Chris Messina and Jyri Engeström wrote a brilliant article on the Arctic Startup site (hey, Ville and Antti, nice catch!). Both of them have been actively pushing forward the concept, philosophy, and hard-core standards for a more person-centric Web.
Link: The Web At A New Crossroads
It’s 2009, going on 2010. For the past three years, the web has been morphing into a real-time and people-centric place. We’ve seen this trend among individual users — through their actions and demands for better social experiences — but also increasingly among companies and developers. We want a web that’s more “like us” than the old model was. We want a web where people are as important to the architecture of the system as documents.
They chart out the history of the Web and point to where it must go.
There have been some recent indicators, for example, an excellent article from Marshall Fitzpatrick (who is also brilliant and a watcher in this space), Opera's Unite, the anger at Facebook's purchase of Friendfeed, the rise of the Cloud, and the social meltdown the day Facebook and Twitter were down from DoS attacks (and some indicative comments of data ownership, and network ownership in some of my posts on Nokia Conversations). We seem to be passing a conceptual hurdle and behind-the-scenes coding (gosh, I had wished for DiSo back in 2008!) and finally seeing some real motion towards a more peer-to-peer style of social networking.
I was explaining to my son that in the old days, computing was done on main frames via terminals, much like social networking today is done from a dumb browser with servers in the Cloud. What Chris and Jyri are driving is just as liberating as PCs were to folks tied to mainframes - bringing power, choice, control, and the like back to the user, unmediated by proprietary services.
This isn't geeky dreaming. Chris, who had created Flock, which in some ways reflected a person-centric form of browsing, has been able to pull together Facebook, Myspace, Six Apart, and Google to back him up. And Jyri and Brad (who helped with the article) are key players in this and both work for Google (last I checked).
I admit I have not been following this as much as I used to. Other than the occasional article from Marshal that I pick up, in the past year or so, the most I have discussed this was at a lunch at Web 2.0 (where indeed, Chris, Jyri, and David Recordon, among others, were there going over all this stuff). So I am not sure what other articles these two have written.
In any case this article they have written will be part of the People-centric Real-time Web manifesto.
Will you be a part of it?
Original image here.