Friday, December 16, 2005

Where to?

The Web has changed since the rise of the Big Internet Companies , and for the better. Many of those companies are doing fine, still providing useful services, and even getting better, but there is an awful lot more going on.

Collaboration is big, for example Wikipedia as a major Internet resource. People networking, sharing ideas, sharing photos, just about sharing germs. Open source was already big, but it's just getting bigger and taking a big role in software innovation.

The people are speaking more and louder than ever with Blogging, RSS, and podcasting.

And more and more, the people are sifting, sorting, and rating it with tools like Slashdot, Del.icio.us, or even Digg. In this space, commercial sites offer ratings of just about any product sold at retail, from cars to movies to coffee machines.

Is there a bigger picture behind all of this? Perhaps some principles that illuminate the subject and shows what it's all about? Let's ask, "What do people really do with information?" we search for it, add to it, and update it. We may do this to get a job done or to connect with other people, for entertainment, etc., but these are the activities, the steps in the dance. I'm going to view the changing Web universe this way, for an article or two.

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