Tuesday, March 30, 2004 :::
The Elements of a Web of People, rather than Documents
It seems to me that there is a web of documents, and there is a web of people. They overlap, but they have two distinct and separate focal points. The web of documents is long since established. Its the web that google searches, that IE browses.
The web of people is still in its infancy, and as successful as the web of documents has been, it would seem to me only a taste of the usefulness of a web of people. On the web of people, destinations are not documents, but other people, although they obviously need to be represented in some digital form-- a blog, for example, a profile and privacy-protected means of contact. Social networks, wikis, chat rooms, message boards, buddy lists, and so on are examples of the need for a web of people, but together they don't constitute the web of people itself, which really doesn't exist yet except as an idea. The web of people will exist only when you can browse it, search, make a directory of it, etc. When you can go to a people-web search engine, type in a keyword, and everyone in the world associated with that keyword comes up, complete with a means to contact them (if they wish to be contacted) then the people-web will have arrived. Note: Technorati actually does this already, and in a limited sense the blog community is the first step towards a people-web.
::: posted by Allen Searls at 4:51 PM