Gah, haven't managed to get back to those posts I promised yet - they're planned, in the draft stage, but - y'know, time and all that.
However, thought I'd post following an FT article on web 2.0 networks (subscription required, hoom), which possibly gives the most focused account of what this upgrade supposedly entails that I've seen yet (after the AJAX/UGC/Yadda confusion kicked off).
In true market-oriented fashion, the concentration this time round is on how to sell to the people using these services. Just as people were working out how to make money from the Internet 10 years ago, now they're trying to work it all out again - that is, what's left over now that the real money is made from providing the service in the first place...
The article gets a little muddled here, and flip-flops between service provision, and viral marketing as in tapping-into-social-network-influences. But it does serve to highlight the shift in communications that's occurring, and which organisations, including political ones (as traders in attention), are trying to get a handle on.
From a business point of view, marketing could be set (says the article) to become much more personalised, and more flexible - that is, more rapidly adjustable to the whims of modern culture and modern individuals. "Public Profiles" make information available that previously had to be assumed or inferred, and act as a "grease" for coupling, indicators for potential hook-ups and, hence, potential sales too.
Whether this will be taken advantage of from a political stance, though, remains to be seen. Is there a line in terms of communication (personal contact vs blanket broadcast) that still separates the political party from the commercial business?