Titles for talk often undergo a subtle shifting of meaning, over time. Then I first discussed speaking at Defrag with Eric Norlin back in May, I proposed a tentative title: “Flow: The Still Point Of The Turning World?”. Somehow, after just a few months of acceleration in the coming-to-a-streaming-app-near-you web marketplace, my talk had become “Is the flow just too much? Lifestreaming at the edge” which I am hereby ammending to just the last phrase, dropping the note of panic from the talk.
I plan to examine the rise of streaming applications: first, as an outgrowth of (near) real-time communications in instant messaging and texting, and second, as an adjunct to the RSS feeds of blogging and other web publishing.
We are moving into a new period: a web where streaming may become the dominant motif for innovative social applications. What is this ‘web of flow?’ and how will it build on ‘the web of pages’ that has become second nature to us? What are the exemplar applications? How will this shift what we do on a interpersonal level and within the enterprise? What are the social implications? How will these technologies be adopted by media companies? Are we being changed, cognitively, by these new media, and if so, where are we headed?
I am not an alarmist, so my basic theme will be that these tools are a better way to deal with information onslaught, but that new patterns of user interaction, design, and application architecture may be necessary for the fullest realization of the promise inherent in streaming to emerge.
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