User Experience + Interaction Design + Strategy
Thoughts / The (very near) future of online information (Part 1) / 4 May, 2010
We live in an overwhelmingly online world. Every new system, service, platform and framework means a new set of data that will be bombarded to us, incessantly, online.
Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, The New York Times Online, Google Buzz, The Guardian, Venturebeat, Techcrunch, Huffington Post, Chatroulette, Tumblrs, the myriad of blogs we follow, Foursquare, Gowalla, and even IM, email, sms, calls, have become open channels of data, and their model is that of throwing as many bits as they can physically produce. No wonder people still decide to keep themselves to the outskirts of the web.
It be stated that when I say people I mean all people from all the corners of the world, not the sleeve of internet-savvy geeks or the information-thirsty folks that don’t have a problem being attached to a monitor for hours, perusing screen words and photos posted by others like them.
The web is an overwhelming world of stuff thrown to our faces, and everyone and their mothers are trying to make a living on creating more, or as they’ll say, better content to be hosed to you, every minute of every hour of the live of the servers that will pump the data blood all around the open arteries of the internet.
I’d risk to say that the huge success of facebook was (and might not be anymore in a short while) that of giving a concentrated, aggregated way of consuming that huge amount of information, but even facebook, can become an unsurmountable amount of other people’s lives.
Even with the success of some services like twitter and foursquare can be calibrated against our incapacity to digest more data: the former making that data so ephemeral and transient it does not transcend but the glimpse of casual browsing on a lost, idle moment for one too many a user; the latter promising a physical encounter in the best of cases, or channeling it through the idea of it related to our movement through cities and spaces, thus describing something less ethereal than just a thought.
If that was not enough, recently facebook announced a scheme where it’ll support the totally indiscriminate sharing of everything online. It has received many critics, and most of them of a very high level of harshness. I personally see it as an eye opener: the one fact that will show us one factor, one side, one missing perspective about the web: we own the internet, but it is not of much depth, and sometimes even use for us, as like a tsunami of diluvian proportions it might, it will wash us away from all we could grasp, get, understand and process, and will substitute it with just more status, more quizzes, more lines of shared articles and photos and rubbish and pics of what i’m eating right now; just more information.
I say there has come the time for one thing i’ve been thinking, envisioning for a while, one thought I’m sure I’m not alone in fostering and hatching, one thought that has to make sense for once and for all: the internet of mediation, or much better: the mediation of the internet.