Tuesday, May 14, 2013

So we had the www for a while. What's next ?

The dawn of the web introduced us to URLs starting with "http://www". For those old enough to remember those days of Lynx, Mosaic, and Netscape, "www" was true to its meaning of "world-wide web". Suddenly anyone connected to the Internet was able to reach out to any remote place in the world, also connected to the net, and browse the information published there. Powerful.

Since then a lot has changed. The devices we use to access the net had moved from our desks to our palms, and soon to our glasses, and with the mobility they afford, the Internet access got a new dimension - that of context, or location. So in addition to what's out there (www) now what's over here becomes an interesting question. Perhaps some new URLs, like "http://here" and "http://now", start to make sense. Seems that I'm not the only one thinking so. Nokia appears to be doing something like that with http://here.com. If face recognition becomes a feature of Google Glass, then a "http://you" makes sense too. I'm probably stating the obvious here, but what I'd like to see is more of these 2 things:

1. The ability of users to freely add and annotate the content presented. Think of "Augmented Reality Wikipedia". Like "digital graffiti" curated through a vote-based meritocracy, or by applying a filtering based on what your contacts on social networks think of that content.

2. More mash-ups. With the growing number of web services (over 9000 APIs as of now), and the continued move toward a more semantic web, the ability to mash things up should continue to grow.

It'd be interesting to see how all this will unfold, and maybe even contribute to this vision. Such projects, once they pass a critical mass of adoption, they tend to snowball fast.

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