Saturday, August 23, 2008

Radar Themes, be aware

O'Reilly radar is a principal site exploring the very frontier of technologies. Recently, it publishes an index of themes that O'Reilly believes about the future. In contrast to review all the list, I want to share a few of my thoughts on the Web-related topics.

Collective Intelligence

Without a question, every Web 2.0 success shows the value of collective intelligence. But is collective intelligence panacea for launching new Web services?

(1) Collective intelligence is not necessarily the most crucial factor of collectivism, let it alone being the only one factor. There are many other factors about collectivism, for example, collective behavior and collective identity. The future of the Web will not be just about collective intelligence.

(2) Overemphasizing collectivism may cause prejudice of judgment. We should look for a balance between collectivism and individualism.

Open Beyond Source

The fundamental of open source is actually an alternate of collectivism. Through open source, different people can voluntarily contribute to varied aspects of a common project. Open source is actually more than project collaboration. For example, the linked data achievement (by the Semantic Web community) is another typical application about open source on data collaboration.

Besides open source and open data, can we also open "mind"?

Web Ops

Nat Torkington has quoted that "every 100ms of latency costs Amazon 1% of profit." If this is true, the data strongly supports to develop efficiently Web Ops technologies.

But there is a problem. World Wide Web is an open system in contrast to desktop computers are closed systems. Therefore, Web operating system is probably an inappropriate term since open systems are too unstable to be uniformly operated.

On the other hand, what may happen if we think of the entire Web to be an operating system? That is, instead of inventing certain external Web operation protocols, we let the Web operate itself. By this thought, every Web service is part of the Web Ops functions in contrast to existing extra specific Web Ops services to operate the Web.

Social Networking

Social networking becomes popular at Web 2.0. Unquestionably it represents a huge trend of demand from regular users. People want to be social and they expect to know more people through the Web.

A problem is, however, that why we have to firstly be "friends" in order to share information. In the other words, sharing common interest does not necessarily make two people be friend and vice versa. This misconception of friendship is a critical problem in the current implementation of social networking.

Web 2.0

We have already discussed this one too much. But the time of Web 2.0 is passing.


I am not sure what O'Reilly's view about Money/Web. To me, however, the topic is mainly about how the Web may produce wealth for mankind in general. Adam Lindemann and I have shared the thoughts of mind asset, which could be an interesting issue to explore under this cup.

Physical Web

World Wide Web is no longer just about linked computers. It is now about all kinds of devices linked global wide. Until now, however, devices other than computers are nothing but terminals of the Web. Will some day new devices invented to be central nodes of the Web besides being the terminals?


On the Web, we are actually rebuilding the real world into a virtual environment. Google Maps and Google Earth are in the vanguard. But we still have a long journey to go to really digitalize our real world into the virtual world known as the World Wide Web.

Clean Energy Tech

Though the topic seems unrelated to the Web, isn't mind another form of clean energy? If it is, then the Web is related.

New User Interfaces

Will the Web always be primarily linked through regular data connection? Are the regular hyperlinks necessarily be the primary structure of the Web? These are actually the question for new user interfaces. They are more crucial than switch the interface from desktop computers to mobile devices.


Web 2.0 solves information overload by engaging more human interaction. In consequence, however, the solution causes a new problem of identity overload, i.e., every Web user has multiple identities on the Web at varied Web 2.0 site. Solving this identity overload problem is going to be critical of the future Web.

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