We Are the Engine & the Architect


I was forwarded the video at the bottom of this post this past week. Some of you may have already seen it and I was impressed at how it illuminated the fact that we are building and refining the online world. Some examples of sites/functionality that embody this are:

  1. Sites like Digg or Reddit with its user generated content/voting enables a democratic way of highlighting articles that users believe have value.
  2. Google’s image labeler partners users real time to label images.
  3. Mahalo is a user generated search engine that allows users to add URLs and information.

I’m excited to see how the mobile Internet is going to create a user generated knowledge base the same way the sites/functions listed above have. With user generated videos popping up on Google Earth and businesses like whrrl & Loopt helping users pinpoint items of interest geographically to share with their friends; location based information/services are going to be compelling. flickr already allows you to place images and movies on a map to share with others the location those items were created in. So what will the end result look like for us? In my opinion we need to tie all of this together. For example, if we took;

  1. Our “likes” from del.icio.us
  2. Our social graph created by social networks
  3. The sum or our experiences on YouTube & flickr, etc
  4. Our daily experiences via Twitter and FriendFeed
  5. Our daily movements mapped on Google Maps or better yet Google Earth. (The beginnings of this already exists on Twitter Vision.)

These would be the building blocks of our online persona. This identity would be very specific as to who we are without identifying detailed information about us. Now for those of you paying attention, you’re thinking “my social graph” (even more so with the data portability) identifies me. And it does. I’m recommending yet another vessel to act as a personal aggregator. This vessel would not have detailed social networking information. It is essentially your aggregator/shadow. Your own personal Kayak. This would mean that the online persona could receive offers for products/services based on our shadows location and how high the “offer volume” is set. Until then we will have to deal with our shadow strewn across the Internet. The good news is that we are the architects and the engine and making this happen as we speak.

By Michael Myers