The New Web can be thought of as incremental in Topics. Topics relate to our interests. The New Web is about tracking people or topics. RSS (or a feed) is central to this Web.
Take a look at our own lives and interests. There are so many situations in which one would want a relationship to track whats new. I want to know the new books that Crossword has got in the past week and the deals that are on offer. I want to be able to track flights that I am booked on a few hours from now. I want to know traffic conditions on roads every evening along the routes to home. My wife would like to know the sales around town every weekend. As parents, we want to know the dates for the anti-polio drops.
Life is about the New. For much of human history, the combination of easy publishing and notification has not been available. Now, with blog-like publishing tools and RSS for syndication, it is simple to create and track content. We have already seen this with RSS aggregators which simplify the task of tracking updates to weblogs and topics that are of interest to us.
In this context, mobiles will make things even easier. I can take photos with my mobile and share it with friends and family by publishing it to a website. Instead of sending SMSes or emails asking them check the latest photos, they can set up subscriptions so that will be notified whenever I publish something new. The ease of sharing will lead to a concomitant increase in the publishing. I will create more content if I know that my friends and family will be able to consume it in real-time and then be able to comment on it, which I can then view just as quickly.
The New Web also lets us pursue our micro-interests. RSS feeds let us change the granularity of what information is updated. On the Reference Web, I will only know that a page has changed if at all. In the World of Now, the granularity can be for the microcontent think blog posts. A legacy search engine will index a page, but an incremental web search engine will focus on the feeds. Feeds are the containers and carriers for microcontent.
A recent example will help demonstrate the power and potential of feeds.
Tomorrow: Facebook and Feeds
TECH TALK The Now-New-Near Web+T