Internet OS – an Update

Long post by Tim O’Reilly on the current state of the Internet as an Operating System. Many key developments that see this idea coming together and Tim connects the dots in a compelling way to complete the picture. The key piece for me is Social. The Internet OS still does not usefully recognize that we have multiple social graphs that depend upon application and context. Current solutions such as Facebook Connect currently assume a universal “friend’s list” which doesn’t address this subtlety.

Whoever cracks this code, providing frameworks that make it possible for applications to be functionally social without being socially promiscuous, will win. Platform providers are in a good position to solve this problem once, so that users don’t have to give credentials to a larger and larger pool of application providers, with little assurance that the data they provide won’t be misused.  (Emphasis mine).

This is a key problem that needs to be solved. Location-based services and mobile devices are pieces of the puzzle but more synapses are needed to make it work effortlessly.






3 responses to “Internet OS – an Update”

  1. jrconlin Avatar

    As I see it, the biggest problem is that we, as humans, are really good at juggling hundreds of delicately intermingled social networks, where-as every social network out there presumes you only have one (and EVERYBODY from your Pastor to the guys in your old Sex Pistols cover band is in it), I'd argue that no network or platform can replicate the level of interaction management we do without even thinking. Social still needs to be something done by the user at the time he decides to share with credentials he is capable of revoking at any time. Facebook is definitely learning that pain, as are other services, which leads to things like the “Share on”/nascar at the bottom of your comment box.

  2. iankennedy Avatar

    I hear you JR. Maybe I'm just the mad scientist tilting at windmills but just like the Search Engine folks are always turning knobs to chip away at the perfect result set, there are simple things that can be done that at least will make it easier to figure out who you want to talk to. Am I just about to post a comment on a Sports forum? There's a good chance that even though you've logged in via FB Connect, you really only want to push this post out to your sports fan friends, not your extended family in Topeka. Maybe training is involved, maybe a cross section of your social graph and declared visitors to the Sports forum site (MBL anyone?). The pieces are there, it may not be perfect but it'll be a good 80% solution.

  3. Steven Iavarone Avatar

    Very interesting story. As a former IT Training Director and now internet social “scientist” since 2001 [content provider, website creator, advertiser, membership recruiter, publicity, moderator, website dating consultant, “man's point of view” creator on e harmony advice] I'm very much interested in the creation of social websites that are more 3 dimensional.

    About 7 years ago I took a free short course on taught by MIT instructors * on the future of the internet. Things are just starting to happen that were taught in that class. I think we are still in the ancient phase of the internet, which will get about 2-3xs stronger. I can envision Skype on dating websites and “rooms” in which you
    can see 3d pictures and almost “feel” other people online. It will be a total experience using the senses.

    Steven Iavarone

    *I'm 98% sure it was MIT instructors or was taught at MIT online via I believe there were about four class sessions with graphs, etc. It was a brilliant class about nano chips in the clouds that fell to the ground and monitored enemies, etc before the news came out with these stories.

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