Anil Dash and the Future of the Web
The final session in our Essentials of Business Blogging seminar yesterday was Anil Dash‘s talk about the future of the Web.
“The post is the atomic unit of blogs,” he told us at the outset, “it’s the piece from which everything can be built.” And when Anil says post, he’s doesn’t just mean the block of text you’re reading right now. He’s talking about podcasts, and the photos that Mie takes with her phone and puts up on the blog as well.
In a nutshell, Anil’s talk revolved around that atomic unit, and the many different ways that future technologies and innovations will allow it to be categorized, filtered, sorted and re-communicated across the Web.
So what does the future look like in Anil’s mind? Basically, you’ll have a number of streams of information (feeds) coming in: blogs that matter to you, e-mails, general news feed, etc. And they’re all automatically filtered for just what’s relevant for you. Then, you’ll be able to choose who you want to share each piece of information with, and what formats they can get them in.
Because blogging will become so simple and versatile, organizations will be able to easily make it work with their existing practices. It will help break down the stigma of introducing new ideas into the workplace.
But while technology and innovation are cool, I thought the most important thing Anil talked about was defeating the fear. There’s a real fear among businesses people that the bloggers will say something bad about you, that you can screw up and fail and really harm your company in the blogosphere. And that fear is perpetuated in great part because there are some pundits who attack businesses when they make mistakes or don’t “get it” as fast as they would like.
But the reality – Anil tells us – is that the blogosphere very inviting to businesses. They love that businesses are using the same communications tools that they use to relate to the world. What’s more, there is no religion or dogma of blogging, no right or wrong way. “Don’t be so afraid of the changes,” he said at last, “that you lose the opportunity to take advantage of something so powerful.”
Update 3/17/06 at 5:18 p.m. I think this new Skype/Movable Type functionality is exactly the kind of technological integration Anil was talking about. How cool!