Guests: Leo Laporte, Don Tapscott, Gina Trapani, Jeff Jarvis,Jake Jarvis
Recorded: May 31, 2009
Published: June 1, 2009
TWiT 197 •Previous episode – Next episode
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Leo Laporte Bandwidth for this WEEK in TECH is provided by AOL Radio at aol.com/podcasting.
This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, episode 197 for June 1, 2009: Steal This Diploma
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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, the show that covers all things technological and boy do – I am so excited to have this panel today. Some of my favourite people together and I think together for the first time on TWiT. First, Don Tapscott is here. He’s never been on TWiT before but we had you on net@night, and one of my heroes, to be honest, Don is an analyst of the future, his books Growing Up Digital and Grown Up Digital really talk about how the world is changing for our young people. Wikinomics was a huge success and really kind of presaged a world where everybody kind of participates in content.
Don Tapscott Yes.
Leo Laporte And we’re glad to have you on TWiT, welcome.
Don Tapscott Delighted.
Leo Laporte Nice to have you.
Don Tapscott Delighted to be here.
Leo Laporte Also here another – this is Author Day on TWiT. Also with us and another guy we’ve been trying to get on for ages and ages and ages and that is Jeff Jarvis the author of What Would Google Do and BuzzMachine and a long time media, like me, an old media guy who’s found his way into new media very successfully.
Jeff Jarvis I’m delighted to be on with the nicest man on the whole internet.
Leo Laporte I’m the Charles Osgood of the internet. That’s my…
Jeff Jarvis The contrast is usually greater when you have Dvorak on but…
Leo Laporte Yeah, I try to get cranky people on to make the difference. Would you like to take that role, Jeff or..?
Jeff Jarvis I’ll let Don do that.
Leo Laporte No, everybody here is nice. You know what’s fun –
Jeff Jarvis He’s Canadian – he’s too nice.
Leo Laporte Yes, Canadians are kind of people you bump into them on the street and they apologize. That’s an old joke I apologize for. Also here with Jeff, Jeff’s son Jake who is a junior in high school but also a Facebook developer and I brought him on, because it’s the first time we’ve ever had a father/son team on the show. But also because he – I want to talk a little bit about Google Wave and what it – from the developer point of view. And so here’s the kid who’s also doing a lot of what Don Tapscott has been talking about. Really very much a part of the new digital generation.
And the queen of the digital generation is also here. We love her. Gina Trapani the life hacker.
Gina Trapani Hello.
Leo Laporte Also a book author, her book Lifehacker: 88 Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day. And now it’s smarterware.org.
Gina Trapani Yup.
Leo Laporte And so it’s great to have all of you.
Gina Trapani Thanks for having me.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Love having you on, Gina. You’re always – you’re the – I just realized you’re the only one who’s been on TWiT before. So you are going to have to tell these guys how to run the show, okay?
Gina Trapani Excellent, very excited. I actually, I ditched out on San Diego BarCamp today to come on TWiT. It was a really good conference actually.
Leo Laporte Oh! I am so sorry.
Gina Trapani No, no it was fine, it was great, it was a really great weekend. It was starting to wind down, but I took off after lunch. I had to give a shout out because it was a really cool conference. So San Diego BarCamp, yay!
Leo Laporte I was talking with Don before we began about how everything is changing and BarCamp is an example of how conferences are changing.
Gina Trapani Totally.
Leo Laporte They are not these hierarchical “I’ll sit and stand on the stage and talk, you listen” events. They’re communal events now.
Gina Trapani Right, yes and BarCamp is actually a totally DIY conference. I mean, I was literally with the organizers at Costco on Friday, like buying like 16 million cases of Coke and Mountain Dew and Monster drink and the attendees all speak so I talked and pretty much everyone talked and it was a really good time.
Don Tapscott Personally, as someone who is on the rubber chicken circuit getting big speakers fees, I oppose this whole...
Gina Trapani Everyone gets in for free, everyone speaks for free but it’s a really cool place to like, try out or talk for the first time or just kind of, just – you know, get goofy. They don’t ask for talks on technology necessarily. There were all sorts of talks, so it was a good time.
Jeff Jarvis I learned at the feet of Dave Winer who yelled at me once when I was on a panel at blogger con and he said damn it, Jarvis, there is no panel, the room is the panel. He was right, as Dave usually is.
Leo Laporte Is it just a bunch of old hippies now who finally after 40 years where we’ve finally got to….
Don Tapscott I just did a review of a book, it’s actually online today at the Globe And Mail. It’s a book called Lost In Cyburbia. And this guy in London makes this argument that everything that’s happening today is a result of Norman Wiener's original creation of Cybernetics.
Leo Laporte Norbert Wiener, yeah.
Don Tapscott Norbert, sorry.
Leo Laporte I think that’s accurate.
Don Tapscott But the point that he made was that the people who came in behind cybernetics were none other than Stewart Brand and The Whole Earth Catalog and he describes these weird little scenes where Douglas Engelbart’s showing the mouse for the first time and Steward Brand is actually running the camera in the background.
Leo Laporte You’re kidding. I didn’t know that.
Don Tapscott Yes. And then – but he basically makes the point that it’s all these hippies and anti-war protestors from the ‘60s that went on to sort of create Silicon Valley and that what we have today is – through all these camps and so on is an extension of that.
Leo Laporte And when said Dave Winer he seems that quintessential Berkley hippy to me. I don’t know if he is but he just seems that. That’s that spirit, that style. And that’s what BarCamp it couldn’t be more hippy event. And I am proud to say that I am a hippy.
Don Tapscott Well, I was of course.
Leo Laporte Were you?
Don Tapscott Oh yes, I was against the war, big time.
Leo Laporte Jeffrey, you were obviously – you still are.
Jeff Jarvis Yes I was, I was.
Leo Laporte You still are a hippy.
Jeff Jarvis Hair is greyer and shorter now. But…
Leo Laporte Jeff you and I have seen a big transformation in media though. I mean, we’ve seen an amazing shift from old media to new media. And are you excited by it or is it a little scary? I mean, a lot of old media types hate it.
Jeff Jarvis It’s a – they do and they hate me as a result, but –
Leo Laporte Yes you are a turncoat.
Jeff Jarvis Yes, it’s a second childhood for me. Here with my white beard and white hair I have learned the new ways of a whole new way. And I think it’s a way to expand media and journalism in incredible ways. I got out of a big company, I now teach in City University of New York, Graduate School of Journalism because I wanted to be involved with young people who are going to re-invent news. So I teach a course on entrepreneurial journalism so that they can even start companies to re-invent it. And that’s where the innovation is going to come from. I kind of learn the hard way. It’s not going to come from the big old guys.
Leo Laporte Well, that kind of to lead us to story one of the week, which was the old guys getting together colluding trying to get you to pay for content. What happened, Jeff, what was going on? Boy there was a lot of talk about it on Twitter, Jay Rosen and you were going back and forth. What was the event?
Jeff Jarvis There was a meeting, brought together by the Newspaper Association of America and it probably would have been less suspicious if we’d known about it ahead but they got together in a cruddy motel in Chicago area, because that’s all they can afford now.
Leo Laporte It’s like the Sopranos, where families were meeting.
Jeff Jarvis And they were met by a couple of companies, yes, that are trying to start ways to pay for content. And I am not against paying if you can do it but I’ve argued that by trying to pay you – put your content behind a wall, you’ll lose Google Juice, you’re out of the conversation. But these guys are trying to preserve the little they know of the old world and the new world and they don’t understand the link economy. So I think we are going to see a lot of papers that are going to try to charge, I know entrepreneurs who’ve said good, please do that because it will kill you sooner and we can come in afterwards.
This young guy James Kotecki who did all kinds of wonderful things during the campaign made a video saying please, charge and then you’ll all be gone. And I am afraid it’s going to hasten their deaths.
Leo Laporte They just don’t get it.
Jeff Jarvis No, and I think the other problem is there’s an anti-trust issue. I went and looked up the data on – the information on the FTC site about what does it mean to be anti-competitive and the very definition of it is to…….
Leo Laporte Get it together in a motel in Chicago.
Jeff Jarvis Right, what a better place to do it. So they are all going to raise prices and I am afraid they’re all going to get sued.
Leo Laporte Yes, yes, and what’s interesting is how it came out and how publicly it became and this is an example where Twitter really exposed this very quickly and got a conversation going as I am not fond of the conversation on Twitter. It’s kind of a limited situation. But at least it was there and it was happening.
Jeff Jarvis James Warren who used to be an editor on the Chicago Tribune got the entire agenda and he put it up on a blog before hand and then it spread on Twitter like that.
Leo Laporte Like wild fire. Yes.
Don Tapscott You know what this thing whole thing reminds me of. This monetization of content, I just got to asked to speak at a conference on this topic and it’s sort of like trying to create a movie by filming a stage play basically. That these people are trying to take their old model and just run it on a new platform and get people to pay for it, when really GNet should have invented the Huffington Post and NBC should have invented YouTube and AT&T should have invented Twitter and Yellow Pages should have invented Craigslist.
Leo Laporte It strikes me that’s a very difficult thing to do because your business model is based around dead trees or whatever and it’s very hard to change a business model in the middle. Gina, you’re going to say something, I am sorry…
Gina Trapani Yes, I just kind of agree, I mean, I think that Clay Shirky’s piece on this was so good. And that it shouldn’t be about preserving a business model, it should be about preserving journalism, right, and like how is that going to happen.
Leo Laporte Yes, fight for journalism not for newspapers.
Gina Trapani Right, exactly, exactly, I mean, of course I feel bad for people who are going to lose their jobs and all those things. But, I mean, I don’t know. It’s kind of the laws of evolution.
Leo Laporte Are they going to lose their jobs, I mean – does it mean they are out of business?
Jeff Jarvis Well, a lot are. But I met with some people last week like Debbie Galant who runs Baristanet, New Jersey and there’s 40 people from The Star-Ledger who are now starting their own blog. I’m running a project in new business models for news. I think that hyperlocal bloggers and interest bloggers can make a living at it. Gina has, TechCrunch has in the tech area. But I think it will happen in our towns as well.
There are going to be independent agents not working for a big company and that’s hard. But I do think that there is a market demand for journalism and the market will meet it.
Leo Laporte Do they do that by charging for content like the newspapers?
Jeff Jarvis No.
Leo Laporte No.
Jeff Jarvis News ads.
Gina Trapani Yeah, they are doing ads.
Jeff Jarvis And none of them better at selling ads.
Leo Laporte Yes.
Gina Trapani Yes, I mean, I think it’s important to remember that starting a small company like Gawker and paying bloggers like me to write Lifehacker and Gizzmodo and even TechCrunch is just a small company. Things aren’t so easy there either. Advertising – it’s a struggle there too but we don’t have the infrastructure that newspapers do. So I don’t know. Gawker just had this thing happen this week where they started selling, they basically sponsored a separate blog and was putting posts on Gawker blogs that look like ads, but weren’t marked as such. So there’s much like experimentation going on and lots of pushing the envelope, but things aren’t exactly easy. The answer isn’t like ‘oh, just these little companies spring up and there should be bloggers and the advertising will pay.’ There are a lot of challenges there too. I think it’s important to remember.
Jeff Jarvis But you’re right, Gina, that the cost structure, having 300 people in a news room, a lot of people who just put out the paper or another movie critic or another golf columnist. You have to – the link economy of the internet demands that you specialize and that you do something really well. To do the same stuff everybody else does? There’s no value in that.
Gina Trapani Agreed.
Don Tapscott Yes, like the one funding model that’s of interest: to preserve The New York Times in its existing form is of course that it become an NGO.
Leo Laporte A non-governmental organization?
Don Tapscott Yeah, like a foundation. And these exist. There are foundations that support this.
Leo Laporte A non-profit basically.
Don Tapscott Yeah. And I think it was Geffen who was trying to – do you know – did that happen?
Leo Laporte He was going to try and buy it or fund it.
Don Tapscott He was going to invest a couple of hundred million and the idea was not as an actual investment.
Leo Laporte But here’s a guy steeped in the old business world. He may not be the right guy to do this, right?
Don Tapscott Yes.
Jeff Jarvis But Don, there was this great quote in the Times about a year ago, a young woman in college aged a little older than Jake who said ‘if the news is that important it will find me. ‘
Leo Laporte Right, yes.
Jeff Jarvis And I am sure you found in your research that people just don’t have the same magnetic interaction with media that they have to go to the site anymore. Now they expect the site to come to them.
Leo Laporte They want it pushed not pulled.
Don Tapscott You know I had an amazing experience on this. I was chairing a panel of young people, it was a big crowd. It was like, I don’t know, 6,000 people in the audience and I was sort of socking the kids with these stereotypes about their generation. So I said to this one youngster by the name. By the way her name was Rahaf Harfoush, H-A-R-F-O-U-S-H.
Leo Laporte I know Rahaf, yeah.
Don Tapscott Yes. And she has a book that comes out tomorrow. And the book launch is in Toronto this week. I wrote the foreword to the book, but she was like 20 years old. She was born in Syria, she was in Paris studying; her boyfriend is in Toronto. So they turn on Skype all day long to keep their relationship going. So – and I put it to her about the media, I said ‘aren’t you the dumbest generation? You are ignorant, you don’t read the newspaper, you don’t watch the TV news. You get your news from Jon Stewart in the Daily Show on Comedy Central’ and she says back to me, she says ‘I don’t think that’s a fair stereotype of my generation. I think we are informed.’ She says ‘it’s true I don’t read the newspaper.’ She says ‘have you ever seen one of those things?’ They come out like once a day and they don’t have hyperlinks.
Leo Laporte How slow can you get?
Don Tapscott And they’re not multimedia and you get this weird black stuff all over your fingers.
Leo Laporte Have you ever tried one of those?
Don Tapscott And then she makes this point about the news comes to me and she describes she’s got 60 RSS feeds and she says I like to triangulate the news to form my own opinions. She says ‘it’s true I watch the Daily Show but not to get the news.’ She says ‘the Daily Show isn’t funny unless you know the news’
Leo Laporte You have to know ahead of time, yeah.
Don Tapscott Yeah. So – but here’s a generation that’s interacting with media totally differently and…
Jeff Jarvis I can never beat Jake to a story.
Leo Laporte I was going to ask. Jake, you are our example, our exemplar of the new generation. How do you get your news? Do you – first of all do you care about the news?
Jake Jarvis Yeah. I figure if something big happens then I’ll hear about it on Twitter first or Facebook or through a friend. I always go to a news site or newspaper for more information. But the big news always comes to me first.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I’m a FriendFeed fanatic and it’s an aggregator of all of that stuff and it’s real time, it’s scrolling up on the screen and it is more efficient, but it’s not in depth. So you do have to then pursue the links down and this is, the question is, well who’s going to do the in-depth reporting? Who’s going to create the content that all these quick feeds lead to? Aren’t we losing kind of the base, the source of all of this stuff if we say ‘oh who needs newspapers?’
Jeff Jarvis Well Leo, I think you will have. The problem is we assume that you’re going to have kind of a single new product replacing the single old product. We are not; we are going to have an ecosystem of news with many players. There will be hyperlocal bloggers and interest bloggers like Gina and there will be, I believe, some level of publicly supported journalism, not necessarily taking over the whole New York Times which I think can still be a business but things like The Huffington Post Investigative Unit and ProPublica and Spot.us
Leo Laporte Does the Huffington Post really have an investigative unit? Come on.
Jeff Jarvis Yes!
Leo Laporte Really?
Jeff Jarvis They just got $1.3 million and they hired away the editor in charge of investigations of the Washington Post.
Leo Laporte Well, that’s very encouraging in that case. I mean that’s extremely – that’s extraordinarily good. You have seen this site, allvoices. This was an interesting idea. It was kind of an open media site encouraging people all around the world to contribute to it. I really like the idea behind it but they have had some struggles. I mean not all the content has been great on here. We need some editorial control, don’t we or is that old school too. Is that…
Don Tapscott I think it is old school. You know Wikipedia doesn’t have editorial control.
Leo Laporte There’s nobody in charge.
Don Tapscott And there is wisdom in the crowd if you’ve set the context right. The crowd can be really stupid if you don’t have the right context as well but I wonder about something like the Huff. Like this is - this has got a lot of traction now and when I write something on the Huffington Post, I typically get a better reaction than I do if I write in the New York Times.
Leo Laporte A smarter reaction and more active...
Don Tapscott No, just a bigger reaction.
Leo Laporte Bigger.
Don Tapscott And – it’s very – it’s a lot savvier too actually if you think about it and it’s valuable for me to do that. I wonder if they could start charging people like me, charging the writers.
Leo Laporte Don’t say that. Don’t. Stop Don before he kills again! So Jake, do you then, okay so you’re following Twitter. You’ve seen the headlines, you click through to the links and read the stories in depth, I mean do you spend as much time reading as if you were reading a newspaper.
Jake Jarvis I think so. I’ve never really read a newspaper much.
Leo Laporte I love it.
Jake Jarvis The thing is I can choose what I’m interested in and read into that as much as I want to.
Leo Laporte How about this issue Jake that people say that you’re only going to pursue things that are consistent with your point of view and you’re not going to get serendipitous other points of view? What do you say about that?
Jake Jarvis I think it’s hard to avoid things that you don’t agree with online. I mean you’re always going to run into things that don’t go with your views and I don’t know I find that interesting, I don’t know if anyone else does.
Leo Laporte I have to confess though that I look on FriendFeed and I’ll block people who are really virulently right wing because I’m virulently left wing and it does concern me. Is it important to train people to seek out other opinions? What do we have to teach people like Jake as they grow up in this environment where we don’t have these other, there isn’t any serendipity or is there maybe there is?
Leo Laporte Well, I think Jake makes a good point actually that I mean like how do you stay away from Fox News? I mean it’s everywhere.
Leo Laporte It’s everywhere.
Leo Laporte And I was in Wyoming last week and I met someone who said her parents just turn it on in the morning and they watch it all day long and it might explain why we have some problems in the world but they are going to bump into it. On the other hand, I think that it’s a good point that we need to like this is the first time in history when young people are in authority about something real important
Leo Laporte We got an 18-year-old, or a 17-year-old on the show. I mean my daughter was just on!
Don Tapscott I was an authority on model trains when I was 11.
Leo Laporte I was collecting stamps.
Don Tapscott Today the 11-year-old at the breakfast table is an authority on this thing that’s changing every institution. But just because they’re an authority on something doesn’t mean they are an authority on everything and there’s certain things – I think that it makes sense that we would sort of build training programs or certain educational programs into our schools like, just something like privacy. That worries me a lot.
Leo Laporte Right.
Jeff Jarvis Don I think that media literacy isn’t just about consuming media now. It’s also about creating media and what happens when you do.
Don Tapscott Yeah, that’s a great –
Leo Laporte Well, in fact you can’t, you know if you’re – Facebook’s a really good example. You don’t just get to sit and passively consume Facebook. If you don’t contribute to it, you’ve got nothing. Modern media like Twitter, Facebook and so forth requires participation as much as consumption. I love that.
Jeff Jarvis It’s the only way you connect to people.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I love that.
Jeff Jarvis You can’t connect unless you reveal something of yourself and that scares people my age, but the young people, that’s how they interact and I think it actually will be healthy because they will be connected with friends for the rest of their lives.
Leo Laporte Well, I see a lot of parents who say I’m going to keep my kids off of these social networks because of this fear of privacy and at that same time I think it’s really – this is, you know my wife didn’t want my son to be on MySpace. He’s 14. I said well what were you doing when you were 14. Were you on the phone all the time? She said yeah. Well, this is his phone. This is how he communicates with his peers.
Don Tapscott The other thing is sit down with the kid and work through the privacy settings on Facebook.
Leo Laporte Isn’t privacy dead?
Don Tapscott No, I hope it isn’t because I think it’s a big problem if we lose our informational privacy, you know, like increasingly as we spend time online this is not just a way of communicating with others, it’s the basis for work and learning and healthcare and entertainment and social discourse and so on. We are kind of leaving this trail of digital crumbs and these things are being collected into a mirror image of each of us, the virtual Leo.
Leo Laporte Yeah, the data smog, the stuff that’s trailing off of me as I go through the world.
Don Tapscott The virtual Leo may know more about you than you do because you can’t remember what you bought or consumed or said or whatever a year ago and right now I think there are thousands of young people not getting that dream job in the world this year because they failed the quote reference check.
Jeff Jarvis I also think Don that there are people who are discovering – connecting with people they wouldn’t have connected with otherwise. The discussion so much is about privacy when I think it should be about control of your data. I agree there but the benefits of publicness are great and – it was Eric Schmidt who said that we all will be change our names at age 21 and start over. I think at some point we have kind of a doctrine of mutually assured humiliation.
Don Tapscott But the trouble is that you can’t right now, I mean I had this debate with my own son and he said dad by the time, you know, I come into the workforce we are going to be running things and the fact that I was underage drinking or wearing a dress at a party or something is not going be a reason to…
Leo Laporte Well, isn’t that true?
Don Tapscott But there is a big, this is going to take decades for public attitudes to change.
Leo Laporte It happened in… It happened in the Presidency. A few years ago, you could lose a nomination because you smoked pot. I don’t think that’s going to be a criterion going forward.
Don Tapscott But it takes a long time. The other thing is that information about you in a highly detailed way can be manipulated.
Leo Laporte But everything can be manipulated, I mean we’ve learned nothing is real anymore.
Don Tapscott But you can be manipulated, I guess that’s really the point like there are cases of a guy shows up for the job but he failed the reference check and what had happened is that his employer got access to medical records and found out that he had been treated for depression or something like that.
Leo Laporte That would be bad.
Don Tapscott So there are certain things that we have a right to have private.
Leo Laporte Jake, what do you do or do you have a Facebook profile that you post pictures of you partying on.
Jake Jarvis No.
Leo Laporte Dad’s taught you not to do that or did you figure that out on your own.
Jake Jarvis I mean I just don’t put anything up there that I don’t want other people to see.
Leo Laporte So do you think that your peers have that sense as well that they realized that this stuff lives forever? They probably know better than we do, Don.
Jake Jarvis Yeah, I think most of them.
Don Tapscott Yeah, I think they are self-correcting now like at parties you know, this is a no Facebook photo party that kind of stuff.
Leo Laporte There was a very funny Onion Video the other day about a fire at a NYU dorm and they figured out who caused the fire because there were 40,000 pictures, 30,000 videos, every – it was documented in full detail and they had…
Jeff Jarvis 20,000 shots of the cigarettes falling that caused the fire.
Leo Laporte Yeah exactly. We had to look around the co-eds who were kissing or posing for the camera, or the guy who was showing his tattoo, but it was all there documented. That was a very funny video, but I think maybe a little bit true. We are talking about all sorts of stuff. We are going to talk about Google in just a little bit and the new Wave with Gina Trapani, the life hacker and the smarterware.org, Don Tapscott is here with Grown Up Digital. That’s his latest book. Jeff Jarvis, the author of What Would Google Do? His latest book on Media Wizard from buzzmachine.com and his son, Jake, who is one of the, believe it or not, as a junior in high school, a premier Facebook developer and I love that. Going to talk about that in a second.
We are going to take a break though and talk about GoToMeeting. You know, it’s kind of fitting today that we are spending a lot of time about collaboration because that’s what GoToMeeting’s all about. You know the old way of doing business really is or was meeting in person, then we kind of got to conference calls, but when’s the last time you were on a conference call? Boring, unproductive. Just, you know, they feel like they’re a waste of time. Somebody goes off track, people lose interest, they disengage. They are playing Tetris, they’re typing Twitter, they are e-mailing and at the end you feel like that was a waste of time.
This is where GoToMeeting can really help. GoToMeeting because they are seeing your computer screen keeps people on track during the conference calls. They are on literally the same page, your page. Everyone on the call sees your screen. They are following along with you. The call is more focused, more interesting, more engaging and that means you’re going to save time. You’re going to be more productive and you’re not going to leave these meetings going why did we do that again. GoToMeeting, very simple to install, just takes you a couple of minutes, a couple of clicks of the mouse. In fact if you go right now to gotomeeting.com/twit, you can install it and try it for 30 days absolutely free, great for sales presentations for product demos, for training, collaboration. That’s mostly how we use it.
We also use it on one of our – Maxwell’s House on our podcast. We use GoToMeeting all the time. We get that great screen he could show us. As he’s talking to us about stuff, we could see the slides, see the Key Weiner [ph] does the slides actually. For weekly update calls, any kind of conference call, GoToMeeting. It is changing the way I do business and I think you are going to love it. I want you to try it free. Go to gotomeeting.com/twit for 30 days free. The folks at Citrix, gotomeeting.com/twit.
So, let’s get back to the conversation. Boy I hate to interrupt this. This could go on all night. This is a great group of people to talk about this stuff but there was a big conference this week. It’s kind of funny. There were two big announcements this week. Microsoft announced a new search engine called Bing which everybody went, looked at and then immediately forgot about because Google had all these big announcements. Is there any story left, I mean is Bing a big deal? Anybody wants to defend Bing. Gina, is it the hottest thing since Google?
Gina Trapani Well, I think I’d like to try it first. All for a search engine competition. I think it’s good. I think that there need to be better search engines or decision engines or whatever we are calling it these days.
Leo Laporte Yeah, they don’t call it a search engine.
Gina Trapani Right, right. First we had Wolfram, which is the like computational knowledge engine and now we have a decision engine. Either way, I have to say what I saw of Bing looks cool, I mean I hate – I’m certainly not going to review a product without trying it myself.
Leo Laporte Right.
Gina Trapani But, I think that competition is good. It’s a few years late, I mean, Microsoft has tried this a few times, right? So, we’ll see what happens, I mean, thank goodness, it’s not a Live something or other, at least they came up with a different name.
Leo Laporte Enough of the Live Microsoft.
Gina Trapani Yes.
Leo Laporte When you actually do something live then you can name it live and we’ll all get excited.
Gina Trapani Right.
Leo Laporte Unfortunately, Microsoft chose the word “live” as it’s branding at a time when in fact everything really was going live, and the stuff that they were using to brand Live, wasn’t.
Gina Trapani Yes, right.
Leo Laporte Kind of was ironic that way. Bing will be a success when people say, I want to Bing that instead of, I want to Google that, and that day is never going to come, I am sorry.
Gina Trapani Yes, I have heard time thinking about what’s going to come, but I – again, I am – yay! competitions.
Leo Laporte Right.
Gina Trapani I am really hoping that it’s good.
Leo Laporte Ra ra.
Gina Trapani Yes,
Jeff Jarvis I think that Leo that search was yesterday’s battle, and the frontiers to be fought still are social and live and local of the Deep Web.
Gina Trapani Yes.
Jeff Jarvis And you‘re going to get to it in a second, but I think that would Wave, they just jumped ahead of the old battles to the new battleground.
Leo Laporte I couldn’t agree with you more.
Don Tapscott I think the other – the reason that everyone got excited about Wave is that one company announced a product, and the other announced a platform, whereby others could participate.
Leo Laporte Yes. Boy has that changed.
Gina Trapani Yes.
Don Tapscott That’s the old versus the new paradigm. And by the way, Urban Dictionary it can’t have been a coincidence, the day that Bing was announced, came out with a – the Urban slang meaning of the word Bing. Do you know what it is?
Leo Laporte Oh, I hate to think, what?
Gina Trapani Oh, God!
Don Tapscott Jail.
Leo Laporte Jail?
Don Tapscott Yes.
Leo Laporte I’m in Bing.
Don Tapscott Yes. I have been in Bing for last 18 months for BNE.
Leo Laporte Oh, great.
Jeff Jarvis I’m in Bing because I stole some bling.
Leo Laporte Oh-oh.
Jeff Jarvis Sorry.
Leo Laporte No, I think that’s…
Don Tapscott Bada bada bing.
Leo Laporte I think that’s a – one of the things that’s really remarkable about this: Microsoft could of course, and probably will, I mean they’ve share point in Grove, they’ll do something like Wave, but it will be a commercial product, it will be a closed product, it will be a Microsoft product, they will sell.
Don Tapscott Yes.
Gina Trapani And it will be 10 years later?
Leo Laporte Yes, it will be behind the time, whereas Google did it exactly right. They made something that was open, they invited developers to create for it, they said we’re going to allow you to run in it on your servers, we’re allow you to modify it, we’re going to give you an API and a protocol, this all – this is – so you’re saying this is the modern way.
Don Tapscott Yes, well, the old way is plan and push, right? We have all these great developers, by the way there are inside our boundaries, we create these great products, then we push them out on to the market.
Leo Laporte Right.
Don Tapscott And you’re going to love them.
Leo Laporte Eat it or not?
Don Tapscott Yes. And the other is – I have been calling it engage and co-innovate, that we create a platform, we open up the APIs, – do you know that T-shirt, if you can’t open it you don’t own it? And we’ll engage the world in co-innovating and co-creating the future, and one is the old and the other is the new.
Leo Laporte Media is the same way, isn’t it? I mean, Media has gone from push – we’ll find it, we’ll report it, we’ll give it, we’ll serve it up to you.
Don Tapscott Yes.
Leo Laporte And now it’s a co-operative effort.
Don Tapscott Look at the show.
Jeff Jarvis I think Leo, that’s the important thing about Wave, I blogged about right before coming on the show, is that – Google talks about it as the email we would invent if we invented email till today, I actually think it’s the news we would invent as we’re inventing news today, because I imagine that a bunch of reporters and witnesses can collaborate on a story using Wave, sharing photos and [indiscernible] information and assignments and questions, and they can push that to a web page, they can push that to Twitter, and it really becomes a new way to publish news.
I’ve been talking about how the article is outmoded as the atomic unit of media; [indiscernible] talked about how news organizations need to have a permalink for an ongoing story, but Wave, I think, becomes that, and that’s huge in media. So, Wave is more than just communication and collaboration. It’s that, but it’s also an entirely new way, as Don says, to engage and collaborate and do it live and to publish.
Don Tapscott Yes, I mean, once that thing is out there, then people can interact with that.
Leo Laporte You know what, I think this bodes very well for Wave. I had the same reaction as Jeff, as a media guy, I thought, oh, this is great. I could put the TWiT video in the middle, and the community that’s participating in this can interact and create around it discussion – it’s got features of a Wiki, features of instant messaging, features of actual messaging, and then – but now, you have another application for it Jeff, and I think the measure of the success of this is that it’s seen in many different ways, depending on your point of view, much like the Internet.
The fact that it could be a prism for your points of view are and it can be a collaborative tool, I mean, if you’re in business, think of a small business being able to – I think of the projects that we work on here to be able to work in that kind of environment is fantastic.
Jeff Jarvis You really, you win online, the biggest lesson of Google, I think, in creating platforms is that when you lose control of something, when people surprise you, and take it over, that’s when you’ve really won, as opposed to the old centralized, big, media and corporate way of looking at life is that you thought your value was in controlling something, no, your value now is in losing control.
Leo Laporte Again, it’s that hierarchical, we know, you don’t, we’ll tell you, you sit down and shut up and take it, you consume it. I think, in a way, you made that point didn’t you, Jeff, when you said Google may not even understand what this is, they’re putting something out that they think is email.
Jeff Jarvis Exactly. I mean, Craig Newmark, when he made Craigslist didn’t know that it was going to destroy the business model of newspapers as we know them, or people would use it after Katrina to find each other. I think that Google’s putting stuff out with the exact hope, they’ve said it often in their long one and twenty minute fascinating demo, that we want you to take this over and surprise us.
Leo Laporte The term that’s used commonly is generative, this is a generative project.
Gina Trapani Yes.
Jeff Jarvis They also put out Web Elements, and I think that’s important themselves for media as well, I have been talking about trying to make news organizations embeddable, what if you could embed on my blog or yours more than just a video, but also an article with a quote highlighted, or a graphic or photos, or anything else. I think that Web Elements from Google enables that, I saw Apture this week, I think they can enable that, APIs enable that, so it’s also – while some of the newspapers are now trying to shut their stuff down around the paywall, the smart ones like The Guardian, are trying to get their stuff out there, and I think, Elements and Wave becomes new ways to also distribute your content.
Leo Laporte Go ahead, Gina.
Gina Trapani Yes, I was going to say that, as a user and a developer and a blogger, I am totally excited about Wave, I took the time to watch the entire hour and twenty minutes demo, and I was just absolutely blown away, I am especially excited that it’s open source following on Android and Chrome, which is really kind of awesome, when you think about the culture of secrecy at Google, I guess, it’s really cool to see them put this stuff out there.
I was really excited about – I don’t know if you guys saw this part, but the Google Web Toolkit, which they use to actually build the app is super-cool. It’s like a Java, you write the app in Java, which I was really excited about because I am a Java developer, and then it like generates all the AJAX and CSS for you, just kind of, from a developer’s perspective, that was super-cool, but I…
Leo Laporte I immediately ordered a GWT book. I am just totally excited.
Gina Trapani Yes, I know, I know. Exactly. Me too, I was – I didn’t order the book yet, but I will do that, when I hang up. That looked really cool. But at the same time – oh, and I love that it’s federated, right, so you can install it on different servers and the communication you have on one server doesn’t necessarily go back to Google.
I thought it was interesting during the demo that they kept saying, certain parts of this code will be open source, they didn’t say all, they kept saying certain parts, so I am curious to know how that like - if that will be phoning home or what. I mean, they did say that if like, some company like Lifehacker has Wave installed on their server, and private communications happen there, that those don’t ever go back to servers…
Leo Laporte Yes.
Gina Trapani And that’s a good thing, privacy wise.
Leo Laporte I asked Kevin Marks about that question is how much are you going to open? Kevin, of course is Google’s OpenSocial Advocate and Developer, and a very smart guy, he said, there’s technical issues with releasing it all but the intent is to make it fully open.
Gina Trapani Well, that’s good, that’s good to hear, but I also think that you have to have sort of a healthy amount of skepticism about this type of thing as well, I mean, [indiscernible] wrote a piece about how Google Wave was the product of his dreams as it is for us too, but, must have tried it yet…
Leo Laporte But let’s see it, yes.
Gina Trapani But let’s see it, exactly, and what’s the business model, I think, someone else at [indiscernible] also wrote this piece that was like what’s the business model, I mean, I am really not of the mind that...
Leo Laporte Who cares? Google doesn’t need to know what the business model is, their business is search.
Gina Trapani Yes.
Leo Laporte Anything that drives eyeballs is good for Google.
Gina Trapani Yes, I agree.
Jeff Jarvis This is advertising.
Leo Laporte I mean advertising/search, yes.
Gina Trapani I agree.
Leo Laporte Search driven advertising.
Don Tapscott Yes, they are an ad agency.
Leo Laporte They are basically an ad agency, so just like this show, and anything else, the more eyeballs the better, that’s…
Gina Trapani Definitely.
Don Tapscott Which is, at the announcement, I noticed, they were asked, the guys name I forget, Vic, the Google guy.
Leo Laporte Yes.
Don Tapscott Hard last name, starts with a G.
Leo Laporte I wanted to say Gupta, but I know it’s not right. But anyway –
Don Tapscott But, so who is your competitor, and he said, well we just, we didn’t really design this with a competitor in mind. Sort of reminded me of Eric Schmidt’s comment when someone asked him…
Leo Laporte Gundotra.
Don Tapscott Gundotra, that’s right. Eric Schmidt was asked, you compete with Microsoft when he said, I don’t know, I am not Microsoft.
Leo Laporte That’s their problem, not mine.
Don Tapscott But here’s the point Leo, earlier, I mean, it kind of is like the web in the sense that, what is this thing? It will be what we want it to be, sort of like the internet, will be what we want it to be.
Leo Laporte It’s like a mirror, yes.
Don Tapscott Yes, it’s like a reflection on everything, in the case of the web, everything that goes on, from finding a cure to AIDS to organizing acts of horrific evil.
Leo Laporte Right.
Don Tapscott But it – I am not sure they do know what it is, I mean –
Leo Laporte That’s fine.
Don Tapscott It’s a platform that’s going to evolve and it will be what we create.
Leo Laporte That’s fine, as long as they understand that, and they don’t attempt to mold it, but I think that, Google, of all companies is most likely to let it be what it wants to be. Jake, you’ve developed for Facebook, and I am sure that’s a little, feeling a little risky because at any point, Facebook could pull the plug on anything you do.
Jake Jarvis Uh-huh. They can change the profile layout or anything.
Leo Laporte Yes, and then it’s a closed system, and yet it’s been great system for developers, FBML is, I guess, fairly easy to write for and developers are making a lot of money, but you must look at something like Wave and say, that’s kind of a more safe place to be, you feel that?
Jake Jarvis Yes, it’s great.
Leo Laporte Yes. Have you bought the book on GWT?
Jake Jarvis Now I want to though, because I am learning Java in school.
Leo Laporte It’s perfect for that.
Jake Jarvis Yes.
Leo Laporte Yes. I think it’s an interesting model, although you don’t – by the way I checked, you don’t have to write in Java, there are bindings but there are also bindings for Python.
Gina Trapani That’s cool, cool.
Gina Trapani Yes.
Jake Jarvis Right.
Leo Laporte And I think that’s kind of interesting.
Gina Trapani It is, it’s really cool.
Leo Laporte Yes. So, Jake, are you going to write some gadgets?
Jake Jarvis I hope so, I’m still unsure like how they got it working, I think you have to make a bot or something.
Jake Jarvis It’s great, because they take care of the synchronizing stuff, they said, you just have to change the XHTML on one side –
Leo Laporte Is that cool?
Jake Jarvis And then it shows on all the other different sides.
Leo Laporte Did you watch the breakout presentation on this – what do they call it? Object Transformation?
Jake Jarvis No.
Leo Laporte It’s very, it’s how you get this kind of asynchronous collaboration going on, it’s very interesting, very sophisticated, it’s kind of the modern computer science hot topic, flavor of the year. And they really, they have done a good job, I think. This is going to attract developers for some time. It does require a HTML 5, and it’s going to, that means Google call them modern browsers.
Gina Trapani A euphemism.
Leo Laporte That’s a good euphemism.
Gina Trapani The non-IE browsers.
Leo Laporte Yes. Anything but IE.
Don Tapscott Is that kind of like an oxymoron? Modern browsers?
Leo Laporte Well, no it isn’t, because what they call modern browsers are really not, in many cases available yet. Chrome 2 will do a lot of it, Safari, but one thing they pointed out, or maybe it was Kevin who pointed out, really the best browsers for this are Webkit based, Chrome, and Safari, Webkit based, but many mobile platforms are also Webkit based, including…
Jeff Jarvis There is the key, I think that the power of the instantaneous communication on mobile is mind-blowing, I think.
Leo Laporte Can you imagine, I mean, you have a Wave, you get up, you’ve been reading this Wave, you’ve been following the news, big story going on, you’re following it on your desktop, you get up and it’s on your phone and you continue to follow it and continue to collaborate and contribute. Do you think – one thing that I wanted it to do, and I don’t know, I actually got kind of shouted down yesterday on the Gillmor Gang, because I said well, I’d like…
Jeff Jarvis That never happens.
Leo Laporte Never happens. I’d like it to scale to a large group, I’m curious about it as a many to many communication tool and I think it was Mark [indiscernible] said oh, forget about it, it’s not, it’s going to be few to few, 150 or fewer, it’s not going to be a media tool, do you think, Jeff, it could be a media tool?
Jeff Jarvis I think it could be. I think this idea of working collaboratively, assigning and questioning as you go on, working with Nokia at CUNY, where I teach, with their devices to try to have an assignment structure that they are working on. Well you look at Wave and right in the middle of it, you can say ‘who’s there, what do you know, go get a picture, add the picture in, do this, do that.’ I guess, to one extent in the Wave, if you want to try to come up with a good product, maybe you -- it’s a benefit to be able to limit it. But I think that there have to be ways to structure it, like Twitter, where you can follow people and you can have –
Leo Laporte That’s – I agree.
Jeff Jarvis The confusing part is, different views of the same thing.
Leo Laporte Yes. And that’s is going to be tough.
Jeff Jarvis Yes
Leo Laporte I don’t know how they’d that, but that’s -- you‘re exactly right. This is the thing that makes Twitter work, is that you get to design your own, in effect, by choosing who you‘re following. I don’t know how they are going to go about it.
Jeff Jarvis Yes and I think that the idea that you and I might see the same Wave and see different versions of it.
Leo Laporte Right.
Jeff Jarvis That’s very confusing coming out of an era where everything -- every newspaper was printed exactly the same; we all saw the same thing.
Leo Laporte Yes we all watched Ed Sullivan on Sunday night
Jeff Jarvis We’re going to come up with a very customized web.
Leo Laporte Yes
Gina Trapani I mean the whole adoption is going to be super interesting right? Like I introduced friends to Gmail for the first time and they get freaked out by the conversation threading and the way that it works. It’s different. It’s different than they’re used to so …
Jeff Jarvis If that freaks them out they’re really in trouble.
Gina Trapani Yes, I mean I think Wave adoption is going to be like, what – what is this? At first.
Leo Laporte But I think real time scares people initially. I remember when FriendFeed went real time there was all this noise, “oh! It’s too much, too fast I can’t keep up”. And then people went, “oh wait a minute”
Don Trapscott Yes
Leo Laporte ‘Oh this is compelling. Oh! My God.’ And then they – and they got it. I think we’re naturally live. All it is, is human; this is real time, it’s called a conversation. That’s normal.
Jeff Jarvis And part of -- part of the way you curate that is by the people you trust. You’re not going to curate the kind of -- that – I’ve always -- I‘ve been saying for last year that Google is behind on live because they need content to ferment like wine or cheese. They need to see the links come in.
Leo Laporte It’s hard to do real time search.
Jeff Jarvis Well exactly. And so I thought that’s why they needed to buy Twitter and in a sense they went around the left flank and around the issue to a whole new kind of live creation.
Leo Laporte Wow! Brilliant!
Don Tapscott I had the same thing as you describe with Twitter, when I first came on it, I was just over – until someone said, “You heard of TweetDeck”? Then all of a sudden I could organize all this stuff in a way that I could deal with it.
Jeff Jarvis Jake got me on Tweety, Don; it’s much, much better. By the way I saw a question on Tweety – on Twitter asking someone what is your Twitter handle, Don?
Don Tapscott D. Tapscott
Jeff Jarvis I will pass that on.
Leo Laporte D. Tapscott, Gina Trapani, it’s Jeff Jarvis is it, or is it BuzzMachine? Jeff Jarvis, Jake Jarvis. And I don’t give out my Twitter handle anymore.
Jeff Jarvis Cause you’re just too big, too famous
Don Tapscott Because you’ve got too many followers, right?
Leo Laporte You know it’s not -- it used to be a lot of followers. It’s nothing compared to P. Diddy. There was a little Twitter revulsion though – revulsion, there’s a Freudian slip. There was a little Twitter revolution. P. Diddy was starting to make a deal about getting to a million followers and all of a sudden there is a hot and rising topic “Un-follow Diddy” and he went -- dropped down very rapidly, another 50,000 people dropped off. They said ‘Oh!’ Is this the Twitter that we want. Same thing with this -- Jake, you ‘re not playing this spy – what is this game, Spymaster?
Jake Jarvis No I signed up for it.
Leo Laporte You did?
Jake Jarvis Yes. I was just curious.
Leo Laporte Okay, you’re not going to be one of those Spymaster’s spammers?
Jake Jarvis No.
Leo Laporte I think Twitter ‘s problems right now is that it’s very easy to game it and to game trending topics and -- by putting trending topics right on the front page there they have encourage people to start gaming it with things like Spymaster. That’s going to increase the signal noise but the beauty of it is that you get to follow who you are interested in. I haven’t seen once -- only one of my friends – Wana I’m thinking of you -- only one of my friends now has had a Spymaster post on Twitter whereas a lot of people are complaining about this. It’s because who I follow, the quality people like you, Gina, that I follow aren’t playing in those stupid games. So, that’s the beauty of this follow model. I don’t know if we could apply it to wave. I’d love to see that though.
Don Tapscott Well, ultimately it is – age of transparency. I mean real value comes to the fore. If you’re going to be on…
Leo Laporte I love that, I hope that’s true.
Don Tapscott Yes, if you’re going to be on Twitter and you’re going to be a jerk and just promoting your own thing or whatever..
Leo Laporte Bye bye.
Don Tapscott You’re going to lose it, so…
Leo Laporte As long as we have the tools to do that then I do have high hopes that quality will rise.
Jeff Jarvis I just saw on the IRC, no surprise, Scoble is on Spymaster. Of course.
Leo Laporte Well, he has the good sense not to Tweet it them because I have it. Then, Jake you don’t Tweet it. You can play it, just don’t Tweet it okay.
Jake Jarvis No, I haven’t.
Leo Laporte Jake, did you ever do World of Warcraft.
Jake Jarvis For a few months when it came out…
Leo Laporte When it came out…
Jake Jarvis It’s not as addictive as people say, I don’t think.
Leo Laporte I played World of Warcraft. I probably sunk forty hours into it. In order to get to really a high level you got to be – you got to spend a lot time on that.
Jake Jarvis Right.
Leo Laporte And it’s not that much fun it’s a lot of running around. I want to kill things, I don’t want to run around. You don’t play WOW, do you Gina? None of people here play WOW, they’re too productive.
Gina Trapani No, no, no I would lose my entire life immediately, I think, running around. And surely I would drown immediately or do something stupid or like wind up in the woods and killed, I don’t know. I am bad at the games.
Don Tapscott I had a really funny one happen to me. I was over at Nokia in Helsinki and it came up, WOW came up and the -- one of the senior execs came up to me afterwards and he says ‘I think I have a good story for you’ he says ‘my fifteen year old is a GuildMaster and it was New Year’s Day and he is allowed to play on holidays and he wasn’t playing and I said – “Hey, how come you’re not playing today”? He says, “Dad, it’s New Year’s Day; it’s not a good day to go on a raid. Everyone of my Guild is hung over”’.
Leo Laporte Oh.
Don Tapscott And the dad is mortified like, ‘what are you talking -- why are all these kids drinking?’ And then the kid had to explain to him ‘well the average age is probably like thirty-five or…’
Leo Laporte It’s accountants, it’s a bunch of accountants, who’s really, who’s playing World of Warcraft. We’re going to take a break, I want to – when we come – we have so much to talk about. But I’d like to – we’ve got a great panel here: Don Tapscott, Gina Trapani, Jeff Jarvis and Jake Jarvis and we’re getting some great feedback by the way, real time feedback in our chat room. We have five chat rooms going at once plus our Twit conversations. It’s just really -- I like the interactivity of it, I like the party feel of what we’re doing. We’re going to talk some more in just a bit. But I want to mention our friends at audible.com. Any – any -- I am just going to ask out here, any of you who has listened to audiobooks. You travel all the time Don, you’ve got to.
Don Tapscott I don’t a lot. I have to tell you the truth…
Leo Laporte I am surprised.
Don Tapscott Yeah, I should more, I just – yeah.
Leo Laporte It’s a great way not to waste time. You’re an audible listener Jeff?
Jeff Jarvis Yeah I am and I proud of be on Audible. I’ve recorded my own audiobook and you could hear how fast I talk.
Leo Laporte Did you?
Jeff Jarvis Nine and three quarters hours of me I couldn’t even bear, but people are nice, they buy it.
Leo Laporte So it’s unabridged.
Jeff Jarvis Oh yeah. It’s every damn comma.
Don Tapscott It’s such an intimidating idea of actually reading your entire book. I am recording and I have never– I have had publishers ask me to do that and I’ve always said, get an actor.
Jeff Jarvis Don, I’ve listened to your book and it’s weird because I hear you and that’s not how my mind’s ear heard you before.
Leo Laporte Right. Don’s Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, which was really the prescient book in all of this, I mean. When did that come out? 2000 …
Don Trapscott The end of 2006.
Leo Laporte 6 okay.
Don Trapscott It was, according to Amazon sales, was the number one management book for the year in 2007 but…
Leo Laporte But it came out in 2006.
Don Trapscott Yes .
Leo Laporte That’s available on audible.
Don Trapscott Yes
Leo Laporte And of course, What Would Google Do is available on audible. Now here is the good news, I am going to give you a chance to get two books free. So there you go, there are your two books. Go to Audible.com/twit2 if you sign up for the platinum account you could get -- now, Gina when you put the Lifehacker book on audible then we’re going to have to come up with a new offer.
Gina Trapani If I could stand the sound of my own voice for that many hours, yeah, maybe.
Leo Laporte You don’t have to read your own book.
Gina Trapani That’s good news.
Leo Laporte And actually audible’s been asking me what are you going to read, what are you going to read? They want me to read a book and so I -- that’s just going to be a tough one to choose. I think I’m going to read fiction. I like fiction.
Jeff Jarvis I think you should do Don’s next book. I’d like to hear it.
Leo Laporte That’s the opposite of fiction…
Jeff Jarvis It’s gonna…
Don Trapscott That gets comment of the day, Jeff.
Leo Laporte Audible.com/twit2. set up for the platinum account. 50 -- no I’m sorry 60,000 books now, huge variety. Business but also Fiction, Great Performances, Young Adults as well, Mysteries, Thrillers, a fantastic Sci-fi section. It is my bookstore and I think it will become yours too. There is new one, by the way called Twitter Power, I see. Wow this is their first Twitter book to make it on Audible.com. I wonder if it’s all in 140 character sentences.
Jeff Jarvis9 The book’s 140 characters long.
Leo Laporte I could listen to that. Audible.com/twit2, we thank them so much for their support of This Week in Tech
You know we were talking about a – before the show began about education and that’s one of the things, Don, you’re active in is in how pedagogy is changing.
Don Trapscott Yes, basically somebody if frozen was hundred years ago and they miraculously came alive today and they looked around at the professions, a doctor in an operating theatre or a pilot in a jet or -- they’d think “Wow has the world has ever changed”. And technology has been at the heart of it. While if they walked into a lecture theatre at a typical university or in a classroom, they’d breathe a sigh of relief, they’d say this something I recognize…
Leo Laporte University is exactly is the same.
Don Trapscott You know -- the model, you can call a broadcast leaning. I am a teacher, I have knowledge; you’re a student, you’re an empty vessel, you don’t. Get ready, here it comes, right? You know and your goal is to take it into short-term active memory and through practice and repetition, to build deeper structures so that you can recall it to me when I test you. Drill and kill.
Leo Laporte Right
Don Trapscott And the problem it – well the problem is not just that that’s a bad way of learning. The problem is Jake, like Jake’s grown up interacting with content. My generation growth watching TV twenty four hours a week. So that broadcast model was o.k. But today, kids don’t learn that way and the whole model of pedagogy is wrong for the generation that’s going to dominate this century.
So we have a big disconnect, I think, that’s shaping up in the universities and there has been a lot of hand-wringing about the university. Big article in the New York Times called the demise of the university that cause a lot of flack but all the criticisms of the university, to me, come down to this one that when you’ve got the smartest kids thinking the thing to do is get an A, without ever having gone to a lecture, the writing’s on the wall. You know, we need to move to a model of learning that is student focused and that’s collaborative and that’s not one size fits all.
Leo Laporte Universities are really designed around creating more university professors, essentially.
Don Trapscott Well that’s been a big part of it and even on that it doesn’t do well like you have all these graduate students wanting to be professors and there are no jobs. So…
Jeff Jarvis Don, I think you are absolutely right and I don’t mean to interrupt my own son there, but you know Jake has been this year as a junior taught to the test. Testing is an industrial age model of stamping out the students all the same, trying to say the same right answers and those are not the people who are going to invent the next Google.
Leo Laporte Even teachers hate that frankly. Unfortunately that’s government mandated these days and it’s really a shame. Jake, what -- do you supplement your education, how do you handle this?
Jake Jarvis I just do what I’m told in the school, I mean…
Leo Laporte Do what you’re told? You know, I have prob -- my son doesn’t do what he’s told and I have trouble with that because on the one hand I feel like he needs to get an education and get As and – but on the other hand I think that maybe his creativity is being stifled, maybe he shouldn’t do what he’s told.
Jake Jarvis Yes
Don Trapscott So, Jake why do you do that?
Jake Jarvis Well, I mean it – like in AP class it’s about getting a five on the test so as long as you get a five on the test then I just do the assignments.
Leo Laporte You want to go to college.
Jake Jarvis Yes .
Don Trapscott And if you don’t do that you’re not going to get into a good school.
Jake Jarvis Right and I don’t agree with that way, but that’s how it is, so I just follow.
Leo Laporte My daughter is also a junior in high school and totally focused on getting into college because we have brainwashed her, the culture has brainwashed her that that’s what you do.
Don Trapscott You know this gets to a really fundamental thing which is the purpose of education. I mean when I graduated, you went to university, you chose a field and you graduated and you were set for life, You just kept up in your chosen field. Today you graduate, you are not set for life, you are set for like, fifteen minutes or something.
Leo Laporte You may not be set at all.
Don Tapscott Half, you know, what you took in the first year if it was a technical course is obsolete by the time you get to the fourth year.
So it’s not your ability to perform on tests or even to a certain extent what you know that counts when you graduate, it’s your capacity to learn life long and to think and to communicate and solve problems and be critical and – well and to search you know, to research and to authenticate and to have good BS detectors and so on and I think we’re just totally headed in the wrong direction. And these institutions if we don’t invent them for relevance then they will fall. There’s all kinds of signs that the universities are in deep trouble.
Leo Laporte Gina did you – what did you study in college?
Gina Trapani Well I was an English major in college –
Leo Laporte See there you go.
Gina Trapani And Comp Sci – well I was a computer science minor and then winding up getting my graduate degree at CUNY in New York in computer science.
Jeff Jarvis Yay, CUNY!
Gina Trapani Yay CUNY! Yeah. I went to Brooklyn College, yay CUNY.
Leo Laporte Yay English too.
Gina Trapani I spent a lot of time at UC, San Diego and actually it was interesting earlier when you were talking about Facebook. My spouse is an administrator at the University. So she runs into photos of students doing things that they shouldn’t be doing all the time. She is sort of legally bound to do something about it. She doesn’t friend anyone that doesn’t friend her, so that’s going back to earlier –
Leo Laporte That’s interesting. She doesn’t want to see.
Gina Trapani Yeah, no, no. No. She doesn’t want to see unless it’s pushed to her, she’s not like on Facebook checking on in her students. She is literally like, do what you want to do, make your decisions, I am going to educate you but I don’t want to see.
Leo Laporte See no evil.
Gina Trapani Exactly, but she comes up on a picture of a student holding like a enormous bag of weed in a dorm room.
Leo Laporte She has to do something, right.
Gina Trapani Legally she has to do something about it. So that’s kind of an interesting thread. But also at UC, San Diego, I mean I kind of agree what you were just saying about universities, but isn’t there some, aren’t there some systems of participation happening? I mean I heard that in large lecture halls here at least, there is like a remote control that you can buy and then, you know –
Leo Laporte Turns off the lecturer?
Gina Trapani Well, professors ask questions and then students, I guess it’s some sort of like IR remote, answer, choose the answer that they think and then it gets aggregated on the screen online live.
Leo Laporte Why don’t just put twitter up on the screen behind you?
Gina Trapani Yeah seriously, I know. Exactly.
Leo Laporte That’s a little scary probably for most professors.
Jeff Jarvis I think we need Bar Camp U.
Leo Laporte Yeah, yeah. Bar Camp University, how to teach teaching.
Gina Trapani Exactly, exactly. So I mean I don’t know if that’s going to solve all the problems I mean it’s just like real time polling, it’s a multiple choice answer from what I understand, but it’s moving toward that a little bit.
Don Tapscott Yeah, I think it’s a step, but still it’s sort of diddling with the old one way model pretty much.
Leo Laporte Are you saying disband the whole thing?
Unknown Speaker Well, look. 1976, I took a graduate course in statistics at the University of Alberta, it was all on a computer, PDP 11/70 with a BT100 terminal and a slide projector connected to the – the prof was right there, so no decline in face in face communication, but he was out of the trans-admission of data business and in statistics there is no one size fits all, anyway. I mean everyone in the classroom is either bored or they don’t get it. So I went through things at my own pace, things I understood, I went through quickly, things I didn’t understand I went over and over again. I got an A. Most kids did, I’m just saying –
Leo Laporte Are you saying computer teaching is the future?
Don Tapscott It’s not about the technology; it’s changing the relationship between the student and the teacher and learning to process –
Leo Laporte Letting you, letting you pull the information.
Don Tapscott Yeah, and there is a big role for face to face, small group discussions, really –
Leo Laporte But not really for lectures.
Don Tapscott No. Like the lecture is the process whereby the notes of a lecture go to the notes of a student without going to the brains of either, basically. Now as someone who gives a lot of lectures I appreciate the irony of that particular point of view.
Leo Laporte Well, let’s do something for Jake and for my daughter and for all – I mean we have a lot of smart kids listening to this show and they are in the same mind Jake’s in. They got to get the grades. I mean I don’t want to undermine you dad, but…
Jeff Jarvis Abolish the SATs. Start there.
Leo Laporte There you go.
Jeff Jarvis Abolish. Get rid of the educational testing service and abolish the notion of teaching to tests and teach to creativity. Why don’t universities and high schools have Google’s 20% rule? Start there.
Leo Laporte There, that’s a great idea. Google encourages, in fact I think commands its employees to spend 20% of the time, one day in five, doing stuff that they are interested in. And some of the best stuff out of Google’s been 20% stuff.
Jeff Jarvis What’s going to get us out of this mess is not industrial age people, marching like in the 1984 commercial. It’s going to be people who are creating new things and are empowered to do so. As a dad, in all candor, I feel guilty that like you I say, yeah Jake you are right, that’s what you have to do to get into Carnegie Mellon and – where he’s going this summer I’m proud to say – but on the other hand how much more could he learn if he were creating things, programs, companies, all kinds of other things? How do we mix the two in? Because right now they just don’t work together.
Leo Laporte I felt like that the convergence of digital tools and the internet, both – lowering the cost of creation and in giving you a distribution medium is going to foster an explosion of creativity unlike anything we have seen since the Cambrian explosion. I really think that we are on the verge of an amazing explosion of creativity. And I don’t – I think people like Jake are a good example of somebody who is both doing in the background doing this creativity and then forced to kind of go down this channel that is really increasingly irrelevant. But you can’t get rid of these institutions overnight, I wish we could.
Don Tapscott But look at all that Jake can accomplish on the side.
Leo Laporte It’s true.
Don Tapscott Imagine if the world was organized to let him accomplish full time
Leo Laporte It would be unbelievable.
Don Tapscott Yeah.
Leo Laporte So, why don’t we start as parents, Jeff? Why don’t we just say alright, don’t go to college?
Jeff Jarvis Because his wife, my wife and his mother in the other room will come in and kill me.
Leo Laporte And my wife will kill me. She is on the college tour with my daughter right now.
Don Tapscott I know, let’s –
Jeff Jarvis Through Fred Wilson Jake met David – I’m sorry Jake – Carp.
Leo Laporte Oh, David Karp the creative tumbler?
Jeff Jarvis Yeah, and because Fred said that Jake should have a mentor like that or someone to meet –
Leo Laporte Perfect. And David’s like 24.
Jeff Jarvis Well Fred warned me that David quit high school to start the company.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Jeff Jarvis And when we came home, his mother and my wife said “don’t you think of it!”
Leo Laporte But that comes from a fear that is understandable, that if you don’t go to college, get the four-year degree, get the diploma, get the graduate degree, you won’t be able to get a job and I think we know now, that’s a fallacious fear. In fact it’s the wrong direction.
Jeff Jarvis Universities should be incubators of creation and they are the opposite now. I teach a course on entrepreneurial journalism, I teach at university. I do it because I want to be around the young people who are going to reinvent journalism and I try to foster that, but they care about the grades. And I say don’t give a damn about the grade. You know you might get money at the end of this course to start a company, that’s better than a grade.
Leo Laporte Texen says in our chat room something that is a reasonable thing. I want my doctor to go to college. I want my lawyer to go to college. But there has been a lot of thought that maybe instead of a four-year liberal arts degree leading into a graduate degree that lets you be a lawyer or a doctor, that we get right down into it and we pursue the profession that we intent to pursue and treat these trades as trades.
Don Tapscott But here’s the thing, the credential – this is an important function of the universities, the credentials, okay. That you have gone through the motion, you’ve showed that you can buckle down, you’ve acquired a certain base of knowledge. But that’s only sustainable if it is shown over time that this is the best way to get that knowledge. So, there was a panel that I watched. It was probably about three years ago where there were a bunch of heads of big hospitals complaining about the cost of the healthcare system and the head of Johns Hopkins was on there and he was talking about ‘it’s 50K to do heart surgery and another 100K to – if it gets complicated.’ And on the panel was a woman who was head of an Indian hospital and she says ‘well we do heart surgery for $3000 fixed price, but that doesn’t include the airfare.’ And they asked her ‘well, where did your head of cardiology graduate?’ She said ‘from Johns Hopkins.’ Now, what’s happening is over time it will become more powerful if she says well I actually graduated from a local university in Bangalore which –
Leo Laporte Yeah, but who are you going to choose for your heart surgery?
Don Tapscott Well, problem is that, again this an age where true value comes to the fore when things get evidence.
Leo Laporte But how do we – credentials is the only way we have of doing that.
Don Tapscott No, but…
Jeff Jarvis Or data. Or data if we –
Leo Laporte Like how many patients kicked off? But how do you get that data? Who are the first 100 people he operates on?
Don Tapscott Well, no but we are not talking about how many people he killed or not. To Jeff’s point, I think there is all kinds of measures of data that sort of precede the actual being in the operating room. And if the universities are proven to not be the best places, if there are other systems, other models of learning that over time show that they are superior, then the credentialing function is going to vanish, it’ll become…
Jeff Jarvis Right, Don, when I wrote my book, Bob Wyman from Google in the comments separated education into three things, I added a fourth. It’s teaching, it’s credentialing, it’s research and I added socialization. And those four things don’t have to happen in the same quad, in the same buildings. They can be separated out I think.
Don Tapscott Yeah, and the socialization one Marvin Dressler was the Head of Sociology at Princeton. We were having a discussion about this a while ago and he says’ the great thing about the university is it’s a wonderful place for young people to go for four years and get older’ and he says ‘they are bound to learn something while they are there.’ But the thing is that if that’s all they are doing, is getting older they’re pretty –
Leo Laporte And smoking a little pot.
Don Tapscott It’s a pretty expensive camp. It’s like $160,000 for a kid to go to camp.
Jeff Jarvis Melrose Place university, yeah?
Leo Laporte Yeah. And I think that one thing that people look at, a lot of the people who are founders of the technological revolution today, did not graduate from college.
Jeff Jarvis Exactly. That’s the model, that’s the model for Jake. You look at Zuckerberg and Gates and at a graduate level, Sergey and Larry.
Don Tapscott Steve Jobs.
Leo Laporte Yeah, pretty amazing.
Don Tapscott But Jake, listen to your mother. She still may have a point.
Leo Laporte Just in case. Just in case you might want to listen to your mother.
Don Tapscott What is this gender difference? Because it was the very same thing in our family. I kept telling my kids, look I don’t care so much about your marks, I want you to have a passion for something.
Leo Laporte Yeah I’m loosey goosey, yeah.
Don Tapscott As long as you love learning. And my wife would say ‘don’t listen to this jerk who is your father because you want to get in to’ – and they’ve got to have the good schools.
Leo Laporte Women have always been more practical. Women have all the – am I right? I think women know that you are going to starve to death and you just better pay attention and guys are going around, ‘yeah but I want to play the flute. I want to sit in that tree.’
Don Tapscott I can be a professional athlete.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I am going to play ball, it’s okay, that’s what my son says; ‘I’m going to be a guitar player, I’m going to be a rock 'n' roller.’
Gina Trapani, thank you so much for being here. You are just great. We are going –I guess I can kind of informally say that Gina and Jeff and I, I hope Jeff you will join us, are going to start a Google show soon. It’s kind of really be about cloud computing as much as Google, but boy Google has given us a lot of stuff to talk about, not just last week but over the last few years and…
Gina Trapani Definitely.
Leo Laporte …it’s happening in the cloud, I think it’s going to be a very interesting show. We will start doing that as soon as we can work out a time that works for you two.
Jeff Jarvis Can’t wait.
Leo Laporte And maybe Jake you’ll stop by once in a while too I hope.
Jake Jarvis Sure.
Gina Trapani Yeah.
Leo Laporte And let us know how that –
Jeff Jarvis Because he knows more that I do.
Leo Laporte Of course, they all do. And talk about GWiT, Gina Trapani is at smarterware.org. That is her new site. She still of course writes for her original blog, Lifehacker which has now grown into an amazing place.
Gina Trapani A monster.
Leo Laporte A monster.
Gina Trapani But yeah I’m there once a week now.
Leo Laporte And on Twitter is Gina Trapani. So great to see you, Gina. Thank you for joining us today.
Gina Trapani Great to see you too, thank you.
Leo Laporte Jeff it was great having you in the studio with your son, first father/son team.
Jeff Jarvis I am honored to be here, Leo.
Leo Laporte I really appreciate it.
Jeff Jarvis It’s the only show I could be on that would impress Jake.
Leo Laporte I hope we’ve helped you with your son. Jake, it’s great to have you too. Where do you want people to go, jakejarvis.com? Is that the place?
Jake Jarvis Yup.
Leo Laporte Alright. And you are also on the Twitter as Jake Jarvis.
Jake Jarvis Yup. Thanks, Leo.
Leo Laporte Is Twitter your place still or Facebook? Where do you spend most of your time?
Jake Jarvis Mostly Twitter.
Leo Laporte I have become a big Friendfeed fan, I don’t know why, I like that real time scrolling.
Jake Jarvis Yeah I’ll have to try that.
Leo Laporte Oh it’s awesome. By the way let’s not forget Jeff’s book, got to pay the college bills, What Would Google Do, ladies and gentlemen, a great book about a great company and how it is that they can inspire your company as well. And it is available now from Collins Business.
And of course Don Tapscott. Thank you for being in the studio with us. It’s really great to have you come all this way. Don’s book, his latest, although there is a new one on the way, is Grown Up. You want to talk about the new book at all?
Don Tapscott Sure.
Leo Laporte What’s it about?
Don Tapscott It’s a modest little thing called rebuilding the world.
Leo Laporte Yeah we didn’t get into it and we’ve run out of time but we didn’t get into this, the new Cyber Tsar, what the Obama administration is doing in terms of technology and the constraints that it’s running up against as well and making major changes. It’s not easy, not an easy thing to do. Growing Up Digital was the first. This is the new one, Grown Up Digital and I highly recommend it. It’s really a great insight into the future and what our kids are going to face and what our kids are today and somebody like Jake doesn’t not need to read this. You’re living it dude. Thank you Don for coming in, I really appreciate it.
Don Tapscott My pleasure.
Leo Laporte Thank you all for being here. I hope you have enjoyed the conversation. You can listen to TWiT live. We do the show live at 3 PM Pacific Time, 6 PM Eastern, 2000 UTC at live.twit.tv every Sunday evening. And you are invited to join us for the live version of the show. Of course you can always listen and subscribe on iTunes or Zune or any of the podcast places, just look for TWiT. We will see you next time, another TWiT is in the can.
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