This article was published on May 15, 2008

Steve Rubel has hallucinations

Steve Rubel has hallucinations
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
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Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

Web 2.0 is all about sharing and Steve Rubel is obviously aware of that. An 2.0 maven like him has no problem with sharing some inner thoughts, like…, well.., hallucinations. The thing is, Mr. Rubel sometimes has visions about where the web is going. No problem if you ask me, since wasn’t it acid hippie professor Timothy Leary who said that Internet is the new LSD? So please allow me tell you about Rubel’s vision on the next web.

Steve Rubel at Next08For those of you who don’t know Steve Rubel, he’s an experienced digital marketer and influential blogger pioneer who has built a large following and is now working for one of world’s largest PR firms, Edelman. During his Next08 keynote Rubel shared some of his knowledge of marketing trends, his so-called open files. After discussing the well-known shift from mass reach to micro reach, the different types of internet users and the tunnel vision of web professionals – we think everybody is on Twitter-, he turned to his open files.

He divided the open files in three types: faint signals – the cut & paste web, rise of experts and collaboration -, watchlist – living room 2.0 and geek marketers, and – there they are – hallucinations. Steve Rubel has two of them, namely digital nomads and data leaking.

Data leaking

Corporations are losing control of their information, as it’s leaking out of their ruined fortresses. The walls weren’t build for keeping the technologies of the new digital age out. Employees are communicating through Facebook and LinkedIn, instead of using the corporate email. Moreover, they work collaboratively on Google documents. This is scary for walled organizations, as they can’t control information anymore. According to Rubel, this trend will become more salient over the coming years.

Digital Nomads

These guys quit their corporate lives to start traveling from city to city and work as consultants. They use web-based tools to work together with others. Rubel: “You can see them working in Starbucks a lot, or at those new co-working facilities.” Although a few thousand people have been adopting this lifestyle – like my friend Polle de Maagt -, Rubel calls it “worth watching”.

I think of the current lifestyles, this is one of the most romantic. Those digital nomads are the new Jack Kerouac‘s and Hunter S. Thompson‘s: traveling to wherever life takes them and meeting interesting people all over the world. All these experiences are documented in their blogs that inspire other people.

Share your hallucinations

I’m really glad Steve Rubel has shared his hallucinations, as it gave the audience some interesting new insights. I’m sure that I’m not alone when I say most speakers tend to repeat stuff we already know. Sometimes, they just have to leave their guard down and share those thoughts that are a little bit out there. Maybe even further than data leaking and digital nomading.

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