Wednesday, December 07, 2005
World (Wide or Live) Web
When I started out, during the height of the dotcom boom, it was extraordinary how many of my customers, especially the local community councils, had no idea really of why they needed a website. They just knew that they wanted one. And you could sum up what they thought they wanted thus -
- A domain: a private, fenced off plot of their own on the new frontier
- A homepage: a manuscript, a monument to the people, their history, their past.
- A webmaster: a scribe to shield them from the complexity of publication.
Whereas, what they actually needed was -
- An address: Which is easier to find - a ranch in the desert or an appartment in the middle of town? A top level domain is an unnecessary conceit in most cases.
- An online community hall: A virtual meeting place, a means of communicating the present and the future.
- An editor: the software, not the person!
With those lessons in mind I'm setting out to get my local communities back on the web - the new web, the live web. They'll take up virtual residence at blog subdomains, located by directory 'signposts'. Their editors will be the text messaging facility on their mobile phones and they'll communicate news, schedules and updates through live feeds.
The World Wide Web documents the past, the World Live Web broadcasts the present and the future.