Sunday 4 October 2009

The Future of the Web.

We've been through the Web 1.0 era where web sites were newspapers and magazines displayed on the computer screen to market companies products or as useful information sources for organisations products.
Things have now advanced and with Web2.0 we now have rich sites facilitating information sharing across communities which provide attraction to users to contribute and therefore there future is secure. There are a multitude of examples across wikis, blogs and social networking sites where the new technological advancement has been matched to a business need or burning desire.
The enabling technologies provide improved user experience through client side tools ( eg. Ajax, Adobe Flash, Flex and Javascript) combined with server side tools (eg. ASP.NET, PHP and Java)
But where is it all going now?
Well, certainly the advancements in artificial intelligence and the semantic web will contribute significantly to improved search engines and improved aggregation of data. But this will not be constrained to the search engines. Currently job board aggregators and price comparison sites need to develop contractual business relationships with companies to aggregate offer rings and provide them to the consumer in a single portal. These advancement will negate the need for these contractual business relationships and enable anyone to set up price comparison or a job board aggregation capability!
This openness will be further enabled by a transformation in the way companies offer their products on the web. We have seen a successful transformation to open source software with great tools like linux,PHP and mySQL and this is likely to be followed by companies not just providing web sites but actual web services that consumers can use on demand. Through this transformation which is a part of cloud computing we will see far more accurate and real time aggregation of data into forms in consumers personalised formats.
The web is a mine of useful information but clouded with overload. Consumers time is at a premium and this is where the ' Attention Economy' concept comes in. Consumers will agree to opt in to services in exchange for their attention. This is a complex issue to be grasped and managed by service operators who need to strike the balance between offering too many services and not getting enough attention , which can be transformed to business advantage, and offering too few services and missing out on potential business opportunities. It will also place a high demand on service providers giving high quality and wanted services otherwise consumers will opt out. For sure the successful jugglers in this business equation will be the winners.
One great vision is to integrate services closely with the most rel event device. Obvious examples are to have your navigation computer in your car. But to extend this concept why not have a larder which orders new food supplies when empty, a fridge which re-orders milk and your medicine cabinet that puts in repeat prescriptions to your doctor!


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