Something really, really exciting is going on in technology right now. It’s not really clear where all this is heading, but the amount of activity, creativity, and energy going into building and combining new Web-based services is large and growing, in a way we haven’t seen since about 1994, when the Internet first started to take off.
Some data points:
- The incredible energy of the blogging community
- Personalized news aggregation via Radio UserLand
- Instant outlining (think structured instant messaging)
- The New York Times offering a news feed through UserLand Software via RSS
- Google creating Web Services APIs and SDKs for their search engine, and the intense energy applied to using them by software developers world-wide
Paolo Valdemarin summed it up thus:
Basically what is happening is that every piece of information, every idea, every concept, every document is getting its own url. You can access it and reuse it. All borders between you desktop and the rest of the universe are fading, you can borrow the search capabilities of Google’s powerful servers from within your favourite application, or you can read news from the New York Times on the same page containing the news from your co-worker telling you what’s up today.
It’s safe to say that we’re in the period of wild experimentation and innovation, where no one really knows what they’re doing or has a complete vision of what is to come. But it’s also safe to say that we’re going there fast, and it will change the way we use computers (again). And the ride itself is going to be a lot of fun.