Thursday, March 6, 2008

seeing is believing

Wow, its been nearly a month since I wrote here.  I've been busy running in 5 directions at once - no surprise I haven't gotten anywhere lately.  But, just to get back in the habit, here is one of the tangential  things I've been thinking about when I should have been running in one direction as fast as I could.

Web3.0 needs a face.
Web2.0 has the profile page, the social network graph, and the tag cloud, what is the face of Web3.0?
The most popular and functional candidates thus far appear to be the products of the Simile group from MIT.  The main view I've seen appearing all over is the faceted browser (Longhorn, Exhibit) with fun enhancements like the Timeline component.  

These are great, but to me seem like fairly small steps from what we have already (at least from the user perspective, the code that runs them is pretty much magic).

Something new .
I wonder if something more along the lines of PhotoSynth will someday be making its way into our day to day desktop experience.  The thing that I see Photosynth doing, in a very intuitive way as it cheats by using reality, is to give huge collections of data such as that which can already be drawn from the giant global graph a nicely navigable, beautiful shape.  I wonder if there is some way to map large collections of other kinds of data such that the form underlying them is a) rendered in some beautiful way and b) rendered such that it actually contributes to the understanding and navigation of the collection.  [That will probably make more sense if you have seen this amazing demonstration of photosynth].  

the structure is the thing,
and it needs to be pretty!