, it is simple to create and track content. We have already seen this with RSS aggregators which simplify the task of tracking updates to weblogs and topics that are of interest to us.
In this context, mobiles will make things even easier. I can take photos with my mobile and share it with friends and family by publishing it to a website. Instead of sending SMSes or emails asking them check the latest photos, they can set up subscriptions so that will be notified whenever I publish something new. The ease of sharing will lead to a concomitant increase in the publishing. I will create more content if I know that my friends and family will be able to consume it in real-time and then be able to comment on it, which I can then view just as quickly.
The New Web also lets us pursue our micro-interests. RSS feeds let us change the granularity of what information is updated. On the Reference Web, I will only know that a page has changed if at all. In the World of Now, the granularity can be for the microcontent think blog posts. A legacy search engine will index a page, but an incremental web search engine will focus on the feeds. Feeds are the containers and carriers for microcontent.
A recent example will help demonstrate the power and potential of feeds.
Tomorrow: Facebook and Feeds