Consumers, Creators and branded widgets

by Tom Carroll

With the coming storm of platforms that allow for the Rich Internet Apps, James Governor cites a response from Gabor Vida of Teknision:

“Applications need to realize that there is a shift in the conversation when a user moves from web site to desktop and celebrate it. Applications need to focus on the transition users make when they move from consumer to creator and build experiences around it.”

How about thinking about it in terms of increased continuity of experience. The barriers a user faces when trying to create a continuity of experience are what constitute the fundamental problem with the “applications” today.

There are explicit barriers to delivering or enabling users to increase their continuity of experience. Some of those barriers are:

  • Rigid metaphors like “Rich client”, Desktop, and web site.
  • Physical barriers like laptop, phone, location, network access
  • Corporate barriers like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Cingular, Verizon ect.. (to many to list)

I think the key is to envelop the users with opportunities to consume and create their own continuities of experience. That requires companies and developers to think about how, where and when in more depth and ensure that the what and why are consistent and compelling. We are chained to computers, phones, televisions, cars, and ipods, all limiting our ability to develop continuity of experience.

In recent years Google has sought to remove those barriers in very focused ways. They have done this by trying to expend their contextual advertising to other channels and more web sites are integrating with cell phones. Sites like twitter are working to make “online conversation” more ubiquitous.

We will always be consumers and at the same time creators of continuity of experience.

We are heading into some interesting times.