- "The Next Great Web Revolution: Return of the Personal Website!"
- "ImageIsland 3.0" - 3d2f.com News Article
The Next Great Web Revolution: Return of the Personal Website!
There is a new revolution coming for the World Wide Web. It will be more exciting that Web 2.0, more powerful than search, and more influencial than the biggest community portal yet to come. This revolution online will take place in every home, and affect millions of online users all over the world in ways we never imagined. What is coming could very well be the next "Web 3.0". But its so simple, it just might escape the eyes of the press and the technology evangelists. This revolution is about web user empowerment. It is nothing more than a return to, what many now call, the "personal web".
What does this involve and why would such a change take place, given the clear popularity of so many current trends toward community portals, photos sharing websites, free webmail and search-driven site models? According to Mitchell Stokely of GiantIsland.com, "The next sea-change in the evolution of the World Wide Web will simply involve a mass migration of millions of web users away from many of the popular web portals and service sites and a movement back to a more personal web where users have control over their data and how its exchanged online using website domains they own and manage themselves. Such a change will begin with more people setting up shop online in the form of a personal website or web presence online, using web addresses as centralized hubs for data exchange and repurposing of web and non-web content to sites they choose to share with. In order for that to evolve, the first round of changes will be seen in the form of a migration back to websites and web software people buy and manage themselves inside their websites. That is happening everyday already. But in this next phase, we will see a more determined push in that direction and a whole new architecture for how user data is managed and exchanged by the end-users themselves - the ones who own this data. This may also mean less passive searching, which will free content from portals and more controlled and managed exchanges of user information found in these web portals."
Sounds simple, but it's a concept that must evolve, according to Mr. Stokely, if the integrity of web and its vast wealth of disseminated user data is to be collected, and control over that information once again returned to the end-user. "In simpler terms, we are currently enjoying a rich Web 2.0 revolution online, where masses of web users are drawn to these large service sites and subscription portals. It's there, in this advertiser-driven, and free environemnt many users are tempted to manage personal data, communications, blogs, service exchanges, webmail and personal photo libraries online using another companies online web tools and hosting services. In the beginning, this works out well for the typical web user. But over time, many of them find that their data becomes fractured, misused, and difficult to obtain, much less exchange with others. Layering on top of the current community site model we have the problem of blogging and photo sharing where personal notes are no longer under the control of the end user who uses these services. Its the big companies that control these websites and the content they contain. This is much different than web hosting and a personal website that a typical user owns. Many web users currently find themselves managing dozens of logins and urls to these sites. At some point, many of these users are going to suddenly wake up and realize...hey, where is all my data? Where are all my photos? Why can't I manage all this in one website rather than 15 seperate sites, half of which bombard me with advertising, search links, or print services?"
"As this data fracturing continues the next few years, we expect to see more and more dissatisfied web users, and more people drawn to the notion that they can actually own and manage all this data inside their own website, dissemenating that content outward from these personal portals via their own managed services. For this to happen, some sort of "empowerment" of the end user and control over the hosted platform in some form must evolve. Thats a very powerful concept if you really think about it. In this system any web user could own and manage all their content indefinately inside their own website. Companies that help empower users will be the big winners in this new web age. After all, if you think about the web, where is the real value to the user? Its in the data...not how its used. Its in the data and who controls that data, ultimately. I would much rather have my data misused and lose control over my data than have it lost completely. Thats what is happening now in the current Web 2.0 world."
Mr. Stokely says, "The promise of Web 2.0 has been better user experiences and community, no doubt. But where's the real value in light of what its doing to our personal online data? At what price are we all using these free services? In reality, the Web 2.0 world is slowly eroding our connection to our personal data, and our control over it. The recent news of identity and credit card theft on the web is just the beginning."
How is this happening? "We are all losing our power over our web data because of the structure and nature of the current Web 2.0 and search engineered web we are all contributing to presently. But we feel that will last only so long, until the weight of all this misappropriated data forces us to re-examine how we all manage our own data online. When that begins to evolve, we feel Web 3.0 will be a revolution surrounding a more personal web and a return to software and web services model where all data is returned back to the web user and owned and managed by that user via the personal website, web services, and server presences owned and controlled by the user. This will also require a new breed of Host Providers who understand this change, and who will have to enable and manage this type of control on their servers, such that they do not own these services, but provide the framework to empower and enable it. New web sofwtare that helps users secure and manage all types of data easily, affordably, and portably is going to be key. Large complex services and software setup with large managed relational databases wont last long in this market, believe it or not. People want portability of data and consumability and ease of use and more access to and control over that data. If most of us continue to have, say, our credit card numbers sitting in a dozen relational databases online, that wont help this model. That data needs to reside with the user and distributed for consumption only. Whether a relational database can be built that supplies all that is yet to be seen. Anything less won't last with many users, as this model unfolds. It will be a return to a simpler, web-based software and services model where data is consumable and portable, yet secure. It will also have to be rock solid and reliable when needed. That will be quite a challenge for todays web engineers. And will require a new way of thinking!"
At GiantIsland.com, we are starting to build personal website software like this for people that want to bring that data back home, away from all these portals and proprietary databases and services, and who want to centralize their data into a single web URL location using simple website products they can customize and control inside their own websites. That can only be done using a personal web presence where you, the home user, goes out and buys a domain and hosts your own website. When that happens, all control over data and content is returned to the web user. And thats exciting stuff indeed!
GiantIsland.com is spear-heading this revolution by offering free and affordable "lite-weight" portable web code, allowing website owners the ability to simply drag and drop these portable website products onto supporting servers of the user's choice, giving them immediate functionality and services they own and manage themsleves inside their own sites. GiantIsland.com now even has a free version of its software, like ImageIsle, which is a small portable website taht helps users manage things like photos and images inside their personal website.
"When you help people manage their data, whether that involves photos, spreadsheets, blogs, video, email, whatever, inside their web domain of choice, you empower people and help them control all their audio, images, and video data themselves inside a single website presence they manage themselves, and which can move with them from server to server. Many people dont realize you can buy a domain for ten years for next to nothing, and in essence, own your own website presence and domain on the Web the rest of your life, if you like!" None of the big portals or subscription photo sharing services today can promise that level of security over their user's data. At GiantIsland.com, that's powerful stuff and just the beginning of the vision we have for the future of the World Wide Web and its impact on the web user community."