Verbs and Nouns on the Web

John Gehl and Suzanne Douglas write about the verbs and nouns on the Web:

While yesterday’s Web activities focused on browsing, clicking and
reading, today’s Web is all about doing: sharing, socializing,
collaborating and, most of all, creating. “The Web isn’t so much a place
anymore,” says Ross Mayfield, CEO of Socialtext, which helps clients create
collaborative sites called wikis. “They Google, Flickr, blog, contribute to
Wikipedia, Socialtext it, Meetup, post, subscribe, feed, annotate, and
above all share. In other words, the Web is increasingly less about places
and other nouns, but verbs.” The shift is being driven by the emergence of
Internet technologies such as Really Simple Syndication (RSS), used for
blogging, and programming technologies such as Ajax, designed to make Web
applications almost as fast as traditional desktop programs. In addition,
new software called Greasemonkey allows non-techies to add mini-programs
that customize the way a particular Web site looks and works on the
browser. For instance, by installing Greasemonkey’s Book Burro add-on,
users perusing books on Amazon will see a price list for that book on other
sites. “Applications are no longer software artifacts,” says Tim O’Reilly,
head of O’Reilly Media. “They’re ongoing services.” (Business Week 26 Sep 2005)

All search engines are currently dominated by nouns. The text processing steps to get to inverted file index ignore everything but ‘core’ of nouns. It is refreshing to think that the role of verbs is increasing on the Web.

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