Web Pacing Up Into Real-Time?
The blogging phenomenon and feed technologies have really increased the quantity of both the fresh information and the speed it can be consumed at. Feed readers help to skip the laborious browsing and searching phases by bringing the new content directly into your attention. But, as this regards only somewhat ‘communicative’ content (blogs), also the amount of ‘documentative’ kind of content (wikis) is increasing. Are you suffering from information overload? You should, as it’s just like exercise: you get better only by beating your limits. Has anything ever slowed down in the history of mankind? (No.) It’s time to adapt! As with everything else, we’ve seen pretty much nothing yet. If you’re not scared of the future just keep on reading.
This blog entry was inspired by yesterday’s Technorati vlog episode where they promoted their new search engine for finding more recent stuff compared to Google. And, it just might be so that a significant proportion of the information flowing through the Technorati plumbing really is stale after two weeks. (Btw., one should have this kind of labels also for short-living web pages.) Of course, the wiki-type of content is more permanent in nature, but Technorati is clearly focusing on the latest buzz.
This brings us to the duality of web 2.0 evolution: on the other hand there is this communicative usage, which is transient, and then there’s the ‘documentative’ usage for content that has more long-term value. The latter is the more traditional way to use the web and the former describes the hip MySpace-phenomenon. There was also this inspiring slideshow by Sam Ruby [via] about the future of web where he stated that “Teenagers see web as transient”, which clearly is accurate. The initial web 2.0 definition includes the wiki-kind of collaborative editing but seems to miss the communicative aspect. Blogs can be and are being used against you for both purposes. Transience naturally discards huge amounts of information (and just might lead into The Great Forgetting of the 21st century) but when has personal communication become worth permanent storage? Let’s just leave Google and some out.
Is web becoming a media for real-time communications? Is it replacing or merging with some other communications media? Now, I strongly suggest checking out this video. (And noting especially the web page editing app.) How about collaborative blogging? Your readers can communicate with you in real-time and give you instantaneous feedback while you’re just writing the entry. A very early aggregation is assumed to get the feed readers notified of the blogging activity. We’re talking about some fast communications! Even though I’d probably hate it right at this very moment, I can see that there’s potential.
Btw., just as a reminder, XMPP is the real-time communications protocol. Could it be that the communicative content goes over XMPP? And the web gets back to it’s roots as a storage of documentative stuff? An unlikely scenario as such, but something like it, perhaps.
Ok, the current reality is that much of the tube stuff (feeds) is mere communications, which has little permanent value. How to manage the information overload? Recognize and separate communication from knowledge valuable for you – e.g. by categorizing the feeds accordingly. It’s not a trivial task as the feeds contain mixed information and you need human intellect to extract the bits with long-term value. And sometimes the discussion is more valuable than source information; wikis are just superb in this sense as they cumulate information.
Conclusion: Web is happening as a communications platform and that role is developing very strongly. The communication is only getting faster and one must adapt to it for being able to act. Now, I must leave the rest of thinking up to you as I’ve very much exceeded my bed time. Take care!
P.S. Once again, I failed to be conversational with you guys by picking up my own topic. I guess this entry goes into the ‘Documentative’ bucket, then. :)
P.P.S. I’m sooo going to send some fan-mail to that hottie Aaron. Oh, and if only Google Talk would support video calls he could give me a private vlog session! ♥♥ (And now I really hope you watched that episode.;)