Daveed Benjamin’s Vision: Unlocking the Metaweb – An Exclusive Interview

Discover the future of the Internet as we delve into a thought-provoking conversation with Daveed Benjamin, a seasoned technologist, inventor, and the mind behind groundbreaking concepts around future technologies. Renowned for his innovative work around decentralization and regeneration, spanning over three decades, Daveed’s journey has led to a profound exploration of the web’s next frontier. His most recent book, “The Metaweb – The Next Level of the Internet,” is a testament to his visionary ideas

Our co-founder Vint Cerf wrote this review about the book:

“When the general population got on the Web, we saw a sea change in the diversity of online applications and content. Alongside the smartphone, we have seen a rapidly proliferating array of behaviors, content, incentives, and side effects, most of which were not squarely on our radar 50 years ago … I agree with the premise that accountability is an important consideration for the next iteration of the Web. While I have concerns around scalability and implementation, the notion of a meta-environment above the webpage is directionally interesting. Overall, the book presents a creative argument that warrants further discussion and exploration.”

 

Q: Can you tell us more about you and your career?

Daveed:

I’m a technologist, patent holder, author, web builder, and a father. I have been in tech off and on for the past three decades. I started my career as a management consultant at a boutique consulting firm that focused on dynamic pricing based on real-time data. Next I went into web development for several years, working on one of the first Intranet applications at Bay Networks. After that I was a top sales engineer for Interworld, one of the first ecommerce platforms. Around that time, when my daughter was born, I realized I had a responsibility to be a good ancestor.

As it turns out, this notion launched me into a quest to bring regeneration to the world, which we used to call “localization” and “community resilience” at that time. As the digital world has become more prevalent and important in our lives, cognitive freedom and collective intelligence/wisdom have joined regeneration as the primary focuses of my work.

 

Q: Your book talks about the Metaweb concept, can you elaborate on this concept?

Daveed:

The metaweb is the space above the web page. It’s a multi-layered web that creates decentralized public space above every web page, enabling anyone to interact on top of any web page. It gives people a digital voice so they can express themselves by attaching pieces of information and interactions to content on a page.

 

Q: Your journey has been quite unique from engineering at Stanford to children’s writing and founding Bridgit.io and the Overweb. Can you share the pivotal moments or experiences that led you to this path of writing the book?

Daveed:

When I was doing work around community resilience and regeneration, I realized that we needed to better organize information to evoke the proper collective response. So, I created a way to organize information that helps people collaborate on building robust information ecologies. This led to the concept of bridges, which enable people to link two pieces of online content with a verified relationship (e.g, supporting, contradicting, citing).

 

Q: Can you share what motivated you to include PCI’s perspective in the book?

Daveed:

I love PCI. There are few organizations that are focused on making a people-centered web, have a strong community, and are effectively working within the policy arena at the regional, national, and global levels. That’s a potent combination that you rarely find. I’m always enriched when I join PCI events; the featured speakers and the open mics are amazing.

PCI is a hub for the types of change I want to make.

 

Q: Can you leave a message for our PCI community?

Daveed:

I invite the PCI community to help us design the Overweb, a safe, AI-assisted environment above the web page. The PCI community is uniquely qualified to provide valuable input on identity, privacy, data sovereignty, AI integration, building collective intelligence, and more. Your input at this time will shape the future of the Overweb and the Web itself.

Please check out metawebbook.com to find ways to get involved. Also feel free to reach out to me directly at daveed@bridgit.io with questions or to get started. 

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

Daveed:

We see a future where the web page is the contextual footprint for worlds of information, interactions, and transactions that emanate from pieces of content on the web page. If that’s done with safety and accountability, it’ll be key to raising the level of discourse and action at scale. We believe changemakers need to change the web to achieve their goals assuming their change requires authentic and informed agency at scale. Today’s web does not support this. If we are to have a democratic future, the web will become a combination of what we have today with a meta-layer on top.

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