Video of Marcia Kadanoff “The Future of the Web is Distributed” (2:42)

As I travel around, I do quick interviews with interesting folks, some of them are speakers, thought leaders, or people I interview for my reports. Marcia immediately impressed me as she was asking very key questions during my keynote, and we furthered the conversation over lunch.

Marcia Kadanoff, who I met at the Web Community Forum up in Seattle, gives her insight on the future of the web. Search will be the common interface, yet the future is distributed, and people will be communicating in many different locations. She suggests that we stop focus on interruption marketing, focus on engagement marketing, and look at widgets.

So what do you think? Is her predictions for 2008 right? I’m in complete agreement, the distributed web is a concept I’ve been discussing for some time.

  • I not only think she’s correct, I see some of those same things coming to tangible goods: particularly search (after all, Sterling might posit googling for his “spime” shoes, but that search engine shouldn’t be taken for granted) and customization (because it’s not just intangible widgets that can be customizable but a whole lot of other things).

    One thing she doesn’t get into here is that as the distributed web evolves, users may very well decide to take more control. Thus we might see a jump in personal web pages not dependent upon or built inside some socnet app, but hosted independently and using widgets to interconnect with Open Social applications. The “Beacon” debacle may have provided the incentive. If not, there’ll doubtlessly be another foul-up somewhere (because interruption marketing is an addiction the industry won’t easily overcome).

  • Basically, you need to put everything on the table and work with customers as an extension of your brand.

    Good post and happy holiday’s!

  • Csven the control has absolutely shifted to the participates and that results in it being distributed.

  • Jeremiah, agreed, but I’m thinking beyond what we’re seeing now; to a period of “more control” and greater distribution. Because so long as some entity hosts them, individual users arguably don’t maintain control. And so long as someone needs to monetize a service being provided, control – real control – will be a point of contention between the host and hosted.

    Thus, while the information superhighway has more interconnecting arteries, it’s the taxi’s that have *significantly* increased in number; not the independently-owned vehicles. The competition for customers has shifted some control, but if the taxi’s went on strike, most users would be screwed. That’s an issue.

    You can already hear the complaints when a service (like Twitter) goes down for a day of maintenance. People with real control wouldn’t need to complain. They’d simply use a distributed network to re-route and continue what they’re doing. That’s control. And they don’t have that.

    Consequently, I suspect we’ll see developments over the next year or two that will start a chain reaction based on more people wanting real control and not just the perception of control.

  • csven

    interesting metaphors…

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  • Jeremiah – I totally agree with the prediction. As a member of the widget analytics world, the adoption of widgets are becoming more and more mainstream as we see large corporations using them to promote their product or brand. Widgets are going to become what web sites are today – novel at first and then “just part of the web”. They’ll be so integrated and just “part of how you use and distribute content” that visitors won’t even think to dissect them into the smaller components that they are.

    Happy New Year – Jodi

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