|Where is the Web Going?|
From info broadcast to community home?
I still see the web in its infancy. The potential of the internet is far from being fully realized. I look at how I used the web when I first went online, and how people who are new to it now, use it. It's great for getting weather reports, sports scores, up-to-the-minute news, tv listings, product info, etc. etc. And this is probably what most people use it for - info broadcasting. A static use of available information, kinda like an extension of your television, with many more channels and choices. They get what they want/need, and get offline.
You can now start to see serious online communities form. Yes, the webmaster community has been here for quite some time, as that topic would be a natural. But you can also find loyal communities for many, many different topics, hobbies, and interests. They seem to be growing stronger all the time. I think as the newer online generation starts to fully understand the web, online communities will really start to flourish. How long did it take you to become part of this community? I have been on the net over 5 years, and a webmaster almost 3. I have been part of one or two other communities, but only last year did I find the place that feels most like home - here.
Some people think the net will not grow as quickly as it has, due to market saturation, and in some aspects they're right. However, I think as the current general online population matures as we have, things will be much, much bigger on the web, for a variety of interests.
I see this as inevitable growth, with the only real threats being posed by closed, proprietary community systems like AOL.
What is your vision?
Growth of the medium on the one hand and saturation on the other.
Info overload on the one and focus on the other again.
Two ways of looking at it Ė
As a user...
1) As a maturing user, you know where to find critical info quickly and with least hassle. Discretionary time tends to lead you to comfort zones Ė areas of the web that suit your interests, places where you can hang out or simply keep in touch (whether itís business related or simple pleasure).
2) As a new user I guess you go where your peers point you or where the new action is.
As a provider...thatís where the real challenge is for many of us.
1) On the one hand itís all about critical mass. (I shudder to think how much has been lost by all sorts of people, investors and organisations in the race to hold share of the growing user base Ė a few winners, lots of losers.)
2) On the other itís about targeting. Identifying that small pocket of wealth, defining it as a niche then building and maintaining the business to satisfy a specific few or moderate set of needs.
The big advantage for many of us is that the net is still in its infancy :)
Where is the web going?
Into Mr Gates pocket, if we are not careful
(and probably if we are!)
"Where is the web going?
Into Mr. Gates pocket, if we are not careful (and probably if we are!)"
Isn't this a rather simplistic response to an important question?
If we keep fixating on Bill Gates and turning every opportunity into a problem with MS, then we shouldn't get upset if they exploit the opportunities, should we?
The Internet extends our ability to communicate. Its long-term impact will be as far reaching as the invention of movable type, the radio and TV.
Our children are growing up with it and learning to use it as we leaned to use local libraries as students.
Perhaps at some point we will have to restrain the AOL-Time Warners and Microsofts, but for most of us our ready access to information has been magnified a thousand-fold.
Personally, I think it will split into two groups: niche or target specific web sites and broad audience web sites, both having the roots of disseminating information. I doubt certain aspects of e-commerce will ever make it big. Face it, some things you like to touch and hold before you buy. But overall, I think it will parallel the development of magazines: national and regional. Even with 3,000,000 web sites, or what ever the number is, people tend to stick to a few, seldom venturing out beyond what they need or know. Face it, we're creatures of habit and with an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude.
|Isn't this a rather simplistic response to an important question? |
Yes it is.
We call it humour, (even if its not good humour)
You will find it on a few of these fora.
The smiley (:)) is generally is enough advise all of those who didn't get the joke, (or got, and didn't appreciate it) not to take it seriously.
the internet as i see it is still incredibly young, with the overall demeanour of a schizophrenic,
one thing is for sure, the amount of news covered on the net just about everything imaginable is slowly but surely replacing paper, magazines and other forms of readable's, except for books.
the net lacks, order and revenues in the correct places !
from chaos their is an intrisic order to be found or to grow - so no problems there.
however the revenues, i see as a problem, as SE's obviously need a revenue to provide their services as we all know, so do other groups and individuals who contribute infromation and services. I fear for a friend, who i am sure is amongst many, a journalist / editor for a uk comp mag with global sales, however circa is going down due to the internet, where people can read the mag for free, as circa reduces, he will have no income, because what gives him the work is the paper mag circa and not the online version.
Hence, i think the net needs to act for this situation, it already does for academic journals, so why can't it for magazine's that are of good quality and provide interesting info and insight.