Five years ago, I wrote this entry because I was excited about the possibilities of a collaborative web.
I ended by saying that all the plumbing was in place, and that the joys and rewards of massive collaboration were only beginning to really shine. and that “it should be an interesting next 10 years !”
Well, 5 years on I can safely say that I probably understated the possibilities.
To take just the most famous three examples:
- Youtube was created in 2005, got acquired by Google in 2006 – and changed the way we watch video content for ever.
- Twitter was created in 2006. By 2010 it had grown 1500% and continues to grow at phenomenal rates
- Facebook started in 2004, but was initially limited in who could join. It opened its door to membership for everyone in 2006 and it seems today that just about everyone has signed up.
All three companies have changed our lives in fundamental ways – millions of people spend hours using these services. And yet, none of them have created an ounce of content by themselves – they have just provided the communication mechanisms for people to collaborate with others, and people have responded in droves. They all seem to have filled some basic human need to get in touch, to get the word out, to talk to others, to reach out to acquaintances as well as strangers, to explore new ideas together, to share what we find, to discuss what others discover.
The thing about such massive, unstructured, and yet manageable collaboration is that it leads to unexpected results.As people get more and more comfortable with it, the collaborative web is leading to new ways of work and play, leading on to new content from sources which previously had no outlet, changing our very perception of the world around us, and will very likely lead to stuff that we cannot imagine even today.
We ain’t seen nothin’ yet…..