Friday, May 11, 2007

From version numbers to user-centered approach

People talk about user-centered design and "users as innovators" in a same sentence with technical terms and version numbers. Is the future of digital media still technology driven? Are we still lacking alternative perspective of the future of digital media?

Last October Stephen Baker (BusinessWeek) was leading a panel which task was to define web 3.0 at the Monaco Media Conference. They came up with key points such as:

"1) Easier, cheaper, and more pervasive. Only a fraction of humanity has anything to do with Web 2.0. Others stay to the sidelines because they find the technology too confusing or expensive, or they don't see the relevance. Bring another billion or so people into Web 2.0, and Metcalfe's Law alone will make it a radically different phenomenon.

2) Always on, everywhere. We've heard (and written) this one for a while, but it's true: As Web 2.0 follows us every step of our lives--in some cases whether we want it to or not--and the dynamics change.

3) Controlling our data. In the next gen, we'll have developed all kinds of systems to wrap our personal data with various types of protection. Some will be shared widely, some narrowly, some not at all. And new systems of reputation and ranking should help us figure out which data sources to take seriously and which to shun."

Another opinion of web 3.0:

Image: Leiki Ltd's vision of Web 3.0.

Is the automation of networking or tagging the next step? Are we after automatic tagging or empowering the consumers? Maybe consumers would like to do something unforeseeable? Something beyond computer AI?

By and large, should we discuss about interoperability and cross media (multiplatform) services instead of the future of the web (as pc internet)? Many mobile phones already provide an access to the web, game consoles and handheld devices are wired... And the major trends related to the future of mobile, digital television or console are somewhat parallel with the future of web.

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