"I love the Internet. I love the freedom that it brings us. But with freedom comes choice, " said Jeff Jarvis ("What would Google do?") at the beginning of his presentation at the CeBIT Global Conferences. For the US journalism professor and blogger media belongs only to the first institutions that were swept away by the digital transformation. He compared the Internet with the invention of printing by Gutenberg.
"Gutenberg brought a fundamental change to society," he said on the Center Stage of the CeBIT Global Conferences. Whether and how the Internet can bring a similar change, he could not even tell himself.
"I believe that we can not even know today what the web actually is".
But that is why we must now make the right decisions.
Protectionism is the wrong decision, Mr. Jarvis said. It doesn’t make any sense to transfer the rules of the old world to the new. At the same time one must defend privacy against attackers like the NSA. However, he also promoted Europe and the United States becoming closer technologically. "I believe that we are cousins in technology," he said.
Both sides could learn from each other and benefit from the collaboration. As an example from the media sector he named the Google News Initiative and the Accelerated Mobile Pages, which the search giant developed. This was as a response to the dispute with German and European media companies around the issue of ancillary copyright for press publishers.
He urged German entrepreneurs and media companies to take more risks. Public failure is a part of success. Journalists in particular have a fear of making mistakes or simply being wrong.
"When I started blogging, I realized that my credibility even increased, as I admitted errors and improved myself in public." His conclusion: "You will fail, but that's good. Only if you are willing to risk your career and your company, you will be really successful."
Jeff Jarvis also reminded the audience of the fact, that the first newspaper was published 150 years after the invention of the printing press. So there is still so much more that can happen on the Internet.