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Technology Change, Political Change, Economic Opportunity

As Libya joins neighbors in transformative political change, new information and information distribution systems figure prominently. The National Transitional Council, the rebel governing group, informed the people of Libya and Tripoli that they were capturing the capital via text message. As British authorities sift through the triggers of early August 2011 riots, social media figures prominently. You Tube videos and cell phone cameras have featured prominently in revolt and news flow from Syria.

The Arab Spring, recent mass events- positive and negative- have been communicated to participants, news organizations and global opinion through new communication systems and new information distribution networks. Social networks have taken a leadership role. Facebook and Twitter, smart phone and tablets are in ever more hands. Facebook’s 750 million global users represent a potent new network. We look to new devices and the social networks that they use, to send out and taken in the news of the world. Social networks and mobile devices increasingly use clouds to connect people, places and ideas. New connections are possible. Different types of information move across different systems.

As we move toward 2012, it is already clear that 2011 was the year of a new sector. We call this sector Web 4C. It’s certainly the web. it’s certainly not the web of a few years ago. Web 4C stands for crowds, clouds, connections and commerce. Crowds, linked by clouds are wielding new mobile devices to communicate different types of information across different types of network. New connections are being formed and reformed. The commercial implications are transformative. The political ramifications are revolutionary.

By late in 2012, Web 4C will have even greater reach and effect than it has now.  Several leading firms will be public. The market value of this sector will be well over $150billion. Whatever the final name chosen for this sector- Web 4C, Web 2.0, The Social Web- we know it is changing the world and how we see it. Growth rates remain double and triple digits in Web 4C space. Governments rise and fall, video games are played, messages sent and received, love and marriage built and destroyed. Increasingly social networks and firms are contouring human interactions- personal and political.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Additional disclosure: None of the mentioned firms are public companies.