End of the Web

DAVID GELERNTER (lifestreams.com) wrote an article in Wired 02.01.13 with a very definitive title:

The End of the Web, Search, and Computer as We Know It


‘ … today, the most important function of the internet is to deliver the latest information, to tell us what’s happening right now. That’s why so many time-based structures have emerged in the cybersphere: to satisfy the need for the newest data. Whether tweet or timeline, all are time-ordered streams designed to tell you what’s new.’ …’ By adding together every timestream on the net — including the private lifestreams that are just beginning to emerge — into a single flood of data, we get the worldstream: a way to picture the cybersphere as a whole. No one can see the whole worldstream, because much of the information flowing through it is private. But everyone can see part of it.

This future doesn’t just kill the operating system, browser, and search as we know it — it changes the meaning of “computer” as we know it, too. Whether large or small (e.g., a smartphone), a computer’s main function in the near future will be tuning in to — as a car radio tunes in a broadcast station — the constantly flowing global cyberflow. We won’t care much about the computer devices themselves since we’ll be more focused on the world of information … and our lives as attached to it.’

Trivial, revolutionary? A Fact to be considered!

Given all the already existing stream aggregators like Squirro, netvibes, Flipboard, Google Currents etc. etc. does this not sound quite trivial? May be, but it’s a fact to be considered in designing information sites. What’s the role of static websites, RSS feeds, SEO, linked twitter accounts and all the social media in the context of this (not so) new user behaviour?

Will we use in the future mainly virtual websites built on (semantic) searches adapted to our interests … and going to specific websites only (and rarely) when there’s a need to dig deeper?  Challenging situation!


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