Victus Spiritus


Yesterday's Web is Dead, Long Live the Next Web

30 Mar 2010

That's right. With just a moment's thought I slew the great dragon of the incumbent web. Never mind the millions of hours of programming that will go into making what I'm about to describe possible. Technology's relentless forward marching is inevitable.

Dreaming Up Different Social Browsers

Early this morning I was struck with a notion for a different type of web application. In struggling to come up with a design for a simple and effective open social feed browser, I thought about all the fantastic web sites out there, and all the organization they provide for information.

The pattern I observe is that each of these tools struggles within the framework of the underlying structure of the web. HTML, Javascript, APIs and a cadre of web development languages and databases empower advanced processing and visualization as well as distributed connectivity. But none of the standards or browsers enable easy drag and drop functionality. Developers must go out of their way to design special pages which allow users to drag and drop div, tables, images, videos, etc into a new reworked output. And it's not possible to mix elements between pages which weren't written with this in mind. You could hack together somewhat functional versions but they'll fail as much as they succeed. The entire web is built from the ground up as a publishing platform, not a collaborative editing platform. But increasingly users are finding a need to edit and reorganize information on the fly. To touch data as it goes by in the stream of their perception.

My friend David Semeria is tackling an aspect of this problem with his efforts for a Mixable Web. Dave's probably struggling to use existing HTML, JavaScript, + web languages XYZ as I have recently, but I'm pretty sure he's not suggesting a new protocol and language. I am.

There comes a time when the incumbent technology is no longer satisfactory for the current needs of society. I'm not suggesting we sacrifice the web as it is, but to let it strangle what could be was never the intention of it's original designers. There is no reason why the new adaptive web protocol can't be used to show existing web sites and support the HTMLX standard. But it needs to have a different driving focus.

Each browser will be able to simply edit, translate, mashup, and connect various elements of the adaptive web. Each interface will be a window to a virtual world of web information. The rapid progression of mobile Internet and augmented reality applications will serve as new editing interfaces for the adaptive web. Consider just a few of the "far out" applications of the adaptive web:

The Next Web is Dead, Long Live the Web of Dreams

None of these incredible utilities hold a candle to the web that will replace them. That will be the web of dreams. Crossing the neurological divide and inhabiting the space of reason, it will connect our subconscious world building ability to our conscious thoughts. Can you imagine a web which exists in the same space as our imagination? I can.

Just be careful not to "tap" the publish function at an embarrassing moment ;).