Blog Past: The Publish-Subscribe Web

This post is from June 2003. Here is how I began: “The first web made publishing possible. By giving each document published a unique identifier and making available a standardised application in the form of the browser for display, the first web made mass-reading possible. This web is about a few publishing and many reading. The second web will make mass-publishing and narrowband reading – many will publish and each will be read by a few. The building blocks of this web are slowly falling in place. Some call it the two-way web, others think of it as the writeable web. A more appropriate description is the publish-subscribe web, or ‘PubSubWeb’.”

Imagine if every SME can publish an RSS stream (via a weblog) about who they are, their products and services, the new developments at their organisation, their take on industry events, and what they are interested in purchasing. In addition, each of the SMEs should also set up subscriptions – based on what they are looking to buy or sell (by keyword or category) or by a company they would like to track.

So, SMEs do what they would anyways do in search of new business opportunities. By making it easier for them to both publish information and subscribe to relevant information, the PubSubWeb works as a connector, an information market maker. The product in this marketplace is information; the currency is attention.

Now, imagine this on the mobile.

5 thoughts on “Blog Past: The Publish-Subscribe Web

  1. Good post Rajesh.
    On Mobiles it can become the biggest market place for SME’s. I am not sure how much contribution SME’s make to GDP, but one can see them everywhere. Are they connected to each other? I would say no- It is still the traditional contacts on which business is run and grown. The web with the consumer on PC made
    him informed. The majority of the consumer in India was a tech savy middle class. It was not even the middle class but those who were tech savy gained benefits of the information. It never reached the common masses. Mobile can make that revolution. It can reach to everyone and will be the last step in democratizing information. The first bloodless revolution!.
    I can imagine in future in India every SME reaping the benefits of information on the Mobile. The key will be to develop the scale of operations and bringing relevance to the information pushed to SME.


  2. Another point Rajesh as I read your old article again. As one reads on the web – the blogs, comments on blogs ,news ,discussion groups -all these information get connected and it takes the individual to new levels of understanding. Indeed it connects many dots which otherwise may not have happened. I and many others would have been a very different persons had we not had access to this network of multidimensional information.
    It had probably made me clever than my inherent capabilities 😉
    Now, if this web of information reaches the masses say to SME’s and to the bulk of the population in India, then we should see new clever business models emerging. Access to information with different view points thus helping the individual to connect the dots should lead to efficiencies in different walks of life. The larger point which mobiles will address is giving access to “networked information of multiple view points” and improving intelligence.
    Now the key is how to you give this “networked information of multiple view points” on the mobile.

  3. Hey Rajesh,

    I would like to tweak the idea and direction a bit.

    An information market-place is a good start, but the medium _should_ extend to commitment as well. A small manufacturing concern I know, completed an order-approval with a indian state government online recently (tender bidding online).

    I believe that such models are complete and compelling propositions for SMEs.

    playing on this aspect further, -online networks are great enablers of real-time demand and supply matching (eg. Priceline?).

    – Santosh

  4. Something along the lines of what you are saying is already starting to happen… A growing number of services that I use are starting to have an twitter account, which they use for the following:

    Product updates
    Product annoucements
    Customer support.

    remember the milk, fring, backtype.. others
    they are available on my mobile, when and where I want (excepting the 250 sms limit)

    When will the maruti’s & the samsungs of the world land up on twitter? Thats entirely another story.. It wont happen till microblogging services can talk to each other. Just the same way one can take the rss feed and subscribe it on any rss reader (be on bloglines or google reader).. microblogging updates need to be subscribed on any platform be it twitter, smsgupshup or yammer or anything else.

    Then you will see the brands/products & other jump on the bandwagon! End of 2009 or 2010 is when this might happen or when I hope it will happen 🙂 We are still waiting for social networks & instant messengers to operate.. arent we ;)?