Ze Frank on Breaking the Metaphor of the Web
Tagged:

Ze Frank recently did an interview with Jesse Thorn as part of Sketchfest NYC where he spoke about how Colorwars 2008 was an experiment in trying to break the dominant metaphor of the web (23:00 mark). This sounds similar to Doc Searls' insight that when we frame the web as a space or a construction, it can limit what we do with it. Ze goes on to suggest that bringing companies and customers together under this new paradigm yields something new and meaningful. Again, this sounds very much like the idea behind Doc's VRM concept. It's likely no coincidence that these two ideas fit together.

Ze's quote from the interview:

What's holding the web back in some sort of way is a metaphor that people use for it, which is as a play space. You go to Flickr to look at your Flickr photos, but the real strength right now is real distribution of media. If you distribute media intensely and fully, then place can't really be the dominant metaphor anymore. This idea of creating play spaces that are mediated by personalities in some sort of way, that you can move fluidly and play a game inside Google street view and then move out to another space and things like that was an opportunity to play with breaking [the metaphor] down a little bit.

I'm really interested in getting brands – companies – involved directly in these kinds of games. To have the proximity of consumers and brands shrink a little bit. This is a capitalist society and we're not going to escape that relationship, and good citizenry comes out of that proximity. [For example] getting Jet Blue to sponsor a contest like this and also judge it and talk to people that are engaged in this kind of thing.

Full disclosure: This recording was for The Sound of Young America program, a program distributed by my parent company, PRI.