What Do You Wish You Could Do?

I'm fascinated by this question, spurred by a dialog with James Gross, one of our many stars at FM. As I tweeted: "What can't we do that we wish we could? IE, before YouTube/Flickr, we wished we could upload/share our video/photos easily."…


I’m fascinated by this question, spurred by a dialog with James Gross, one of our many stars at FM. As I tweeted:

“What can’t we do that we wish we could? IE, before YouTube/Flickr, we wished we could upload/share our video/photos easily.”

19 thoughts on “What Do You Wish You Could Do?”

  1. Is twitter down again? I’m not even getting a fail-whale… — waiting for data from Google.COM?

    Anyways: I wish I could search for “blue” in the domain “sneakers”, and then get all sneakers domains with references to blue sneakers (in other words: I don’t want to find 1000 blog entries where people write about their blue sneakers.

    After you’ve created that, I would also like a thesaurus for selecting broader, narrower and other (related) terms.

    BTW: How long are you taking orders?

    ;D nmw

  2. Have real search. Not just a single line input box, 10 blue links, and 11 ads. But a real ability to specify, sort, give feedback, get feedback, analyse, sift, reorganize, etc.

    You know how someone running Google Analytics can chop and hash and merge all the information, really get a “business intelligence” understanding of the data? I would like general web search to be just as powerful. So that I can ask real questions, and get real answers, from web search.

  3. And similar to what Hashim says.. I wish that I could either prevent people from monetizing me, turning me into a commodity, against my will, or that I could directly share in the real cash exchanges that occur as a result of my activities on the web.

  4. @hashim @JG:

    what you’re referring to is known as collaboration.

    Currently, there is really only 1 player monetizing anything on the web: Google. And they are very secretive with all of the information they collect. Many people think Google can’t be evil (because their motto is “don’t be evil”).

    If you don’t want Google to monetize your presence with ads by Google, then stop using Google. Stop visiting sites that display Google ads. Unsubscribe — it worked for protesters in the civil rights movement, there is no reason why it wouldn’t work today.

    You may think I’m crazy to propose such drastic measures, but like Thoreau said to Emerson: “what are you doing out there?”

  5. So, whaddrya sayin’, nmw.. that I’m not a team player, because I don’t like to be “collaborated” by a being turned into a money-making statistic for a big corporation?

  6. 1. Create intricate websites with no technical knowledge. Not a Google Space or a blog or a Facebook page, but a website with greater design freedom and more refined usability.

    2. I don’t want to have to worry about hard drive space. All my music/video/documents/etc…should be accessible via the internet from anywhere on any device.

    4. TV seamlessly integrated with the computer. Television is too analog. I want it to function more like a computer. I want to be able to watch high-def TV while reading email or checking my fantasy football scores or going to imdb to figure out who a particular actor is. Hulu is helping us get closer, but it’s only a step in the right direction.

  7. I think comment #1 by David Ulevitch got it right. No one new they wanted to upload/share photos/video until they could do it. There was no burning need to do that until people were able to. I think that is the kind insight/luck you need to make the “next big thing”.

  8. money-making statistic for a big corporation

    There’s not just 1 team in the game, JG. If you are willing to be a statistic for team G, then that is up to you.

    The way I see it, webpages are being created at such a rapid pace (and many of them by SEOs and/or spammers) that algorithmic search using completely arcane methodologies (approaches that librarians gave up on decades ago) are superfluous anyways.

    Internet celebrities (such as John Battelle) do not search themselves — they ask their question on twitter (or on similar forums). Most of the more/less (i.e. somewhat) reliable information collected is collected by more “traditional” methods such as “direct response”.

    Google (and similar one-size fits-all “search” engines) used to make money by putting ads in front of people who typed strings into a box. Before they started doing that, the search engine was somewhat useful — but primarily because the web was primarily created by an English-speaking academic crowd … and that is simply no longer the case.

    People who stick with an obsolete technology have no one to blame but themselves.

    That’s right, folks: Don’t touch that dial!

  9. Webpages are being created at such a rapid pace and many of them by SEO. Internet celebrities do not search themselves they ask their question on twitter. Before they started doing that, the search engine was somewhat useful — but primarily because the web was primarily created by an English-speaking academic crowd.

  10. Re your Twitter question: “Crowdsource: What can’t we do that we wish we could? IE, before YouTube/Flickr, we wished we could upload/share our video/photos easily.

    This is a great question. And, if I could I’d add, “What can’t we do that we WON’T know we needed or wanted till we have it?”

    I believe Internet Search itself was such a capability. We didn’t know how valuable it would become to the average user till it was there!

    I believe Political MicroDonation (Chagora), while in a different field, is a similar capacity.
    And there are a couple of very strong similarities…

    They both serve to enable and empower the individual. And I believe they are both part of building the new paradigm for civilization hinted at by your old colleague, Kevin Kelly at the Web 2.0 Summit.

    Capability ENABLES Responsibility!

  11. There’s not just 1 team in the game, JG. If you are willing to be a statistic for team G, then that is up to you.

    So tell me, nmw, how do I avoid becoming a statistic? I don’t specifically seek out web pages that are running Google Analytics. But it seems like 80% of the sites that I end up routinely visiting during the course of a day run Analytics.

    The only way I can avoid becoming a statistic is, basically, to stop using the Internet. The G tentacles are already too far reaching, entwined and ensquirmed across the majority of the web.

  12. Why the HOW of Implementation Matters!

    I’ve been talking a lot about Political MicroDonation (under $1) and it’s importance. And it’s a critical capability on its own… it’s a fundamental of political speech. However its a fundamental that is dependent on human technology. This takes us into an interesting area: what role does human DESIGN of that implementation have on its ramifications?

    I contend that that design should NOT be haphazard and must first rely on an understanding of possible ramifications. There are both great risks and great benefits so care must be taken.

    An analogy might be to Representative Government itself. For example, on one end of this continuum a system with every participant voting on every issue AND on the other end a system granting simply a right to vote on an absolute dictator every 20 years could both be called Representative systems. But both lead to very different results and very different kinds of leaders and citizens. This is why we have constitutions and frameworks.

    These are intellectual ‘technologies’ shaping the implementation of broader concepts.

    In other words, WE ALL have a vital role in shaping HOW… ‘Web Meets World’…

    So now let me bring this Political MicroDonation concept into the real world…

    Political MicroDonation is the HOOK!
    It’s NOT the FISH!

    What’s the Fish?

    I’m coming to that… but speaking of hooks, I’m going to let that one lay there a little longer…

    First… on the fundamentals… and leaving aside questions of monetization, technologies, boot-strapping strategies, legal and political issues here and around the world, etc (all of which are vital and ARE thoroughly and easily addressed but not relevant here)…

    In its pure essence enabling fluid impactful speech combined with methods of association for directed action IS self-government. This suggests that an Internet capability here is both essential (particularly in large scale civilizations) AND dangerous… just as self-government is dangerous but essential for human development.

    SO… when I talk about Political MicroDonation and the Chagora concept I have in mind what I believe is the best manner for implementation from multiple perspectives: practical implementation, sustainability (profitability), social/political/economic/psychological and even evolutionary effects.

    And these are very important things to think about.

    Because in one way or another these capabilities WILL come.

    Gotta take a walk… more later. All work and no play makes Tombo a dull boy!

    Coming: Some specifics on a proposed structure and some unexpected positive synergies thereby created. And some risks.

    Oh yeah, btw…

    From the profitability/practicality side I think it’s a no-brainer since I believe that combining microdonation functions with certain networking capacities and feedback leads to substantial, natural and beneficial concentration of long-term repeated usage by both donors and recipients with monetization unreliant on any portion of the transaction between those constituencies. Of course, that means you need to be convinced that this combination has some reasonable likelihood of drawing and holding donors and recipients for repeated use and that there’s a way to make a buck from that through other revenue streams. Frankly, I think the profit potential is so huge that it becomes both wise and advantageous to find the proper formula for returning a substantial portion of those profits themselves to the base of donor/users.

    And that, in fact, is just one of the smaller synergies.

  13. So tell me, nmw, how do I avoid becoming a statistic?

    I anticipated this question, so I’ve been thinking about a “best” answer.

    Honestly, I can’t come up with a single best answer, but there are three answers that seem very reasonable to me:

    1. Use a meta-search engine. You may think these are long dead and gone, but I think http://search.com still works quite well (indeed: better than Google alone). In any case, a meta-search engine will even out the skewed results from highly manipulated search engine algorithms, so searching for “miserable failure” might still return George Bush’s bio (on Google, this result has been algorithmically censored — basically, if Google doesn’t like the SERPs produced by the algorithms, then they just tweak the algorithm a little such that the desired SERP “happens” algorithmically).

    2. This one is the closest thing to “civil disobedience” that I can come up with — and it’s a little uncomfortable (but people who refused to take the bus must have had sore feet, too): Continue to your favorite bogus one-size fits-all so-called “search” engine, but don’t click on the results — instead: copy & paste them into your web browser directly. This way, Google will no longer earn money from collecting your data stream. Indeed, apart from the search query itself, they will not be collect your data stream at all (unless you were so reckless to have installed their chrome browser, in which case they probably collect enough data to be able to predict almost anything about you).

    3. Use the Wisdom of the Language ( http://gaggle.info/miscellaneous/articles/wisdom-of-the-language ). This is perhaps the simplest and most straightforward approach (and also the reason why Google is worried enough to have developed their own browser — namely to collect the direct navigation information [1]). The problem with this approach is that it’s still quite “bleeding edge” stuff. However, as more and more people use the Wisdom of the Language — and as Google continues to decrease so-called the “Traffic Acquisition Cost” (TAC) which they pay out to publishers, you will see more and more publisher building out the websites without having more/less random ads by Google appearing on the pages.

    [1] you should also note that Google has a pretty good idea of where the latest trends are headed — and that’s why they (foolishly) bought youtube.com (basically, I guess they thought youtube.com would be the only website to offer video content — LOL!! 😉 … perhaps they didn’t realize that youtube.com is also not the only video hosting service (and/or “search engine”) in town.

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