Archive for the 'Personalisation' Category

The next thing after 2.0!

It seems technology suffers from fashion as much as the fashion industry in that we must keep moving on to the next big thing before we have even understood the current thing. Regardless, despite disliking the term and being too lazy to even attempt defining a new one, recently I took the bait over at ReadWriteWeb to provide a definition for Web3.0; It seems they liked my definition of Web3.0. Here is what I wrote:

Web 1.0 – Centralised Them.
Web 2.0 – Distributed Us.
Web 3.0 – Decentralised Me

Hindsight: Web 1.0 turned into a broadcast medium. It was all about them. A case of industrial age thinking applied to a new landscape. Web 2.0, largely based on an analysis of what worked in Web1.0, is an alignment with TBL’s initial vision of the Web. The Web as connective tissue between us. Platform, participation and conversation. Really it is more than the Web. It is the Internet. It is new practices too. Ultimately it is about connectivity; applying constrains in the form of some sort-of agreed upon standards that make it easier to talk to one another. With new layers of connective wealth come new tools. In Web2.0’s case that allowed new forms of communication. With it associated ‘acceptable’ business models – hence the Google economy.

Web 1.0 was the first time to show the value of standards, Web 2.0 is teaching us how liberating standards can be. Web 3.0 will reflect on what worked in Web2.0. It will mean more constraints for better communication/connectivity. Improved connectivity will mean revised practice and new business models.

Therefore Web 3.0 must be about me! It’s about me when I don’t want to participate in the world. It’s about me when I want to have more control of my environment particularly who I let in. When my attention is stretched who/what do I pay attention to and who do I let pay attention to me. It is more effective communication for me!

When it is about me it means Web 3.0 must be about more semantics in information, but not just anything. Better communication comes from constraints in the vocabularies we use. Micro formats will lead here helping us to understand RDF and the Semantic Web. With more concern over my attention comes a need to manage the flow of information. This is about pushing and pulling information into a flow that accounts for time and context. Market based reputation models applied to information flows become important. Quality of Service (QOS) at the application and economic layer where agents monitor, discover, filter and direct flows on information for me to the devices and front-ends that I use. The very notion of application [Application is a very stand-alone PC world-view. Forget the Web, Desktop, Offline/Online arguments] disappears into a notion of components linked by information flows. Atom, the Atom API and semantics, particularly Micro formats initially, are the constraints that will make this happen. Atom features not because of technical merit but by virtue of it’s existing market deployment in a space that most EAI players won’t even consider a market opportunity. Hence Web based components start using Atom API as the dominate Web API – Feed remixing is indicative. Atom will supplant WS* SOA.

User centric identity takes hold. This extends the idea that everyone has an email address and mobile number, why not manage it for single sign-on and more. Universal Address-book anyone?

More Market based brokerage business models emerge, earning revenue on the ‘turn’, as we learn more about the true power of AdSense/Adword’s underling business model and realise there are close parallels to the worlds financial markets.

Reliable vocabularies, user identity and trusted [i.e. user controllable] reputation models, market based brokerage business models all become a necessity as the more decentralized event driven web becomes a reality.

Web 3.0 – a decentralized asynchronous me.

There were a few things I forgot to put into the above definition and from the comments a few things that need explanation. I’ll attempt to expand on the above in latter posts as I’m a little stuck for time.

What I left off is the relationship to the physical world; “the Internet of Things” with 2D Bar Codes, RFID etc. and Just-in-time just-about-one-to-one manufacturing that is partly represented by what Threadless and others are doing. I’ll also need to clarify what I mean by Them, Us, Me. And why Web 3.0 cannot be classified as “Read / Write / Execute.”

Some comments past on to me ask how is this different from what Web2.0 is about? At a technology level it really isn’t, the technology is already here. From a cultural and hence practice level it is. As we starting seeing more value in using things like Atom, Meta-Data, Open-Data and feed remixing etc, then how we use the Internet and our connected devices will change. That is what, at the core, is the basis of Web2.0 – changing usage and practice.

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Yahoo Pipes a Cloud based Feed Router

Yahoo Pipes was released yesterday (last night NZ Time). What Yahoo Pipes represents is the next stage in using the Web as a platform. That is: RSS and Atom are becoming the connective tissue of the web and web applications the components. This was the basis of my Talk at Kiwi Foo – “Replacing my Wife with Atom.*” I commented I was surprised this [general routing infrastructure for Atom, not the replacement of my Wife] had not been done yet, after all the ideas of routing and remixing feeds have been discussed for a long time in the early history of RSS. Before that if you consider RSS/ATOM and the infrastructure around it as a Universal Event Bus. As Jeremy Zawodny states “For far too long now RSS has been used in ways that don’t really tap its true potential.” Well now Yahoo is making a start in the right direction.

Unfortunately I can’t get in, just getting “Our Pipes are Clogged!” – missed opportunity or what? Well it shows, to some degree that at least, the info junkies want this sort of thing. As a result I can’t really comment too much on the service itself, but I can comment on the underlining ideas – this was after all the motivation for re-entering the blogsphere.

[Tim O’Reilly has a good write-up as does ReadWriteWeb and Anil Dash. While Brady Forrest looks a little closer. ]

The basis of the talk I gave at Kiwi Foo was this:

Atom and the Atom publishing protocol will disrupt the way ‘network’ applications are integrated and become the way Internet scale Pub+Sub and routable applications architectures will evolve…Therefore make your Web API’s atom based to make integration easier – Look Ma no code!

While to some degree the arguments apply to RSS, ATOM [IMHO] has the advantage in the longer term. The arguments are not new. Rohit Khare has been thinking about this stuff for a long time. He gave a talk about SOAP routing at ECON 2002. I just applied similar arguments to ATOM but tried to include the human component – conceptually feeds are more human friendly than SOAP ever will be. That observation then naturally leads into a Disruptive Technology argument w.r.t. EAI. Just take a look at the dabbleDB demo that Avi Bryant put together at FOO last year, or RSSBus for examples. (there are several other examples that I’ll leave for now.)

An observation I attempted to justify was: prior technologies have attempted to implement Internet Scale Pub+Sub but failed not because the technologies weren’t up to it (they may not have been) but that as a broader community we still haven’t grokked what the Web as a platform really means. As a result we haven’t understood what integrating applications beyond the Point-2-Point mashup type actually involves. Oddly enough though we are use to solving these integration issues at the network-level. Just look at the Internet and TCP/IP. The same principles of message (packet) based approaches apply in the Enterprise as any EAI vendor will tell you. ATOM is approaching the EAI issue from the grass-roots up. Unlike SOAP that was top down even though it professed not to be. More importantly for this sort of service composition to really take off Atom and the Web needs a “joe average” programming model.

Yahoo Pipes is a giant leap in that direction for the Web even though we have been programming the Web, for human consumption, for sometime now. Every time you add a feed URL to a feed reader or personalised home page you are connecting disparate web services together, you are programming. Labview has been doing this sort of thing for a long time. Lego RoboLab and the Lego Robotics programming environment, Microsoft Robotics Studio Visual programming are other great examples. Ben Goodger recently pointed me to another example on OSX, Automator.

Does this mean the programming model for the Web platform is a visual wiring diagram. Why not? Nor does it have to be provided as a cloud based service like Pipes. Since Pipes produces feeds these can then be glued to an instance of Pipes (RSSBus/Automator) running inside my firewall, on my desktop, or in my Browser making the offline and online divide seamless – portable ‘backend’ widgets for the Web (more on this later). Aside from all this, Pipes adds an interesting twist to information personalisation.
* [in case you are wondering the title of my talk refers to a user scenario managing and filtering many information sources and notifying me of things that are important at a given time or place using the most appropriate delivery. A job my partner, Lynne, currently does to some extent and Gmail does for my email.]

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