WWW conference in Raleigh showed the changing nature of the Web clearly. When you see more papers on social aspects of the Web and the Key Note talks are all related to social aspects of the Web (on future when every thing gets connected to every thing, privacy issues due to social networks, and on Web for Government data), then it is clear that the nature of the Web is changing from an individual user to social aspects. There is even bigger theme brewing underneath, however. Twitter is getting significant attention. To me Twitter is a phenomena that shows a much bigger theme getting ready to dominate technology development as well as emerging applications of the Web. Twitter and status updates have made Social Networks really explode in the last two years. Emergence of companies like Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter (bringing with them the popularity of social networks) in the last few years gives a clear some important clear messages:
â€¢ Events: Communications take place around Events.
â€¢ Experiences: People want to experience and share experiences â€“ with minimal latency.
â€¢ New media: Text based media is not enough.
â€¢ Medium is NOT the message: medium is just the medium.
These messages are loud and clear and have serious implication for the emerging Web. It is clear that documents dominated the Web because it was not easy to capture experiences. Now technology makes it easier to catch experiences in visual and aural form, compared to documenting experiences. And people are showing that they would rather capture experience and enhance them by text. And modern mobile phones equipped with so many sensors are accelerating that process even faster.
I think we will finally see events and experiences become important and then get their due place in computing as well as in WWW.