The Shared Web Manifesto
We believe the web is better shared.
Browsing the web today is primarily a solitary experience. We do a lot of things online in an asynchronous fashion, including sharing experiences through social media, chatting, playing games, etc. Asynchronous experiences are valuable, but real-time shared experiences provide another level of engagement that’s just starting to emerge.
Building the Shared Web
GoInstant is building the “Shared Web”, a layer across the Internet that allows people to experience the web in a truly interactive fashion; not only to communicate in real-time, but to share the exact same experiences at the same time. We believe the Shared Web will fundamentally change how we experience the web, communicate and interact. Technology today is finally making the Shared Web a reality.
The web is always evolving. As the underlying technology of the web has advanced, we have been able to use the Internet in more creative and interesting ways. We have gone from documents filled with static content to a web of applications, each providing different types of experiences, data and information. We have gone from static shopping cart structures to useful collaborative filtering shopping suggestions to social shopping. We have gone from downloading movies and videos to sharing movies and videos with friends. In the past year or two, we have entered a new and incredibly exciting phase of the web – The Shared Web. A few years ago, the idea of a 100% shared Internet seemed impossible. The connections were too sluggish and unreliable – in particular on the mobile side. The web application frameworks did not perform well in situations where extremely low latency was required to keep users happy. But new technology and changes to the core of the Internet are making a lightning fast Shared Web possible.
The Evolution of the Shared Web
The web started primarily as an information medium, providing us with nearly instantaneous access to huge volumes of knowledge. That resulted in incredible innovation around search and content discovery to help us better access, curate and sift through that knowledge. In the end important sites like Google and Wikipedia were created.
Next came e-commerce, pioneered by Amazon.com, eBay, PayPal and others. Over time it became more and more normal to transact online and e-Commerce became a part of how we understand the web. Along with it came radical changes in how we perceive shopping. Remember when people laughed at the idea of buying shoes online? Or a car on eBay?
Broadcasting has also become an important layer of the web. Services like YouTube and Twitter emerged and quickly became popular. This further democratized publishing. Building off the base of blogging and self-publishing of text, these new services made it possible and actually simple for anyone to become a creator, gain distribution, share their opinion and communicate online in any form of content from music to video to games.
The Social Web: Noisy and Better But Still Lonely
After the “Broadcast Web”, the next wave was the “Social Web.” Still in its infancy in many ways, the Social Web has forever changed how we socialize and interact. Facebook is a child (and behemoth!) of the Social Web. We all live in the Social Web, connecting and sharing our experiences, feelings, our comings and goings, our likes and dislikes, as never before. Social in this case however, doesn’t mean together. While we embrace this greater level of connectivity, the Social Web can deliver a somewhat lonely and oddly impersonal – some might even say staged – experience.
Clearly each evolution in the web enhances what came before, permeating all aspects of how we experience the medium (and its various sub-mediums). Each evolution leads towards more real-time person-to-person communication, from passively consuming content in the Information Web to communicating daily through the Social Web.
And we believe the next evolution (and revolution) is the Shared Web. We’re now seeing more and more examples of the Shared Web emerge at the application level. Turntable.fm allows people to get together in virtual rooms and listen to music. You know who else is there with you and there is a sense of shared experience. Facebook has integrated real-time comment and wall updates giving you a sense of people’s presence on the site with you. Google+ and Google Hangouts are providing a foundation for sharing web experiences. People can now watch the same YouTube videos together.
Humans want do to more than communicate, they want to share experiences together, and they want to do it on the web.
This is what we obsess about at GoInstant – making the Shared Web a reality and part of how we all experience the web. As more applications like Turntable evolve, we believe that people will share all of their web experiences. And that is why we are creating a completely shared web experience platform that enables multiple parties to participate in an activity on any website, anywhere, anytime in any form of communication or creative medium.