The Web Can Do More – Sir Tim Berners-Lee at Davos

Yesterday at Davos, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, said of the behemoth that he helped create:

“World peace has not miraculously occurred. People still mainly talk to their neighbours, people still mainly talk to the people who have the same religion, and the same culture, so for all its breaking down geographical boundaries in principle it hasn’t really broken down cultural boundaries. Can we develop systems on the web which will actually help solve that sort of challenge?”

I couldn’t agree more with that. As powerful and as cool as Social Media is, on the whole it only really connects you to the people you know already.

Giving people the opportunity to connect with those around them who they’ve never met before is what I want Eventility.com to do, and it’s what the world still needs.  I have no idea if the person who lives five doors down from me has the same interests as I do, we could actually have loads in common, but I have no way of knowing and that’s something I want to change!

Someone recently fliered our area asking “are you interested in sewing, I’d like to create a sewing club”, and the CEO of a recently sold multi-million pound business told me that, even now, the best way for him to find out about what’s going on is still the basic Gumtree, or his local village noticeboard, newspaper or the Post Office.  Much local information is still found by some very un-technical means.

Many have tried, and are still trying, to solve the local information problem, but I believe that at Eventility we’ve created the platform that will help connect the world’s organisers with everyone else, because that’s where serendipity happens.

Sir Tim also pointed out that while the web is about openness, “each of these social network systems is a silo so there is a frustration that I’ve told it all my data but I don’t have access to that”.

I agree that you should be free to port data. If you create a platform and eco-system where data can flourish and spread, then you become powerful for people, you connect them to everyone and that’s really what they want. If you’re an organiser, it’s a service you should expect, and that’s why we built Eventility that way. It’s also why Sir Tim’s partner-in-crime on ‘Open Data’, Professor Nigel Shadbolt, agreed to join our advisory panel.

Open data is something that often sounds scary to people – “what about my privacy?!” – they shout.

Right from the moment I started building Eventility, I looked at the other businesses around the world and felt they were too open with my personal data. I don’t want everyone to know what I like or what groups I’ve joined, and the fact that those same businesses won’t let me have my data despite publishing it on the web for their own financial gain is pretty ironic.  I felt then, and still do now, that people deserve to have their privacy respected as the default, not the opt-in. That way you can build an eco-system that is safe for children and CEO’s and open for those that need and want it to be.

“The web can do more”, said Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, today at Davos and I couldn’t agree more.

Robin Brattel, Eventility Founder.

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