Thursday, January 26, 2006


Bill Burnham has a great post titled, "A Unified Theory of Search, Social Networking, Structured Blogging, RSS and the Active Web." Insightful and strongly reflective of what we're building at GoingOn.

The web has traditionally offered a very passive experience: If you want something, you have to go get it. Sure, there are lots of interesting information and useful services out there, it’s just up to you to figure out where they are and how to use them.

RSS is exciting because it is the first widely accepted (and increasingly deployed) standard for transforming the web into more an active entity. With RSS, you can now “listen” to the web and automatically receive updates without having to go looking for them. But RSS is primarily a demand-side innovation. It benefits consumers of information/services but not suppliers.

The real innovations yet to emerge are coming on the supply side of web. And they are coming into being primarily as a result of the confluence of three important trends: social networking, search, structured blogging.

Much More Than Dating

I must admit, while I have written about social networking in the past, I really didn’t understand its potential significance until a few months ago. I am not talking about the 1st generation “Do you know who I know?” sites such as Friendster and Orkut, but about the second generation “hang out” spots such as MySpace and Facebook. Up until recently I had pretty much pigeon-holed such sites as just 2nd generation online dating sites.

While this is probably a valid short term characterization, these sites are likely to evolve over time into something more substantial. Specifically, these sites (as well as sites such as MSN’s Spaces and Yahoo’s 360) are highly likely to evolve into an all encompassing digital identify for each user. People will use these sites not just as a way to socialize, but as a hub to manage their broader digital identify on the web. Part blog, part digital cubby hole, these sites will provide each human being with a digital homestead from which they can manage their entire digital identify on the web.
(full post)

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