Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why the next web matters. Asserting who we are

Stowe Boyd has made his NextWeb presentation available on his blog. Worth your time.

Stowe's thinking about flow and the value of connections resonates with me and lives in my own thinking. You'll often hear me quote his: "I am made greater by the sum of my connections, and so are my connections."

At NextWeb he said: "As the edge grows, the center dissolves. Mainstream journalists begin to act like bloggers, editors begin to drop the veneer of objectivism, and immediate, first person voice becomes the standard not some radical minority."

He also has a much more elegant way of describing the importance of sharing our metadata in less and less silo'd ways that I detail in my white paper: Communities of Purpose Are The Business Units of the 21st Century. In that paper I share the understanding that exposing our metadata is the key to allowing us to rapidly form and reform adhoc communities of purpose.

Nutshell: The reason we go online is to connect with other humans. The reason we share our metadata is to make that process easier. Our metadata asserts who we are. The more widely it is shared the more we can connect with others who share our immediate purpose.

Stowe says: "We are seeing the next web start to appear today, away from the heavily annotated and mashed web of pages that is the primary reality today.

"The first glints of that new web is starting to emerge from the lineage of instant messaging and RSS feeds: the development of tools and technologies on top of ubiquitous connectivity that allow the artifacts of conversation between us to flnd us instead of us having to dig through the archives of the web of pages.

"I call this the web of flow.We are seeing an explosion in flow applications -- the Facebook minifeed, RSS streams, Friendfeed, Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, and my own Workstreamer project (coming soon)"

I agree. And it's just the beginning. The future is outside of the silos, where we become the mediator and the medium.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?