The ‘post-pc’ phrase has gained a lot of traction, by which most mean a world awash in tablets and ‘genius’ phones, and in which PCs are also supported as a sort of umbilical back to the pre-tablet past.
Personally, I think its the wrong term. We are moving to a world of liquid media, which is the confluence of a number of trends (ubiquitous connectivity, genius devices, touch/gestural interfaces, tablets, social operating environments, and others): a world where the PC desktop metaphor is passé, but still full of laptops for decades to come.
Given that, I am leery of products being touted as part of a post-pc world, like the new Jux tool. I took a short walk through Jux today, which is a relatively recent entrant to the personal publishing (or ‘blogging’) marketplace. I read some fairly hyperbolic praise about the tool (see Jux learns from the rest to create the most beautiful blog platform yet), so I wandered over to take a look-see.
Jux does produce very pretty output, based on tablet esthetics: edge to edge photos, automatically generated semi-transparent overlays, slideshows, and arresting graphics and typography. All nice. And if you’d like to post in a tablet-friendly way, I can see the attraction, especially compared to old school approaches like WordPress.
But I fail to grasp why Jux opted to not to create an internal social dimension: where’s the following semantics that have made tools like Tumblr and Instagram so viral and engrossing?
Jux has gone paleolithic, providing only a ‘share’ capability, so I can’t follow others’ work, except by manually returning to their pages, or through the ‘explore’ function, which looks like a curated stream.
And perhaps even more revealing, there is no ‘reblogging’ built into Jux.
My sense is that the founders behind Jux are uninterested in the torrent of reblogging that makes up Tumblr’s core. But if they rejected that as excess, why not at least the basic social gestures like comments or likes?
There is basically no social dimension in Jux, so I can’t imagine using it myself. I can imagine some publishers might, at least the ones that don’t really want social interaction, and who would like passive readers, and not active participants. But the sociality of the web is one of the major threads of liquid media, and it’s ridiculous to ignore it they way Jux has.
One thought: perhaps the Jux folks expect that our social interaction will remain in the services that they support through the ‘share’ capability, notably Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps they hope that Twitter’s management will see the obvious complement of a lightweight and beautiful blogging tool, and want to more tightly intergrate that into the Twitter constellation of products? Perhaps.
My bet is that they will add these features, be acquired and integrated, or die. There is no future for web media tools that are deliberately asocial.