Tag Archives: society

As the Web Grows – New Neighborhoods of the Web are Emerging

As the internet continues to advance, the ways we use and experience it will evolve.

A neighborhood is a community of people usually brought together by similar circumstances. There are certain aspects of the community that all people there commonly enjoy. One is the network itself. Social networks are simply gateways of access and connection to basically opportunities, and social networks have existed offline for a very long time.

On the web it is no different. I break the neighborhoods of the web down by their community’s purpose. Right now there is only one neighborhood that is really distinguishable, and continuing to grow rapidly – the social one. It is a huge web of social communities, each with their own functions, all linked together for one reason or another. I call what is commonly referred to as web 2.0, the collection of all of these social functions, the Social Neighborhood.

But the Social Neighborhood is beginning to splinter. It is getting so big, and so customized for specific purposes that separate neighborhoods are beginning to form, each with their own unique experiences. The Social Neighborhood will in fact be the mother of all other neighborhoods to come, because of the universally social nature it shares with the web itself. All other neighborhoods, I believe, will eventually reach the same proportions of the Social Neighborhood right now, and may go beyond.

The reason I call the different purposes of internet use, neighborhoods, is because as they continue to develop, they begin to take on their completely own spaces, feels, functions, and uses, just like neighborhoods in traditional society, and the metaphor at parallel is an important one.

Think of the web as a city. A huge conglomeration of infinite complexity. A hub, for anything. There are many different neighborhoods..many different purposes for the web. The neighborhoods right now are relatively small and unorganized, centered around the main Social Neighborhood, mostly because of the lack of new tools and organization to really make drastic changes. But still, progress is being made slowly.

A couple quickly emerging neighborhoods right now are the gaming networks, news discovery networks, music networks, and the common socialization networks, like facebook, and even 2nd Life, although 2nd Life has been proven to have a wealth of purposes. A neighborhood that I believe will explode in the near future will be shopping social networks.

To explore deeper what I mean, lets look at one of the farthest along examples right now, the gaming platforms. Gaming is continuing to get a lot more social, with a lot more p2p interaction. As this is happening, it’s creating new virtual communities, where the experience of web use is completely transformed, from the navigation throughout, to interaction with others, and everything is made custom for the specific experience of playing the game.

Other environments, specific to other web usage, will begin to emerge as well, and the looks, feels, and total embodiment of the web will begin to evolve rapidly. The web is quickly becoming more like a place, rather than a thing. It’s a place we go to find something we need..music, information, good deals, ect. It makes perfect sense that the web will actually adapt to suit these specific needs, and new kinds of experiences will emerge individually.

I envision a vast online map of virtual communities and experiences, more similar to the ones we enjoy in real life. I see things like virtual pools halls, virtual car dealerships and test drives, more advanced ways of experiencing the web, like with full peripheral glasses, and even augmented reality integration with our everyday lives.

A great example of the difference between now and the future can be described by shopping online for music right now, say on iTunes, and shopping in a real music store. The difference is staggering. Despite the ease of iTunes, I often hear people say they prefer the intimacy of strolling through the racks of music, and physically rooting through the albums. Because of that, I’ve actually created a 3D virtual music store for Beat-Play that recreates the experience of being in a real store, while allowing for all the same benefits of an online store..no lines, open 24 hours, instant checkout and downloads, ect.

This is one example of how the current interaction and organization of the internet could actually evolve to be both more realistic, and more encompassing of the user’s need for a satisfying experience. As all of these neighborhoods continue to grow, and get more organized and advanced, so will the ways we access them, making web usage extremely more efficient, and even more fun.

I am very excited for the future of the internet, and I love the direction it seems to be heading in. I can’t wait for things like teleporting from virtual site to virtual site, infinitely customizable browsers, and infinite scalability in virtual social networks. These may all be topics for another blog…I really just can’t get enough.

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

The Process of Innovation – Think Social!

This is an awesome topic that I love to share with people whenever I can.

Innovation is something that can be thought of in several different ways, however there are good ways, and then there are better ones.

Innovation can be basically anything that solves a problem that has not been previously solved, or it can be something that solves a problem that was previously solved, while solving other problems at the same time(these are the better ones).

There are really two perspectives into innovating. One is purely the scientific aspect of it. The physics, the research, the testing, the technology. Then there is the practical, social side of innovating, which does not always agree with the scientific side.

The process of innovation should contain both views, almost at the same time. It is not enough to innovate and solve one problem technically, while socially creating another problem.

A quick example of this may very well be gas powered vehicles. They’ve solved a huge problem in enabling faster travel, but they’ve also caused a sort of social dilemma, because people are almost forced to use them in some fashion, and they are now proven to have negative impacts on air quality and perhaps weather.

Innovation should be approached from the view of the true designer:  the architect, who builds not only for aesthetics, but for purpose, and function. The architect builds for the social function, while utilizing the best scientific practices and innovations available. But the purpose is always foremost, for the people.

People are weird. They do not really seem to fit any set pattern as a whole. There is an infinite variation, and this must be accounted for in design.

Innovations when designed for people, tend to solve the most problems, and leave the least behind. The best innovations, the truly beautiful ones, seem to leave no problems behind, and just fit, like a puzzle piece finally being snapped into place.

When designing Beat-Play’s music search solution, I ended up solving several social problems: How do I find new music? How do I find good music? How do I not waste time searching for music?

The way I solved these problems was to think about it from the approach of the social first. The first step is always to survey what already exists. I studied the different methods of how music was found and shared now.

I found some methods that were better than others, and I looked at the best ones, and searched out the problems there. It turned out that I found some.

The best solutions available at this point for finding music are Pandora or Last.fm, where the music is suggested and played for you, allowing you time to focus on other things. This is a great innovation, but I saw flaws.

It went right back to thinking socially. Pandora finds songs based on other songs, using basically scientific data and variables to link songs together into an automated playlist.

This I knew, was the wrong way to think about it. People are not defined by any given variable. They are defined by many variables that vary all the time. Music is no different. It is a mere extension of people. There needed to be a social way for people to find music.

So my idea came to me almost rather simply. It was to use social networks, and people to create a user’s playlist, instead of a computer.

On Beat-Play you can follow friends or favorite bands, who you share a taste in music with, and who are infinitely as variable as you are; and the music those people like enough to save, will automatically get played in your radio.

This enables you to find the best new music literally as simply as a mouse click, without searching through mounds of bad music, wasting hours before finding a good song. And it keeps you updated.

Also this method does not limit a person’s playlist to one genre of music, or a certain group of artists, like Pandora does, unless the user wants these limits on.

This solution is so beautiful because it solves several other problems at the same time. When you hear music on your radio coming from your friend’s playlists, if you like it, you save it into one of your playlists, and it then gets sent to anybody following you.

For the best artists, this is an amazing way for fans to spread the music for them. It’s actually a form of free promotion and distribution in addition to being a much better way for fans to find the music. It can even be a great way for artists to gain advertising revenue by tracking plays, which could then result in the best music being free.

The more the people love and share the music for free, the more the artists will get paid, making everyone happy, and rendering piracy irrelevant!

That is what I mean by snapping in a puzzle piece. This solution fits on all sides, perfectly with it’s surroundings. This solution came by simply analyzing the environment that the innovation must exist in, which is always an incredibly social one.

If we inject this social perspective into our innovations, we can adapt what we know about the scientific, physical stuff, to coincide with the social factors, to form the ultimate solutions.

Design thinking is an extremely powerful thing, especially when approached in the right way. The formula is simple: Search out the problems, and then fix them, integrating what you know both about the social and scientific or technological environments currently present.

If you do that, you will do great things. Innovation is everyone’s responsibility. There are too many problems for us not to all try and solve them. Good luck. Think social!

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Knowledge: The Infinite Design

Infinite Design

It is safe to say that nobody can ever know everything. There is so much knowledge being created, and found, every second of every day, and all over the world, that keeping up is literally impossible.

It is much more practical to be the one who is creating new knowledge in one area, than to try to tackle everything that already exists in all areas.

It is also safe to say that the purpose of man is to create. We were given hands, and tools, and means to use them. No other animal has the ability to create to the extent that we can. We take abstract ideas in our minds and make them into realities. We are problem solvers, and solution builders.

We are in a infinite loop of creation, where everyday, there is more than there was before.

Some people would find this thought overwhelming, or frustrating. As soon as you climb one mountain, you can then see an even higher one in the distance left to tackled. But this to me is reassuring.

It’s important to have new goals, and it’s also important to have a niche, or several. Pioneering a field can be an endless journey, but an amazing one.

It is very gratifying to be the one to get to the top of the mountain that no one else has climbed, and then be the one to discover another mountain.

Even if you never get to climb the next one, you can be assured that someone else will, and progress will be made because of you.

Knowledge and information are the lifeblood of society. Without it, there would be no progress.

The internet and computer age has transformed the world in 25 short years, because of all of the knowledge that has become infinitely more accessible than it was before.

It has taken a country like Colombia, who just 15 years ago was still riddled with gorillas, scared and suppressed citizens, and militant mindsets, and it has transformed it into a safe, thriving, and practical culture where ideas are shared and discussed openly, and wifi, high class cafe’s and very computer literate designers and programmers are common place.

It is important that knowledge be infinite in it’s nature. If it wasn’t, things would get pretty boring, and probably pretty bad. It’s the reason for such a big fuss about Google filtering their content in certain countries.

Knowledge acquisition has actually gotten ever more important than ever before, because of the internet.

Computers and the web give us the tool, and the space, to store all of the knowledge society acquires, without much overhead. And, It can then be accessed any time with something as simple as a Google search.

This is truly power. With this power, and basic human drive mixed together, it is safe to say that the progress of society as a whole will begin to speed up exponentially, adding more knowledge to the database, and leaving more of a reason for each person to focus on one niche, and build upon it as high as possible.

This is an amazing time to be alive. I would urge us all to take advantage of what’s being given to us, and not just focus on everything that is already here, and just stare in amazement, but actually access the root of our true nature, and take charge of innovating and pioneering ourselves, so that knowledge’s infinite structure can be strengthened faster, and our progress can truly make life better.

It is not enough to stand by and watch others make the big leaps and climb the big mountains. With knowledge being literally unlimited, it is extremely important that we get everyone involved, so we can solve the crucial problems even faster. Also, with all of the tools we have at our disposal today, it’s easier than ever before to innovate. All it takes is gathering the right information using the web, and sorting it out using our analytical and naturally-problem-solving minds.

I’m looking forward to a bright future that I helped build. I encourage you to help too, and you should encourage everyone you know to do the same. If this happens, the world will be an infinitely better place.

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine