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The Net’s killer app

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One of the best explanations of the internet ever:

Here’s the thing: the Net’s killer app has always been other people. There are side benefits, like access to all the world’s information. But the links that matter aren’t between pages but people, and they’re strong and rich and subtle. Multiply the infinite flavors in human relationships by a thickening bundle of means-to-connect; that product is what’s new and what’s good and what’s exciting. People who are looking for the Next Big Thing are mostly looking in the wrong places. And anyway, you don’t need to look, it’ll find you.

Read the whole thing. I agree with Tim Bray about Facebook.

What about Facebook? I don’t know; clearly, it’s just the thing for getting your college dorm or high-tech mixer set up. But for me, the value is in promoting intimacy, seeing what my friends are doing. And Twitter hits that 80/20 point, bringing me that news without all the Facebook bullshit and lame groups and dorky apps and stupid ads and data lock-in. So recently I don’t Facebook much.

And Techmeme…

I dunno, I go there and see the same stories about the RIAA and Paul Graham’s latest essay and what Apple might be doing, the same stories that are on Slashdot and Ars Technica and boring old ZDnet too. Plus a smattering of whatever Scoble & Winer & Arrington & Calcanis and their posses are up to. Plus all these vendors trying to convince everyone that they need “Rich” Internet Applications. (I think rich interaction is about people not animated vector graphics, but what do I know?) There’s nothing wrong with it. But also nothing I’m not getting already.

The real thing happens elsewhere. If what Techmeme and TechCrunch covers is the real thing for you, then you are part of the happenings and know what’s going on already. If you are not, then you have your own network and a sphere of influence, which is the real thing for you. The more you get involved in a project or network of your own, the less time you have to stay on top of the ever-growing stream of information. It is marvellous and you need it, of course, but it is not the beginning and end of all. Especially given that…

…when the next big thing comes along (and I love this business, because I know it will) you won’t have to rely on the professional noticers to tell you because it’ll touch your life directly.

Amen to that.

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One Response to “The Net’s killer app”


  1. Mark Sheldon
    on Oct 16th, 2007
    @ 12:17 pm

    IT and later the Internet are capable of making life better and simpler. Usability (speed of use to achieve tasks) is a key criteria. “Rich” media (pointless animation or unnecessary video) often just slows things down.

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