Internet killed the newspaper star. The cloud lives.


“If the old [newspaper] model is broken, what will work in its place?” To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work. There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the internet just broke.


Because the core problem [newspaper] publishing solves — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem.

What will replace it? Influential tech blogger / geek Robert Scoble says it will be cloud computing, the real time web, and social networking. I agree. He’s joining forces with Rackspace to create Building 43, a soon to be released social networking entity that enables people to build and develop apps, websites, and more in the cloud.

TechCrunch interviewed Scoble about it.

Our content will be available via Creative Commons so you can use our videos or photos or other media on your own sites. You can cut it up, edit it, or claim it as your own. Second, Building 43 is not a place. It’s not a website. It’s a distributed community and you’ll engage with Building 43 on your favorite social network. No need to visit at all. Plus, we’ll have new videos that you can interact with via technology like that available on and so you can post your own video tips or techniques or demos.

On Building 43 you won’t just find information about Rackspace. We’re going to help the entire cloud computing industry get more adoption, users, customers. We’ll cover technologies from Rackspace’s competitors like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, GoGrid, IBM, and others. Our philosophy on Building 43 is a rising tide lifts all boats.

There are many trends converging here and happening at once. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook are exploding with growth and I, for example, now find news and views much faster on Twitter than on Google. This trend will only accelerate. Add to that the growth of user-produced video, GPS on mobile devices which allow easy networking with those nearby, smart mobile devices in general like the iPhone, the ability to put information in the cloud, and it sure looks like a whole new paradigm for mass communication is emerging.

It’s not just for those who can afford laptops either. Cell phone usage is off the charts in parts of Africa now. Those users may not have ever surfed the web using a PC, but they are using cell phones as ways to pay for things, send messages, and create communities. They will undoubtedly create new applications and uses for them that never occurred to us in the West.

Creative destruction indeed. The old is crumbling while the new is just now emerging.


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