The New York Times writes:
[There is] a significant shift in the way companies and entrepreneurs are thinking about social networks.
They look at MySpace and Facebook, with their tens of millions of users, as walled-off destinations, similar to first-generation online services like America Online, CompuServe and Prodigy. These big Web sites attract masses of people who have dissimilar interests and, ultimately, little in common.
The new social networking players, which include Cisco and a multitude of start-ups like Ning, the latest venture of the Netscape co-creator Marc Andreessen, say that social networks will soon be as ubiquitous as regular Web sites. They are aiming to create tools to let ordinary people, large companies and even presidential candidates create social Web sites tailored for their own customers, friends, fans and employees.
[via Thejo] Pigdog Journal writes about some of the things to say:
# That won’t scale.
# That’s been proven to be O(N^2) and we need a solution that’s O(NlogN).
# There are, of course, various export limitations on that technology.
# The syntax is idiosyncratic.
# Trying to build a team behind that technology would be a staffing nightmare.
# That can’t be generalized to a cross-platform build.
# Unfortunately, the license would contaminate our product.
# If we go with that idea, we’re going to have Don Marti camped out in the front lobby with 300 angry software jihad supporters.
# Our support infrastructure simply can’t handle the volume that change would involve.
# I had one of the interns try that approach for another project, and it scrambled the CEO’s hard drive. So I think it’s going to be a hard sell.
Business Week writes about Nicholas Negroponte’s $100 laptop project:
What has not received much attention is the graphical user interfacethe software that will be the face of the machine for the millions of children who will own it. In fact, the user interface, called Sugar, may turn out to be one of the more innovative aspects of a project that has already made breakthroughs in mesh networking and battery charging since Negroponte unveiled the concept two years ago.
Sugar offers a brand new approach to computing. Ever since the first Apple Macintosh was launched in 1984, the user interfaces of personal computers have been designed based on the same visual metaphor: the desktop. Sugar tosses out all of that like so much tattered baggage. Instead, an icon representing the individual occupies the center of the screen; “zoom” out like a telephoto lens and you see the user in relation to friends, and finally to all of the people in the village who are also on the network.
Today’s Web can be thought up as a Reference Web. It is like a gigantic library with almost all of the information that we need available at a click of a button. The M-Web will be the Incremental Web, focused on all that’s new. It will be more focused on real-time information streams. These will start becoming important because our teleputer will be a two-way device, capable of sensing and responding, transmitting and receiving.
Much of today’s Web is text-centric. The M-Web will be rich media. The teleputers, much like today’s mid- to high-end phones, are multimedia devices. With the Ubinet, it will become much easier (and cheaper) to send and receive rich media.
The other shift can be thought of as being from W3 to N3. The W3 can be thought of as the world, wide and wild Web. The N3 can be thought of as now, near and new Web. What’s happening around us and in real-time will be mirrored on the teleputer.
Search is the de facto way to navigate today’s Web. The M-Web will be built around Subscriptions. Think of subscriptions as building ongoing relationships with entities. Because there is a device with us all the time, we can now get access to events as they happen.
Advertising is the monetary driver for Search. Similarly, Invertising will be the key driver around Subscriptions. Invertising think of it as invited advertising — is about building a hotline to customers.
India has the ability to lead in the creation of this new world because for most of us, mobiles have become the primary device in our life. Tomorrow’s world will be built around future generations of mobiles.