Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Harry Trott, Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski, JP Morgenthal

Related Topics: Linux, Web 2.0

Linux: Article

"May Every New Thing Arise" (With Apologies to Peru)

Thomas Jefferson, HTML, hyperlinks, and the pursuit of AdSense clicks...

Nowhere in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence did Thomas Jefferson reference the Internet, eBay, Skype, or Flickr. But if he’d lived another 180 years, to 2006 instead of 1826, I feel certain he would at some point have said something like:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident,
--that all websites are created equal; that they are endowed by
their Creator with certain inalienable properties;
that among these are HTML, hyperlinks, and
the pursuit of AdSense clicks."
But what of the bigger picture?  Beyond AdSense and AdWords and Mediabots and all that good stuff. Where, in short, is it all headed?

Well, one sure way of anticipating the future is to see what the professional anticipators are saying and thinking…and then getting ahead even of them. (As John Maynard Keynes used to say, “Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others.”)  So let us turn for a moment to those who call themselves, or have been called by others, “futurists.”

Bill Joy’s Why the future doesn’t need us, for example, hypothesized that intelligent robots would replace humanity, at the very least in intellectual and social dominance, in the relatively near future. Now a partner in venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Joy certainly lives with one foot firmly in the future. But while Joy and his colleagues at Sun indisputably grasped earlier than most the enormous impact the Internet would have on both computing and entertainment, I’m not certain that he’s any longer today the best person to turn to for a sense of where the Web is going. Designing and writing Berkeley UNIX is a remarkable achievement; but it’s not necessarily a qualification for designing and writing the future of the future,

Last year, for example, at the MIT Emerging Technologies conference, Joy actually retreated – for the organizing principle of his presentation – to the analytical framework used by those selfsame colleagues of his back in the 90s, in which Joy and his team described ‘Six Webs’: the “far” web, as defined by the typical TV viewer experience

  • the “near” web, or desktop computing
  • the “here” web, or mobile devices with personal information one carried all the time
  • the “weird” web, characterized by voice recognition systems
  • the “B2B” web of business computers dealing exclusively with each other
  • the “D2D” web, of intelligent buildings and cities.

Java was created with all six of these webs in mind, a deliberate attempt at creating a platform for all six of them. But times they are a-changing: today, the key to anticipating the future is to concentrate on the “social” web and Enterprise 2.0, both built on what Professor Andrew McAfee calls an infrastructure of SLATES (search, linking, tagging, authoring, extensions, and signals).

In other words, instead of there being six webs there’s really only one, let us call it – for simplicity’s sake -- the New Web. The overriding characteristic of the New Web is its multi-faceted yet converging nature. With its acquisition of YouTube, Google for example has in a heartbeat ensured the eventual convergence streaming video and search. With its acquisition of Skype, eBay has done the same for VOIP and real-time auctions. And there are plenty of convergences ahead: newspapers and blogging (witness News Corp’s $580M acquisition of MySpace); what alliances lie ahead – MTV and Technorati? Bank of America and Flickr?

Before you accuse me of being deliberately far-fetched, consider the fact that  the two co-founders of Digg, Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose, have set up the newly-funded Revision3 Corp – not a social-bookmarking site but an Internet video company? Or how about Jimmy Wales, who with Angela Beesley and Wikia is clearly setting his sights on the as-yet-untried fusion between wikis and search?But let us go back to looking at what the ‘professional anticipators’ are anticipating.

eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar, for example, has a pretty good track record, having staked Omidyar Network money on Digg.com – as did Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen and Greylock partners. Omidyar, who launched eBay as “Auction Web” in 1995, was a multi-billionaire just three years later when it IPO’d. His current investment portfolio is informed by his firm conviction that “strangers connecting over shared interests” is the key to the Web’s future. He sits accordingly on the board of Meetup.

In Andreesson’s case he isn’t only trying to second-guess the future by investing in other people’s social news ventures; he too, like Omidyar, is proactively helping to create it. His Ning, which launched in October 2005, is an online platform – currently free as in beer--for creating social websites and social networks.The list goes on and on, of investors – financial futurists – who are investing in the building out of the New Web that is poised to subsume all and every web that has gone before.

As for so-called ‘professional futurists’ like Ray Kurzweil – most commonly associated nowadays with his views on AI, genetics, nanotech, robotics, and (echoes of Bill Joy) the rapidly changing definition of humanity – he too has written much that can apply to those interesting in the future of the Internet, including what has been called “The Law of Accelerating Returns”:

<blockquote>"An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense 'intuitive linear' view. So we won't experience 100 years of progress in the twenty first century—it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate). The 'returns,' such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There's even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth."</blockquote>

In volume sixteen of Patrick O'Brian's 20-part nautical series, <em>The Wine-Dark Sea</em>, Aubrey and Maturin and the HMS Surprise finish their adventures in the Pacific and land in Peru. There, Stephen Maturin gives a gratuity to a local who has helped him find his way, and the local bids him goodbye with a parting blessing, "May no new thing arise." Maturin solemnly replies, "May no new thing arise."

Whatever else you can or can’t say about the future of Internet technologies and the world they will take us to, you can safely say that it won’t be like Peru!

In other words, bring on the New Web, with all its convergences already happened, currently happening, and still to happen. It is what makes life in the software and Web applications world rich, wondrous, complex, challenging, rewarding, maddening, joyous and never boring. It's always something, and I for one wouldn't want it any other way.

I can only say that my own parting blessing, next time anyone favors me with a gratuity will be this: “May every new thing arise.”

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (3)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
The Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) market will grow to $6.4B by 2018. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, will begin by walking the audience through the evolution of Workspace as-a-Service, where it is now vs. where it going. To look beyond the desktop we must understand exactly what WaaS is, who the users are, and where it is going in the future. IT departments, ISVs and service providers must look to workflow and automation capabilities to adapt to growing demand and the rapidly changing workspace model.
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...