free html hit counter Friday Signal: The Web Gets Its Wisdom Teeth (We Hope) - John Battelle's Search Blog

Friday Signal: The Web Gets Its Wisdom Teeth (We Hope)

By - February 26, 2010


(image ) A couple of days ago I riffed for bit on the convergence of conversation in our industry around mobile, local, real time, and social. Sometimes this stuff needs an easier name to identify it all, so I’m going to go with MOLRS (MObile Local Realtime Social).  

Why another acronym? Because honestly, it reminds us to link all these concepts together. Often folks ask me for advice about their “mobile strategy.” I remind them that if you are going to think about mobile, you have to think about social, local, and real time. Same for when someone asks about a real time strategy – real time usually means connecting through a social graph, often through a mobile platform and in a local context. And so on. So “MOLRS” is a reminder to think about all aspects of this next evolution of the web.

Another reason – and this is a stretch, but it’s Friday – is the rather obscure reference to third molars, or wisdom teeth. We humans get our “wisdom teeth” at about the same time we become true adults – when we’re ready to take our place in society. These molars come in in our late teens or early 20s – post adolescence, as it were. And that’s about where the web is right now. The emergence of the MOLRS web indicates a third wave of Internet evolution – first was the flat HTML web of the 1990s, second was the burgeoning post search web of 2000-2010 (Web 2.0), and now we’re in the third wave – what Tim and I coined as “WebSquared” last year.

Anyway, the funny thing about wisdom teeth is that they often get impacted, and have to be pulled. Evolutionary theory implies that we used to have larger mouths because we needed the third molars to process more plant materials (I’m not making this up). Now, I’m already stretching a metaphor here, but the truth is, the web is at a similar impaction (or inflection) point. Truth is, we have way more information to chew on than we can digest, and with MOLRS, we are creating tools to bring that information into our heads more efficiently. Physically we don’t need our third molars, but on the web, we most certainly do.

As these MOLRS develop, any number of companies (both web native and pre web) are battling to control them, in particular their chokepoints – the mobile platforms, location services, identity services, social graphs, payment systems, and distribution channels. Read Tim’s “War for the Web” piece for more on this. It’s a struggle for positioning, dominance, and market riches. In fact, it’s exactly this battle that we intend to make the focus of the Web2Summit this year, as we’re at a key point in the architecture of the Internet – will services “lock in”, or will they connect? More on that later, once we’ve finalized the Web2Summit theme.

In the meantime, as the web gets its wisdom teeth, there’s bound to be a period of pain and readjustment. I doubt “MOLRS” (“MOLORS?” “MLRS”?) will catch on, but it’s a start, anyway….

Other Friday linkahoy:

EUREKA: The Clean, Cheap, Backyard-Friendly Solution To All Our Energy Problems (SAI) Waiting for version 2.0 on this one…

If I Were CEO of MySpace… (AdAge) If I were CEO, I’d integrate Facebook Connect, end of story, then do a lot of what this author is saying, in particular, focus on speed and utility.

DIY LBS: Create Your Own Foursquare (AdAge) Ning for location based services. Hmmm.

JESS3 / The State of The Internet (JESS3) An agency that did a cool video on web stats. Already out of date of course (Twitter stats are off by 20mm tweets a day!)

Facebook Patents The News Feed (Updated) (All Facebook) Lots of buzz around this. I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal.

Twitter’s Ad Plan: Copy Google (AllThingsD) Well, sure sounds like Tweetsense.

Leads for Less with Social Media (eMarketer)

Google Adds “Nearby” Local Search To Options Panel (SEL) Location, location, location….

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3 thoughts on “Friday Signal: The Web Gets Its Wisdom Teeth (We Hope)

  1. I cannot agree more and yes MOLRS is already evolving at a much faster pace. It will be really interestign to see what the landscape will be in five years time

  2. For me, MORLS is simply Local Social, as I believe realtime and mobile are inherently part of the web stack

  3. Clara Hall says:

    I enjoyed reading … If I were the CEO of Myspace. Thanks for sharing.

    I think if MySpace will make a comeback if it repositions its goals to fit the audience it already has as opposed to chasing the audience that Facebook has.