The Seven Forces That Are Expanding the Web


(T) At the Web 2.0 Expo 2011, last month in San Francisco, Kevin Kelly from Wired Magazine described extremely well six forces (I am adding the seventh one – connecting) that will contribute to expanding the Web as we know it today:

1. Screening

The screen is the destination for all data: screens are surrounding us in all sizes and shapes…

“Screens are proliferating into every part of our lives. A couple of decades ago, everyone thought that the web would be like TV, with 500 channels. But now the screens in our lives are taking the web everywhere, to the screen in Starbucks, smartphones, tablets, the living room, the workplace, etc. The question is, could one screen rule us all?”

2. Interacting

User experience is moving on the Web from typing and reading to full body interaction…

“Like actor Tom Cruise manipulating images with his hands on a holographic computer in Minority Report, we are now interacting with content all over the web. And when we interact, the web responds by adapting to our behavior. It’s possible for Web apps to measure our every move when we’re using them and then report detailed analytics to their developers. Those developers can then take that feedback and adapt their apps to better suit us. This feedback loop is making web apps better and better. It’s as if they’re reading our emotions and are becoming two-way windows.”

3. Sharing

Anything that can be shared will be shared: friends, locations, investments, health, memories, expectations, hobbies…

“Everything that can be shared will be shared. We are just at the beginning of this movement. Sharing can enhance the value of whatever we share. We are now sharing things, we never thought we would, like information about our friends, locations, investments, health, memories, expectations, and activities. Privacy is a concern, but most people don’t mind sharing this information in the right context.”

4. Flowing

Data is flowing to us in “always-on” real-time streams from everything, and everywhere: RSS feeds, music, videos, games…

The metaphor for the original personal computers was the desktop. In the Web, the metaphor changed to the page, as in Web page. Now, the right metaphor is flowing, or streaming, like streaming movies. We click on a movie site and expect the movie to start streaming to our screen in real time. Streams are everywhere now, on all of those screens in the screening trend. We can watch movies, listen to music, play games, and participate in conversations by tapping into these streams on the Web.”

5. Accessing

Instead of owning content, files, software, and computers, we will be accessing “everything” from the cloud…

We used to own everything, like movie disks or computer game disks. Now, if we are surrounded by streams, we don’t care if we own them. We can rent them instead. On Netflix, you don’t need to purchase a movie. You can just pay to access it when you need it. With books, you won’t collect a library; you’ll download what you want five seconds before you read it on your Amazon Kindle eBook reader. Music will likely go the same way. If you can access your collection from anywhere by logging into the cloud, you won’t need to own it. All of the music on the planet can now fit on one 6-terabyte hard disk drive in a computer you can buy for $585. But there is no reason to carry it around.”

6. Generating

In order to increase its value, content will be generated by providing a unique experience that will be hard to copy…

These days, anything digital that can be copied will be copied. So the goal is to make something that can’t be copied. If users generate their own content, personalize it, or customize it, then they’re creating something of value. Focusing on that is where you can be successful. Musicians have had the problem of digital piracy for years, and it has wiped out the old music industry.” But musicians should charge more for live concerts, an experience that can’t be duplicated so easy.”

7. Connecting

Anything that can be connected will be connected: home appliances, medical devices, smart grid meters, car computers…

“One of the values of the Internet is in connecting many types of heterogeneous networks. That value can now be brought to many devices, that are now dump but are being computerized and so more intelligent, adding both value to the Internet and getting value from the Internet. Everything in the home, in the car and in the office becomes a node on the Internet.”

The Web Business Model

“Wherever the attention flows, the money will follow.” (hopefully!)

The full video from Kevin Kelly’s keynote at the Web 2.0 2011 Expo in San Francisco:

Note: The picture above is from Kevin Kelly’s presentation.

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Categories: Internet, Web