April 19, 2009

The Destination Is In The Conversation

By Corvida Raven of SheGeeks.net (FriendFeed/Twitter)

Rob Diana, a friend, Grand Effect Network member, and fellow author on louisgray.com, recently discussed: With All This Openness Where Is The Destination?

Rob picks up where Alexander Van Elsas left off a few weeks ago with Questions. To summarize both articles, they both push out key questions that pertain to the evolution of not only social media, but the Web as a community.

One of the questions that Alexander posed was: "If everything becomes open and connected, what will happen to the big destinations?"

Rob's Response:
For the Web 2.0 and social media crowd, the current destinations are not really destinations. Destination may also be an old term for what is currently happening. Destinations were the keys to the castle in the old Web, but the new Web is more about communication and conversations that are happening now.

Most Web sites are still thinking in terms of the destination.
The Destination Exists In Your Connections
I have to say that in this case, the Web sites aren't the only ones thinking in terms of the destination. Mainstream users do too and they only want their destination to be one stop away. Now, what's one stop away from your real destination? A connection maybe? Let's say so for arguments sake.

First, let me state that I think early adopters may be the only people pondering this question. The big destination sites will always exist, because they're the biggest, the most popular, and most of people's connections already exist there. All they need to do is find them. That process is simplified by the following theory: find one, find them all! If I find one person I know on Facebook or MySpace, I'm bound to find a few more mutual friends too.

Whatever, So Where's The Real Destination?

So what will happen to the big destinations later on down the line? I'm betting that they'll adapt to the landscape and integrate what needs to be integrated. Facebook is already doing this with Digg and StumbleUpon integration.

They aren't alone.

I'd bet you $100 that just about every site you've signed up for in the past month had some type of integration with another site that is connected to your connections and conversations.

Not to argue with Rob's opinion, but I think that the Web has always been about communication, conversations, and where they're happening. Those are reasons why I signed up for AOL IM and not Yahoo IM during my middle school years. Those are reasons why Yahoo was my first search engine and not Google (or even AOL for that matter). I stuck with where the conversations were happening and that's where my friends were too. The real destination is in the conversation.

People aren't just trying to get to these sites, they're trying to get to the conversations as easily as possible. If they could eliminate the site, they probably would. Why do you think instant messaging is so popular? The conversation is where all the good stuff is.

As The Web Evolves
Improved? Yes. New? Hell no. The Web has become more interesting, more glamorous, and more entertaining (personally), with all these new ways to connect with people. However, the destination has always been somewhere in the conversation. You know what that means? There isn't just one destination and never will be in all of this open and well connected space!

Read more by Corvida Raven at SheGeeks.net.