I’m not really comfortable making broad technology predictions, but I’ve run across two things recently that perfectly illustrate for me the next generation of the web. Some of us are already living it — those of us that use offerings like Twitter or Hunch, or any service that instead of forcing us to search for information asks for our interests, preferences or even location, then delivers it. The next-gen version of the web will consist of services that tell us what we want to know at the exact moment we want to know it — possibly even if we don’t ask.
We’re getting ever closer to such personalized, push delivery of information via the web. Case in point: I started trying to compile a list of deal-related tweets on Twitter so that I could find our whenever some web site or specific product company was offering a bargain. I use Twitter this way for news, but hadn’t yet applied it to my personal life. I have to tell you, being able to score New Balance Sneakers for 70 percent off thanks to getting a tweet is pretty sweet. And frankly, I can see a lot of other people who currently view Twitter as a home for self-promoting bloggers and celebrities valuing the ability to get deals delivered to them. That’s the kind of promotion consumers can believe in.
Then this morning I got an email about a two-way digital photo frame that’s coming out next year. The Vizit frame (pictured above) from Isabella Products is pricey at $279 for the frame and either $5.99 a month or $79.99 a year for a subscription to the wireless service that allows people to email or MMS pictures directly to the frame, but it doesn’t require me to work hard at all.
Given my friends and their current stage of life, I’m gonna get a lot of baby photos. Since I’m not that into babies, I can hop onto the Vizit online service where the pictures are actually stored (which is why this is cooler than some of the other digital photo frames) to delete such pics. I can also do it from the frame itself. The frame is essentially a visual newsfeed for my friends that I don’t even have to log on to Facebook to see.
Both of these examples show off a key tenant tenet of this new web vision: I don’t need to go to the web on my computer — it comes to me on my phone, my navigation device, television or that fancy photo frame. It’s my web, delivering the information that it thinks I want, based on my preferences, friends and eventually location. And I think that by Christmas 2010 everyone will be well on their way to having a “my web” of their own.
This article also appeared on BusinessWeek.com.