In a wildly inspiring, science-fiction-spiced keynote at The Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco this week, Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly put forth a utopian vision of where technology is headed, laying out ideas of what's next for a computerized world.
Speaking with the tone of a man who had come back from the future, Kelley wove a narrative of an always-on future with streams of shared, interactive, and cloud-based data in which every flat surface is a screen personalized to our needs.
Ownership, he declared, with its hassle of management and maintenance, is over.
Content will all be rented, Kelley said, and we will pay for the uncopyable qualities of items, namely convenience and immediacy.
At Web 2.0 this week in San Francisco, designers and engineers are setting out to share ideas and to build the next version of the Web.
Google Chief Economist Hal Varian broke down our love of search into an equation at Web 2.0 and outlined a study by Google that attempted to calculate the value of search.
In a Google study, which pitted libraries against Web search, students were asked to find answers to the same questions, with the students using the Web answering their questions about 15 minutes faster.
Showing slide after slide of charts, graphics, and equations, Varian said the Web saves each person 3.75 minutes per day. Take that times an average wage of $22 an hour, and it's worth $1.37 per person per day.
Add up each of the 130 million employed Americans, Varian said, and the time saved is worth at least $65 billion per year.
It was heard at Web 2.0 that when you name your conference after a version number, it can be difficult to be clear about the direction of the event. But now in its fifth year, Web 2.0 is still a place to share ideas about mobile networks, connected devices, and what the Web will become next.
Mari Baker, CEO of PlayFirst, cites better, quicker payment systems, naming Amazon's 1-click payments and Facebook's frictionless payments as trends contributing to online revenue growth. "You click, you buy, it's there," she said. "It's frictionless."
ifeelsgood, one of the three winners of the Startup Showcase, uses virtual goods, rewards, and currencies from popular social games in place of traditional online ad promotions like discounts, coupon codes or gifts with purchase.
LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, who spoke with AllThingsD's Liz Gannes as part of Web 2.0,
reiterates the idea that the next Web will be data driven, with behind-the-scenes interactivity that will use shared pieces of data in unexpected ways to our benefit.