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The Internet Communications

The Next Big Thing — Why Web 2.0 Isn't Enough 286

An anonymous reader writes "TechConsumer has an interesting discussion about what it will take for the next big thing, and why Web 2.0 is only just the beginning. 'Realtors have been giving us the answer for years, although they didn't know it. The next big thing is..."location, location, location". Think of how we access all the information of the Internet. We do it at a desk, where wires keep us attached to a specific location. Laptops help us branch out a bit, but even then we are tied to a wireless connection. Go to far and you no longer have access to information.'"
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The Next Big Thing — Why Web 2.0 Isn't Enough

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  • ..and when some crazy has me buried in a 18 century dungeon, my PDA, from 2019, tells me 439 meters due north is a antique mill!
  • by iknownuttin ( 1099999 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:09PM (#19880301)
    Web 2.1! Web 2.0 is going to be really buggy!
  • Ah, how I would love to take advantage of "location, location, location"... too bad the vast majority of laptops and digital cameras don't come with it built-in!

    (On that note, does anybody happen to know of a reasonably-priced Type II PC card GPS that doesn't stick out of the slot? I'd like to get one that I can just leave in the slot at all times (including when it's in my bag, hence the need for it not to stick out).

  • by Gman14msu ( 993012 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:10PM (#19880315)
    Go to far and you no longer have access to information.

    Where is this place "far" that you speak of and why can't we access information there? I feel bad for anyone from "far". Oh! You meant too far!

    I understand but come on it changes the meaning and more importantly makes it difficult to read. Quick proof read next time please.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) *

      Where is this place "far"

      It's in Nowhere, about 500 miles past Middle.

  • by MontyApollo ( 849862 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:12PM (#19880333)
    >>Today we have access to an unfathomable amount of information. Web 2.0 has helped us begin to organize and make sense of that information.

    I guess I don't really get Web 2.0 then.

    Not sure I get the "location, location, location" thing either. Yahoo has had local Yahoos for years now. How would tags work better than regular Google searches?
    • by Tony ( 765 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:19PM (#19880417) Journal
      I guess I don't really get Web 2.0 then.

      That's because it's a buzzword, implying much and meaning little. It's all about Dynamic HTML! No! It's all about centralized data! No! It's all about distributed services!

      It's all just a little bit of what the web's been since 1998, only we're getting better at it, so people have to make it into something to puff out their vita, and make them "marketable," even though they were part of the reason we had the other buzzword, the "dot-com bubble."

      IT marketers do love their buzzwords.
    • Well, the article's not about tag (as currently experienced) or regular Google searches as such.

      It's about your phone being aware of its location via GPS, and automatically giving you access to relevant local information without searching. Which might indeed mean going to a local Yahoo page, except that currently you would have to navigate there yourself, and may not even be entirely clear on where you are to do so.

      Sounds good to me, just last Sunday I found myself at a train station where (genius, this) th
      • >>...relevant local information without searching.

        How does it decide what is relevant without search terms? I could see train schedule being relevant if you are in a train station, but more often than not you have to include search terms.

        As others have said, most of this information would be pointless unless you were a tourist anyway, and I don't see tourism being the "next big thing". I think spam would also ultimately kill me much of the utility.
        • I take the point, although as a general rule if you can seeing it being relevant in one situation, others will occur over time. In general, people find a way to make use of an extra dimension of data and so it will probably happen. Train stations, gig guides for music venues, booking for up-and-coming theatre performances, easy access to batting stats at the ball game, whatever. It's easy to rattle out ideas:

          Simply popping up with a map that has e.g. underground stations, cash points, licensed venues, coffe
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DarenN ( 411219 )
      I thought Web2.0 was AJAX!

      Good point, the tagging/categorisation/everything-else-the-article -talks-about is rubbish without the one thing he forgot to mention, which is a branch of ubiquitous computing where there are small devices everywhere (well, everywhere important) that your own device connects to and gets any "relevant information". This is called "pervasive computing".

      That was fairly lazy journalism. Without the aforementioned pervasive computing, how the hell does your mobile device know where you
      • >>where there are small devices everywhere (well, everywhere important) that your own device connects to and gets any "relevant information".

        That makes more sense, especially if the place of interest packages the "relevant" information. It would also cut down on the spam. Not sure it would be the "next big thing" though, since a lot of the utility seems to apply to mainly tourism.
        • by DarenN ( 411219 )
          Tourism is obvious, but for instance - walk into a shop and get a list of current stock, or driving down the motorway, as you pass into a zone you get relevant information, in a office building, get the location of each of the companies, perhaps down to locations individual desk.

          The cynic in me sees the potential for ads everywhere, but there are intriguing possibilities. Nevertheless, the article was still wandering around the periphery of the whole idea and missed the core.
  • by leather_helmet ( 887398 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:12PM (#19880337)
    Geospatial technologies in general are going to be very important - We have been doing work primarily with Real Estate Brokerages and the Oil/Energy Industries

    It has been exciting to see where things are headed with location based applications - for instance, google will be releasing AdSense in the Google Maps API, which will have some very seriously monetization implications for not only our apps, but anyone developing with their API

    Shameless plug, but check out our site www.mapgroove.com

  • Hyperlocal web (Score:5, Informative)

    by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:12PM (#19880347) Homepage Journal
    Bruce Sterling wrote a similar, but even more imaginative article in Wired, about a concept which he called the hyperlocal web [wired.com]. The dept 'long-way-to-go' on this article is interesting in light of Sterling's piece, because in a sidebar, he basically makes the point that Google is already building all the information necessary for this sort of stuff with Google Earth. Combine that with Google's recent interest in the wireless spectrum and GPS and bam! it sorta hits you: Google's already working on this stuff. How far off are they? I guess only time will tell.
  • I hope not. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:14PM (#19880369) Homepage Journal
    "If I'm driving down a dirt road, I can access the Internet, enter in the key words, "eat, roast beef sandwich'. The next time I pass within 5 miles of an Arby's my device let's me know."

    So will it be giving you directions or providing a warning?

    Yea this will be the next big thing. The problem is that you will get directions to Arby's but you will not get directions to Bill's deli. You know that little hole in the wall where they bake their own rolls and use real roast beef?

    Yea the next big thing in advertising.

    • I was thinking the same thing - more directed advertising by a limited number of companies.

      I do wish more smaller companies had a web presence. Half the time I want to see a menu from a particular restaruant they don't even have a webpage.

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
        "I do wish more smaller companies had a web presence. Half the time I want to see a menu from a particular restaurant they don't even have a webpage."
        Yes but I can understand why they don't.
        Why should a small dinner pay someone to create a website for them. They could make one themselves but it will probably not be that great.
        How many people look for websites when they are looking for someplace to eat?
        A good website takes time and money. A bad website is close to useless. If you are a local sub shop or res
        • If it is a restaurant that I've never been to, I always try to look up the menu to see what they have and how much it costs. Even if I have been there, I might want to check their hours.

          I think even a simple homemade template website would be beneficial (for my purposes anyway).
          • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
            It could be useful. Even better would be one that formats well on my cell phone.
            In Japan they have a neat bit of kit that I wish we would use in the US. They print a type of "barcode" on signs and cards. You just take a picture with your cell phone camera and it takes you to that bar codes url.
            Think how handy that would be?
            If done right it would include links to call for reservations as well, the hours, menu, and location. Then offer a Bluetooth link to your cars GPS system.
            A system like that would IMHO be
            • They tried something similar to the barcode thing - Quecat I think it was called.

              >>Just how many people would use it? I am pretty big computer user and I just don't use my computer to look up restaurants that often. My number one way is to just take a chance and see if it is open and what they offer.

              I guess it just depends on the person. I would actually use this more than most of the pervasive computing stuff you are talking about; it is kind of funny how you are talking about all this info being the
      • I agree, but the gp seems to indicate that it's a failing of the internet rather than a failing of the business which I don't agree with.
    • Informative/Insightful?

      I'd like to add to the parent: there's the ages old problem of tons of information and no moderation. So what if a hundred people have been where I'm going. 50 of them will be spam, 10 will be shillers from the Tourist advisory board, 15 will be from real estate something-or-other. What happens when you are review #101 and you don't like it?
      • So what if a hundred people have been where I'm going. 50 of them will be spam, 10 will be shillers from the Tourist advisory board, 15 will be from real estate something-or-other. What happens when you are review #101 and you don't like it?

        Social Networking could easily fix that problem. You have a certain number of friends who automatically carry weight on the generated results. They, in turn, have friends who carry less weight and so on and so on. None of your friends or their friends or anyone else wou
    • That's why you combine it with user submitted data... which is what web2.0 is all about.
    • The problem is that you will get directions to Arby's but you will not get directions to Bill's deli.
      Maybe Bill needs to invest in Adsense.
  • I for one have been struggling to find decent mobility with online access. Although slightly off tangent to the topic of a Web 3.0, I have switched to a UMPC (3lb vaio that goes on for about 6-8 hrs on a single charge), and tried PAM with my phone. Although satisfactory, intensive online tasks are still a pain as is computing power. Perhaps if we focused on having a powerful computer at home with a portable client, it would satisfy several needs. 3G down speeds are reasonable to make this realistic (EVDO re
  • I'm not impressed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by khallow ( 566160 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:16PM (#19880389)
    Until I get telecommuting, I don't really care for this new technology. The problem isn't "location, location, location". It's that I have to be places where I don't want to be.
    • by C3ntaur ( 642283 ) <{centaur} {at} {netmagic.net}> on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:27PM (#19880507) Journal
      Be careful what you ask for. If your job can be done remotely from the comfort of your home/a beach/a coffee shop, then it can also be done from third world countries by folks who are willing to work for much less than you are.
      • by khallow ( 566160 )
        Indeed. I have no problem with this since I might end being one of them! After all, my dollars would go a lot further in a place like India or Belize.
      • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
        Actually, some of us get paid the big bucks because we're one of ten people in the world who can actually do the job.

        So, uhhh, speak for yourself.

        • Yes, but your employers may believe that just because you're one in ten that 20 coders from Bolivia can do the same job because, hell, there's 20 of them. Even if your employers don't, a lot of others do.
          • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
            Then they will fail and I will go work for the competitor who replaces them in the marketplace.

      • by merreborn ( 853723 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @09:22PM (#19883051) Journal

        Be careful what you ask for. If your job can be done remotely from the comfort of your home/a beach/a coffee shop, then it can also be done from third world countries by folks who are willing to work for much less than you are.


        That's less true than some wish it were. Wages for capable, experienced programmers in India have shot up dramatically over the last few years (thanks to finite supply and rapidly growing demand), to the point where someone in India with experience, talent, and decent communication skills costs just about as much as someone in a first world country with the same skills.

        Bad programmers are cheaper overseas. Good programmers cost the same anywhere you go. Especially once you factor in the cost of the communications overhead inherent in having your workforce in a timezone 12 hours offset from your own.
  • This month's wired features several articles about Hyperlocality and geospatial interfacing between the web and the world:

    http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/15-07/ff_ maps [wired.com]

    http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/15-07/loc al [wired.com]

    Bill
  • "Next big thing?" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:18PM (#19880411) Journal
    What the author is saying is take your PDA with GPS, walk around and have it automatically search for hits at your coordinates, with links to relevant info.

    What this depends on is information being indexed by coordinates, via tags or elsewise. Not sure that'll take off.

    Instead, why don't points of interest broadcast on an open (but secure, if possible) network? Go to a museum, a list of links pops up on your PDA.

    Either that or index the whole world in google earth|maps or something similar.
    • by Jaqenn ( 996058 )

      Instead, why don't points of interest broadcast on an open (but secure, if possible) network? Go to a museum, a list of links pops up on your PDA.
      I like the concept, but what about spam-style advertising? If I scatter viagra ad beacons around the museum, what do you do to see the information that the painting is broadcasting without seeing the information that my ad beacons are broadcasting?
      • by kebes ( 861706 )

        I like the concept, but what about spam-style advertising? If I scatter viagra ad beacons around the museum, what do you do to see the information that the painting is broadcasting without seeing the information that my ad beacons are broadcasting?

        Spam is definitely a worry. Then again, the thing that keeps Spam under control when it comes to physical mail is the inherent cost of sending the mail. Email spam is cheap. Real mail is not.

        Similarly, putting a bunch of beacons all over the place is very expe

    • by kebes ( 861706 )
      Why not all three?

      TFA overstates its case a little bit, but the basic idea is a good one (but not really revolutionary--just an extension of the Internet as we know it).

      I think this kind of thing will happen as wireless net connectivity becomes more widespread and more affordable. Also, the growing number of user-contributed sites are encouraging massive amounts of tagging. Combined, this will create a new way that the net can be useful to all of us. I see data coming from a variety of sources, many of whic
    • >>Instead, why don't points of interest broadcast on an open (but secure, if possible) network? Go to a museum, a list of links pops up on your PDA.

      I think this makes a lot more sense, and would probably help cut out some of the spam. A lot of this stuff would only apply to tourists anyway (not sure tourism is the "next big thing"), and the point of interest (or city tourism board) could package the content in the most useful manner instead of letting Google try to process everything and decide what w
    • by garcia ( 6573 )
      What this depends on is information being indexed by coordinates, via tags or elsewise. Not sure that'll take off.

      What world do you live in? Everything on Google (and plenty of other sites) is indexed by coordinates including my own [lazylightning.org]. While I don't particularly care for the idea of push advertising to my GPS-enabled mobile device, I can see what a huge advantage it would be for advertisers and what a consumer's perceived benefit would be.

      Hell, I spend a ton of time working with geospatial data for use with
  • to be writing articles. This is the nice way. --paul
  • I can't wait to use my laptop on the beach.
  • by FiloEleven ( 602040 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:30PM (#19880543)

    Go to far and you no longer have access to information.
    I've never been to Far, but surely they're not as backwards as all that!
  • VRGIS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    VRGIS [vrgis.com]: I worked for them back in college when it was more or less a research project. The goal is to create a transparent layer to access a virtual world that sits on top of the real one, by pin pointing info to specific regions as defined by GPS.

    Think about a Zoo and walking around a virtual zoo, while walking in the zoo and clicking on a virtual sticker that read about an animal. Or a guide for tourist, that gave info on every inch of a city.

    Was an amazing job and I enjoyed it. That is where it's goi

  • location, location, location

    Which for us on /. is usually "basement, basement, basement". Is he talking about people who have a real life or something? Now, if a gizmo could help me locate the pizza I dropped yesterday...
               
  • by E++99 ( 880734 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:35PM (#19880605) Homepage

    Go to far and you no longer have access to information.

    To bad you don't know how two proof-read.
  • "Integration" didn't become popular until it was renamed "mashup".

    "Collaborative filtering" didn't become popular until it was renamed "Web 2.0".

    So "ubiquitous computing" won't become popular until someone can figure out how to reduce the syllable count.

    • "Collaborative filtering" didn't become popular until it was renamed "Web 2.0".

      "Web 2.0" has four syllables, but the "2.0" part is likely some sort of special case.

      So "ubiquitous computing" won't become popular until someone can figure out how to reduce the syllable count.

      "WiMAX"? Is there a better term?

  • Overrated (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xeth ( 614132 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:36PM (#19880623) Journal
    I think the author of this piece overestimates how much time people spend touring. Sure, this could be handy in the few situations you're in a new place hunting for something new, but people don't spend a lot of time doing that. On the other hand, looking at the other two revolutions listed by the author, people need to find things on the internet all the time, and socializing is a daily thing. You could build a neat digital location tagging game, à la electronic geocaching, but I doubt it'd be long before it was polluted with idiots and spam. And how long can people play hide-and-seek? Sure, there are certainly niche applications, but I doubt it'll be the Next Big Thing.
    • That's a really good point. The average person spends most of thier life within a few miles of their house and within a few miles of work.

    • I think that it is true that media people overestimate how much time people spend on vacation. Mostly people many people in the media get paid to go on vacation and go to trendy new restaurants, and forget to remember that the rest of us have to pay to do so.
    • you missed it (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tacokill ( 531275 )
      Ok, so maybe "touring" is not what I am thinking about, but lots and lots of people go to unfamiliar cities all the time. Business travel is loaded with people like this.

      I would use it and I go to places I am already familiar with. I would use it even more if I had never been to that city. Hell, I use it in my own city for that matter.

      Imagine, you are looking at your smartphone (whatever flavor)...."Let's see...where is my hotel in relation to the city? Now show me steakhouses within walking dis
  • This horrible centralized, corporate controlled social marketing mayhem... what we need is a real social p2p based on amule, openID, bittorent freenet and whatnot...
  • Ye dogs! First Web 2.0's empty buzzwords, now location aware advertising?! What's next? No, wait! Don't tell me, I don't want to know!
  • The Metaverse, of course. Duh.
  • The next big thing will be INTEGRATION. Anyone not sick of having 1093094 account each with separate password/usernames please raise your hands. Web 2.0 has been all about features. 3.0 will have to be about better managing them. 4.0 would be a good point for the reviving of the thin client approach. Your system anywhere. Sounds good, but not before the mess of 2.0 sites can be managed.
  • National parks? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mypalmike ( 454265 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @04:57PM (#19880869) Homepage
    FTA: Think of the last time you were at a national park. It's a very good possibility that the only information you had about the park fit on a tri-fold paper that you picked up at the visitor's station. In the information age, how is this acceptable?

    It's more than just acceptable. It's exactly what I want when I go to a national park: to get away from the hyper-connected world of technology. The only information I want I will get from the park ranger, who hopefully can't tell his DVD-ROM from his Firewire, but can answer my questions about lizards and rocks.
  • I have to wonder if the breathless enthusiasm in this article is the work of anything other than an internet marketer. I suppose technology and especially technology in the hands of early adopters does lend itself to proselytization and hyper-enthusiasm. But when there seems to be no skepticism whatsoever I have to think "marketer!"

    How dumb does the author think real people are? Do you really expect that I'm going to be driving around with nothing to do but type "roast beef" into some sort of device? It's l
  • by glockenspieler ( 692846 ) on Monday July 16, 2007 @05:17PM (#19881075)
    "People who liked this book dated this person!"

    "People who dated this person also dated this person."

    I'm only sort of joking...
  • I know it's inevitable, but I don't particularly like or need the constant link to information that Internet-everywhere would provide. I don't need to feel connected everywhere I go. I'm perfectly happy to go into my office and use the computer to type an e-mail, or sit on my couch and read news headlines and check local weather on my Nintendo Wii.

    I think the urge to move everything to a constant, Internet-everywhere connection is driven by some kind of mental illness. I really don't want to have people
  • The most "location aware" portable thing right now is Helio. [helio.com] It has GPS. It has Myspace integration. It can display all the pizza outlets near you. It has "Buddy Beacon", so your Myspace buddies show up on a map display. It's a true 3G device. Does music, video, data, and voice phone.

    What it doesn't have is customers.

    The Helio store in Palo Alto is across from the Apple store. And nobody is buying. The day the iPhone came out, the Helio staff were playing GTA on the store's big display, due to a

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