Rich or poor, male or female, Muslim or Christian, in health or not: everybody has something to say. We are social creatures and our deepest desire is to share our thoughts and learn about people we meet. Over centuries, communication evolved. From growl to talk, from voice language to body language, we communicate what we think about some things to others. We developed tools to survive, and we also developed tool to communicate: from smoke signals to the Internet.
Internet has growth exponentially in the last decade. Now everybody can have access to his personal web space for free. Everybody that has access to the Internet, and the knowledge, can share his thoughts with the rest of the World. This is where we are now.
The next problem we will need to solve is: how to connect these people? Many technologies have been tested and implemented to try to resolve this problem. Some works, others don’t, but all have some drawbacks. There is a list of some of these technologies:
- General search engines
- Specialized search engines
- Contact networks supported by some type of search engines based on people’s location, sex, interests, etc.
- Trackbacks systems in blog engines
- Networks like 43things.com
- Web 2.0 ceoncepts like FOAF (Friend Of A Friend)
- Talk Digger: check who is talking about someone or something, then enter the conversion and get connected with them
However, no one of these techniques work effectively. They are all time consuming for anyone who tries to connect to somebody else that shares the same goal, interest, etc. They all try to resolve the problem, but they all have their drawbacks. The next step is to try to connect all the current information in such a way that connections will emerge from the mass.
The next step is proposed by Adina Alevin: conversion clouds. What is a conversion cloud?
The cloud would be a picture of a conversation surrounding a person or a topic. The picture would show the relationships between the participants in a conversation. The densest areas would represent people who frequently cross-reference each other over time.
It is a way to dynamically create relation links between conversations and a new way to browse them. The idea is really attractive and it makes sense. What I personally like in the above idea is the concept of time: conversation over time. The oldest the conversation, the richest in information it is and the greater his value.
She also add:
p.s. Zawodny talks about the need for content discovery. I don’t know about you, but a lot of the content that I discover comes from browsing through a conversation and finding voices that I want to keep hearing.
A way new way to discover new content… it is exactly what I discovered the first time I checked at blogs. I came across a whole lot of information that I would never be able to discover by another way. However, things change and now I do not have all the time I would need to discover all the content hided into my subscribed feeds, so we need a new way to discover it, and that conversion cloud could be a partial answer to the current problem.
I will throw that idea without thinking about it: what if these conversion clouds replace web feeds? What if such a technology would make web feeds useless? I mean, I would search for conversation I like, and not people. That way, I would always spend my time to read things useful for me, and not browse content in search of that usefulness. If a person I like write about something useful to me, than I will read it with pleasure, otherwise, I will not. Do you see the same thing I see?
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