October 20, 2008

Is Lifestreaming a Catalyst for What's Coming After Web 2.0?

By Mark Krynsky of Lifestream Blog (FriendFeed/Twitter)

There has been lots of rumbling lately about what the successor to web 2.0 will look like. Along with that, even more attention has been spent trying to determine what to name it. My post isn't to discuss semantics (pun intended) but more to provide some of my thoughts based on what I've been observing.

I feel lifestreaming, which I evangelize and cover incessantly, has become a catalyst for much of what's coming next. I feel we will see some of the core elements of lifestreaming penetrate other areas and watch many benefits become realized.

Companies are slowly starting to understand social media. They should also start thinking about how to improve communication internally for a well informed workforce. Creating rich workstreams by aggregating real-time data on an internal network can help achieve this. I see a resurgence of rich intranets like this starting to happen soon.

Data aggregation continues to re-invent itself in other useful ways. I was excited when I first started using Mint.com as I saw it as essentially a vertical lifestream. In this case it was aggregating all my financial accounts to provide a real-time "financestream". But that's not all that Mint.com does. It's a very special service and it actually provides the bridge to two areas where I see the web going next, recommendation engines and moving apps to the cloud.

Many services are getting really good at collecting the data and providing ways for us to interact with it. But that will only take us so far. The next phase will be creating intelligence based on the data. The first step to that will be recommendation engines. Strands provides several services including lifestreaming and has recently put up a prize to help them improve this technology. Mint.com provides recommendations on how to save money based on the data. I'm sure we will continue to see these engines applied to many new areas and perfected as they become mature.

By having more and more of my data living online it becomes increasingly difficult for certain apps to be effectively maintained on my local computer, which brings me back to Mint. I was a heavy duty Quicken user, but now it's become cumbersome having to pull in all my data. Add to that how powerful mobile phones are becoming, the pain involved with trying to sync data across multiple devices we own, and the answer seems clear. Many users will start the migration path of moving their apps to the cloud. Tying back to work again, my primary tool for managing website production is the Clocking IT service. So here I have an app hosted in the cloud accessible anywhere on multiple devices that also offers a real-time stream to co-workers.

What have you been observing? What do you think is going to start taking off?

Read more by Mark Krynsky at Lifestream Blog.