Have been on the road quite a lot with a bag full of new ideas.
In all the discussions, it became clear for me that the end-game is about superior and dramatically better user experience.
The end-game is not cloud, the end game is not Web 3.0 or 4.0 for the matter. These are just enablers. The end-game is user experience.
And much of that experience will come from Mash-ups, real-time and giving the power for creating in the hands of the end-user.
We all have seen the Google map mash-ups with addresses of best bars in town. For sure a life-critical application, but what i have seen the last couple of week is a bit more impressive.
I will NOT cover Google Wave announcement, as already all over the place, and this blog is not intended as just an echochamber of other sites.
Ben was really mis-casted in a political-themes-debate, but did well anyway. He gave a pitch about the importance of web-literacy of our population, and about identity in a special way. For ex everybody recognizes the New-York skyline. But would you also identify yourself with the traffic visualization map of your own city ? Ben showed some great visualization examples. Have a look at http://delicious.com/benstamen. I most like the swarm example and the cab-spotting. The swarm shows you real-time visualizations of chat/twitters/social media conversations. The cab-spotters is also real-time, and the resulting visualization shows most used street patterns.
Thanks to my sponsors, I also was lucky to be able to attend Semantic Web3.0 in NY some weeks ago. Many good stuff, but i would like to share at least 3 examples: Aza Raskin from Mozilla Labs, Dan Willis from Sapient and Alex Karp from Palantir Technologies.
Aza Rasking (have a look at his bio on wikipedia, the guy was already a star at the age of 17 😉 is Head of User Experience at Mozilla Labs, and gave a preview of some cool things that will come out of the box in Firefox. And yes, I know IE8 Accelerators can do similar things but not quite yet.
Aza gave demo of Ubiquity and TaskFox.
Here is Ubiquity:
And here is TaskFox, a bit slimmed down version of Ubiquity in Firefox:
Dan Willis from Sapient gave a presentation on what happens when machines talk to machines. He did a great pitch illustrating with some sort of Kindle device with transparent screen capturing signals from semantically enabled objects. I love the very last example about taxis that radiate their traffic violation history. His presentation is on slideshare below, but you should really have heard Dan’s voice-over during the conference which makes it much more lively.
Last one for today comes from Palantir Technologies. At Web3.0, Alex Karp gave an amazing demo about a mortgage fraud investigation system, build as a mash-up of many different data-sources that were exposed with semantic techniques.
Here is the video of the Mortgage Fraud Investigation app. http://www.palantirtech.com/government/analysis-blog/mortgage-fraud. Many other staggering mash-up videos from Palantir are at http://www.palantirtech.com/government/videos
The point i am trying to make is not that these are cool videos. The point i am making is that all these use the principles of the semantic web (which is essence is about giving meaning to data, meaning that can be exploited via APIs by a computer), ideally run in a cloud (where integration is done these days at data-level), enabling great user experience.