How connectivity is revolutionizing everything

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Web: The future web is alive

By Om Malik

A few months ago, when I first encountered turntable.fm, the social music listening service, I was addicted almost instantly. And while I appreciated the social music listening experience of the site, it also helped me see the web in a whole new way: It’s a web that goes beyond websites and pages, and one that doesn’t take into account traditional metrics of measurement.

I called it the Alive Web, though mostly due to lack of a better way of describing it. It’s a web that is organic, alive, in real-time and as unpredictable as the people who use it. This is the web that changes all the time, every time, much like the real world.

What’s behind the alive web? Connectedness! With more than a billion broadband connections and half a billion fast wireless connections, the Internet of today is a whole lot faster and much easier to access. In some parts of the world (and increasingly more each day), we are almost always connected and this gives an opportunity to experience a web that is more immersive and interactive.

In this new alive web, what matters is “attention.” If we are going to be spending time interacting — or collectively listening to music on turntable.fm — we are going to be siphoning it away from other forms of media, be it radio or our digital music libraries. If we are going to spend hours on Google Hangouts talking to family, we are going to be taking our attention away from phones.

Just as social and local became features of almost all popular services, it’s only a time before the Internet becomes alive and more interactive. This will mean a need for more bandwidth, more cloud power and, most importantly, more imaginative software. And if that isn’t enough, the aliveness will change how we access and interact with new services.

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