Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thinking About the Next Internet

Qwiki came online to the public today in alpha form and right from the start it demonstrates that the future of search will be social and multi-media inclusive.

While in no way do I find the Qwiki experience ideal -- I generally have problems with site-hosted sound that competes with whatever I'm listening to as I surf -- I do see it as marking the type of future the Web might present. As it stands now, the Internet is still primarily a visual medium. Part of that has to do with the battles that went on years ago with Napster and the like that forced music and commercial film into proprietary situations like iTunes. And despite YouTube's appeal as a place to find information and video stuff, no one would confuse it with a site that provides a welcoming and engaging aesthetic experience.

In a way, our forms of communication themselves have become (once again?) primarily visual. Just compare the number of emails and texts you've sent in the last three weeks to the number of phone conversations you've had.

And so, there is a great opportunity for an Internet experience to develop that is more social, more interactive with all senses and intelligences, and more aesthetically engaging. What will it look like? Well that's anyone's guess. But I think Qwiki offers us a glimpse into what might very well be in its infancy, namely the New Internet.

1 comment:

  1. Did you know Qwiki is co-founded by Eduardo Saverin, of Facebook fame? It is definitely more visually engaging too, though I wonder if this will compete too much with the content of the entries. I can see my students really liking having the entries read aloud to them, but I'm hoping the depth of information increases with use.


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