Monday, October 20, 2008

Build new centrifugal momentum on the Web

Nicolas Carr shared a keen observation of a present trend on the Web---the centripetal force is currently driving the progress of the Web. An invisible force is pulling Web users away from the comparatively smaller Web sites and towards the bigger nodes sitting on the center of the Web. For instance, more Technorati blog search users now adopt Google blog search, and more users of Bloglines now switch to Google Reader. In short, the effect of Long Tail is decaying.

Nick's observation is illuminating. Innovation is the centrifugal force on the Web. Due to innovation, new Web sites can attract more users away from the large existing sites on the center of the Web. The more innovation the Web has, the stronger the centrifugal force is.

On the contrary, when the centripetal force starts to dominate, Web innovation is at its downturn. In particular, this time the downturn tells that the principles of Web 2.0 may no longer keep on generating the centrifugal momentum great enough to sustain the high-speed expansion of the Web. The Web evolution is entering a comparative contraction process (i.e., still expanding but in the low-speed mode).

Be note that this is the second time the Web enters a comparative contraction process. The last time was during the period of the dotcom bubble in which many small Web sites went out of business and the majority of Web users flowed back to the few major sites on the Web. After the dotcom bubble, however, the Web expansion re-accelerated in a new stage---Web 2.0.

Based on all the analysis, we should be confident to expect another new round of rapid Web expansion ahead despite of the present contraction. Now it is the time for us to build new centrifugal momentum on the Web.

2 comments:

Lethe said...

I ditched Technorati when Google Blog search came out. I'm drawn to what's easiest for me. For example, I used Google Reader for awhile but it seemed a pain to have to open up another window to see my subscriptions . . . The Blogger Reading List is perfect, I can take a peak at my favorite feeds every time I go into my dashboard, and if nothing appetizes me, voila, no changing screens. Google amazes me. Their products are so streamlined and intelligent. I'm constantly finding issues with Wordpress and other (smaller) platforms, such as mypodcast.com. As to whether the Web is expanding or contracting, it's hard to say. Seems like a double movement, the same double movement that is inherent in every natural process.

gregory said...

it is a natural process ... there used to be 35 automobile conmpanies in america, now there are 3 ... you used to go to many different restaurants, now you go to one or two, read many different magazines, now one or two. ..

i think what nicholas carr has noticed has no real meaning