I'm not really comfortable making broad technology predictions, but I recently ran across two things that perfectly illustrate for me the nature of the next-generation Web. Some of us are already living it, using offerings such as Twitter, Hunch, or any service that instead of forcing us to search, asks for our interests, preferences, or even location—and then delivers the information we want. The Internet's next-gen version will consist of services that tell us what we want to know at the exact moment we want to know it, possibly without our having to ask.
We're getting ever-closer to such personalized, push delivery of information via the Web. Case in point: I started trying to compile a list of deal-related tweets on Twitter so that I could find out whenever certain Web sites were offering bargains on specific products.
I had been using Twitter this way for news, but hadn't yet applied it to my personal life. Here was an exciting development: Scoring New Balance Sneakers for 70% off, thanks to a tweet, is pretty sweet. Frankly, I can see how a lot of people who currently view Twitter as a home for self-promoting bloggers and celebrities would value the ability to get deals delivered to them. That's the kind of promotion consumers can believe in.
Vizit: Visual news feed photo frameThis morning, I received an e-mail about a two-way digital photo frame that's coming out next year. The Vizit frame from Isabella Products is pricey—at $279 for the frame and either $5.99 a month or $79.99 a year for a subscription to the wireless service, which allows people to e-mail or MMS pictures directly to the frame—but it doesn't require me to work hard.
Given my friends' current stage of life, I'm going to be receiving a lot of baby photos. Since I'm not so into infants, I can hop onto the Vizit online service where the pictures are actually stored, which is why this is cooler than some of the other digital photo frames, to delete such pics. I can also do it from the frame itself. The frame is essentially a visual newsfeed for my friends and we don't even have to log on to Facebook to see it.
Both examples show off a key tenet of this new Web vision: I don't need to access the Internet from my computer. It comes to me via my phone, my navigation device, TV, or that fancy photo frame. It's my Web, delivering the information that it thinks I want, based on my preferences, friends, and eventually, my location. I think that by Christmas 2010 everyone will be well on their way to having a "my Web" of their own.
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