Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maslow's hierarchy on the Internet

I loved the playful and shameless rip-off of Maslow's 'hierarchy of needs' applied to the Internet by Evgeny Morozov at the 11:00 point of his TED talk here.

He suggests that Internet users start off using it to have fun (pornography, YouTube); and progress through Talk (email, IM, blogs) to Share (Facebook, Twitter) to Learn (Wikipedia, TED) before a very small proportion uses the Internet actively to campaign.

The ideas are explored further in Morozov's book The Net Delusion which I have on order after an intriguing review in The Economist. More later, if the book turns out to have been worth reading after the hype that got me to buy it!


  1. Reminds me of Clay Shirky's 'power curve', e.g. there are very few people responsible for many of Wikipedia edits, a lesser number who edit occasionally and then the great majority who only read. The moral of the story is that a few people can have a massive impact on the majority because of the ubiquitous nature of social media.


  2. Yes, Reid, you're right about the asymmetric impact of the (relatively few) generators of social media content on the (comparatively many) browsers of what gets published.