The need to develop web companies that take zero effort is upon us. I am sure there is some sort of a term for this, but I don’t really feel like researching it just yet.
The premise of this discourse is simple. We are living in an age where we have become accustomed to websites that demand user’s attention spans.
We participate in them for various reasons and the results we find can be very unsatisfying.
Take last.fm for instance.
The site caters to music aficionados and based upon your search history it creates a persona for each user. This is not savvy technology, but smart algorithms that work. Aggregating user information into one central location and comparing it for relevancy is an awesome mechanism used in the discovery of music.
The problem in this solution is that you have to be cruising through their website to gain relevant results. To the best of my knowledge, last.fm does not pull up your user history off of iTunes to come to its relevancy results. Instead it pulls from music you are listening to currently (after you have become a member) and your music history is kind of lost in the process.
Digg is attempting to provide a Digg relevancy process that should have come along a year ago. In essence, the websites that you digg and visit are compared to those of other diggers. Thus an extrapolation is imposed that suggests other Diggers who share commonalities with you.
Digg requires a login. Digg is not a passive service. It was designed to allow users to point out their favorite sites. The problem with this is that it requires pointing.
I am a lazy bastard when it comes to the Internet. After spending 12 hours a day glued to my monitor the last thing I want to do is spend more time pointing out, unnecessarily clicking or doing any sort of commenting that requires additional Internet time or Kristian participation.
But I digress…
The next wave will circumvent the process of broadcasting yourself. The function of showing what you are up to will change. We are seeing that people, companies and groups are using products like Twitter to showcase what they are thinking or doing.
Twitter (despite its massive downtime and Fail Whale) is an important innovation in the web-sphere. It allows with minimal effort and within minimal space (140 characters) a person or organization to express an action, emotion or thought very quickly and easily.
The next big Internet service will take discovery and relevancy a step further. Gone will be the need to interact with broadcasting yourself. This should happen simultaneously with your actions. Gone will be these stupid tiny urls. Gone will be 3G (it will be ancient by the time it is widely adopted around the US).
I am thinking of a new human DNA that is not comprised of blood and flesh, but ideas, emotions and actions. We will not have to actively maintain our internet presence (although this will be an option), but instead just by going about our everyday lives we will create our online identity.
The confluence between our intentional actions and those unbeknownst to us will be made available to the general public. I do not want to sound like a doomsday seer, but the reality is that technology is depersonalizing us with each passing moment. Our has become trivial. Children are raised with the notion that posting their lives on Facebook or Myspace is commonplace. This cycle has just begun and the ramifications are gestating in different forms, like life-casting, baby blogs, pregnancy blogs and memorial websites. We are seeing the Internet and our short relationship with it evolve at lightning speed.
The next five years will be fantastic. Can’t wait for the ride.