Edwin Aoki @ Fowa Feb 07


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Edwin Aoki of AOL speaking at Future of Web Apps in London, February 2007.

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Edwin Aoki @ Fowa Feb 07

  1. The Changing Face of Online Communities and Communications Future of Web Applications Edwin Aoki Conference Chief Architect, AOL Feb. 20, 2007
  2. In the Beginning… 1
  3. Where it all began From its beginnings, community has been a key promise of the Web Courtesy: CERN and the Internet Archive 2
  4. Agenda • Current state of web applications for online communities and communications • Near-term trends • Thoughts and implications 3
  5. Webmail is the leading driver of page views Email Svcs (1089 sites) 9.32% Search Engines (2322 sites) 7.32% News/Media (6080 sites) 3.40% Business and Finance (1030 sites) 0.57% All Others 79.38% Source: Portal property Rankings and Market Share by Vertical Hitwise (www.hitwise.com), May 2006 4
  6. Chat and Instant Messaging take to the web Web based IM and chat tools allow users to stay connected without the need for a dedicated client, giving up very little of the experience, thanks to modern web UI technologies. 5
  7. “Obvious” community applications on the Web Blogging Message Boards Social Networking 6
  8. And some less obvious ones… Reference Auctions Commerce 7
  9. Predecessor of the modern mashup? Courtesy: WebRing/GeoCities/Yahoo! and the Internet Archive 8
  10. Industry Trends 9
  11. Disaggregation and syndication • Users seek out the experiences and communities they’re interested in • Allows for highly tailored and focused experiences – Fulfilling the promise of the “Long Tail” • Content and service providers don’t control the context in which their applications are used or seen • Can be a boon for application providers, but also a challenge – YouTube, Photobucket, Flickr 10
  12. Web apps, too will become syndicated • For content, it’s “embedding”, for applications “mashups” • Community and Communication Tools are key candidates • Embedding community and/or communications tools increases engagement and drives value to content providers – IM (shown) – Message boards – Ratings and profiling • These interactions will increasingly take place in situ, rather than in dedicated “destinations” 11
  13. Community goes mobile • Content and Community applications will follow users to where they work, play, and live 12
  14. Sometimes Second Life comes first • The world between online and virtual blurs rapidly • “Real world” brands are trying to establish an identity in virtual worlds – BBC, Toyota, Vodafone, AOL, just to name a few 13
  15. Our Shared Responsibility 14
  16. “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” • As technologists, we must make sure that the tools and services we build can be used safely and effectively • Most users aren’t aware and/or don’t care about the implications of being online – Security/Privacy – Spam – Social Effects • Decentralization is particularly disruptive for the traditional “trust model” of applications – “Who to trust” is a complex question when services are provided by multiple providers – Distributed identity management systems such as OpenID complicate this even further Quote: Spiderman, 2002 15
  17. Bridging the “Digital Divide” • Applications we build must be accessible to all The visually, audibly, or motion impaired – Older generations – Different socioeconomic backgrounds – People of developing and emerging nations – • Everyone benefits when online communities represent a wide range of backgrounds, cultures, and interests 16
  18. The Future is in the Balance • Power and Ease of Use • Social Benefits and Commercial Interests • Online and Offline Interactions 17
  19. Thank You Edwin Aoki aoki@aol.net To learn more about the AOL technologies referenced in this presentation, please visit dev.aol.com 18