So here’s what happened. If you tell people you’re going to have this super-open, absolutely non-commercial, money-free thing, but it has to survive in this environment that’s based on money, where it has to make money, how does anybody square that circle? How does anybody do anything? And so companies like Google that came along, in my view were backed into a corner. There was exactly one business plan available to them, which was advertising.
Neoliberalism is broken. The economic model of the last thirty years. It worked for a bit, dragged the bottom two thirds of the world’s population up the income scale dramatically, facilitated the tech revolution. But it’s stopped working.
I think it’s deeply important that we add a working knowledge of business and business models to what it means to be web-literate. The sites that we use, there’s big money behind them, and there’s even bigger profit motives in front of them. We need to be able to think critically about where we build our communities, about what they’re doing with our data, and about when—not if—they monetize us.