I especially enjoy the take on the need for a new search engine and a replacement for email (points 1 and 2, respectively).
I have been giving this a lot of thought recently and I want a search engine that can take multiple types of media; if I see a country flag, I want to be able to take a picture and find out more about the country. If I hear a song, I want to be able to record a snippet and find out who it is by and why they wrote it. I understand that there are services that do these things, but I want it to be in one location and easy to use (with media type detection, etc). But the rub has always been how to get users over. From Graham:
The way to win here is to build the search engine all the hackers use. A search engine whose users consisted of the top 10,000 hackers and no one else would be in a very powerful position despite its small size, just as Google was when it was that search engine. And for the first time in over a decade the idea of switching seems thinkable to me.
Email is the bane of my existence. I don’t want it anymore and I want something better to replace it (or at least faster), but it is so engrained in how people use the Internet, this will be a big job.
Email was not designed to be used the way we use it now. Email is not a messaging protocol. It’s a todo list. Or rather, my inbox is a todo list, and email is the way things get onto it. But it is a disastrously bad todo list.
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.