Domain Demise

In general, meetings on July 26, 2007 at 7:38 pm

At the CSW Summer School’s Trends and Transients track yesterday, an interesting comment was made about websites: it was asserted that people will seek their information about products, companies, etc from consensus driven processes (like wikipedia articles) and that owner-written websites will fail. The mention of sites such as Facebook earlier in the day made me think that the point was well made – the future of public websites is probably limited to strongly specialised sites that do one thing, very well. That thing could be to allow commentary, expose interfaces to services, take payments for products, find optimal routes between places, etc.

It struck me that the web as we know it will flip from an owner-driven environment to a user-driven one. This is a more extreme form of the user-generated content process than I had previously conceived, but it is a natural extrapolation of the specialization that sucessful web sites tend to exhibit. Rather than being all things to all people, new sites focus on a depth of information in a particular domain.

If this prediction is correct, companies will not focus on learning how to do the technology of the web, and will instead work to shape the statements and comments made by users that affect the services they offer. Maybe its obvious to everyone else, but the days of being a geek alone will not pay the bills forever. So I’ve setup a wiki at work in order to practice my editorial skills – well it’s a safe bet either way.


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