The Reference Web is built on the work of others. The other three Webs (Incremental, Archived and Community) is built by us. The Reference Web is a database of all that has happened (and been published). The other Webs are a snapshot of whats happening more of a real-time datastream rather than a database, more here and now than then and there.
The Reference Web is like the ocean of information that is out there. It is free like oxygen. The other Webs are the oxygen of our personal and social lives. The Reference Web, like oxygen, is a pre-requisite for life and something we take for granted. It is the body of knowledge that has been created over the centuries. The other Webs are necessary for living for making life worthwhile. It is being created continuously by us and our interactions with the world around us. The Reference Web is about information. The other Webs are about Events, Insights and Experience.
Ramesh Jain outlined the ideas of the Event Web in an interview with Gartner:
It started to become more and more clear that because of Gutenberg’s revolution, systems designers generally think in terms of alpha-numeric information, but in our lives, there are lots of different data sources – audio, visual, tactile. So if you can explore and find the information you are looking for on your own terms, combining audio, video and other elements, that’s experiential computing.
What if you put events on the Web? That means that in place of writing an article about our meeting here and posting it to a page on the Web, we start by placing multiple cameras here, along with some other sensors, and you put the recording on the Web so that people can explore this conversation in the same way as the football game I described. So that at any time they could experience what you and I are doing, see how we are doing it, choose their perspective. So this is the concept that I’m trying to advance. It requires very interesting technological challenges because each search that is done becomes different. Time becomes the most important factor because you are more interested in what’s going on right now, or what happened in the near past, etc…In Event Web, the focus is, in place of a document about it, the event itself. Documents provide you information. Event Web gives you the experience.
The idea of events has been championed by Tibcos Vivek Ranadive for enterprises. Om Malik wrote about Ranadives ideas a few years ago: Vivek real-time Ranadive could just be the Peter Drucker of the 21st century. While Mr. Drucker and later Tom Peters management principles helped reform the global business landscape, Mr. Ranadive is preaching a new technology mantra – real-time computing – that promises to revolutionize the way global giants conduct commerceHe sees a world which imitates the NASDAQ stock exchange like the traders responding to the events like demand for certain shares, or stocks movement to news related to a particular company, say for example Juniper Networks. He believes that companies should be responding to the changing chaos of business today in such a manner as well. New information about bloated inventories should result in real-time discounts on products or special offers to customers. Mr. Ranadive describes this as zero-lag, cash-to-cash business, where the time delay between cash spent on producing goods, and the cash received from customers is nearly zero.
A series of developments in the recent past now has the potential to bring the event-driven, publish-subscribe world to our lives.
Next Week: The Future of Search (continued)