If 2005 was the year of Web 2.0, complete with its thousands of crazy-sounding public betas and AJAX-heavy shopping lists, let 2006 be the year of joining things up and applying focus to what has been a chaotic and sometimes bizarre marketplace. This year, if it hasn’t already, the read-write web will jump the shark and we’ll start wondering how all of this is actually going to be useful to us.
Suprglu and the even more ridiculously (if similarly) named Squidoo have the beginnings of the right idea: integration and standards, albeit on a limited scale. (The Resources tab in Elgg was conceived to allow this as well, and we’ll be reorganising the interface shortly in order to make it more usable.) They don’t have decentralisation, which I still think is the real holy grail: the ability to store profile information and original content on a dozen different services and then share them with whoever you choose and allow people to seamlessly search across them, also using the tool of their choice … why, that’d transform the web. It’s one thing to be one of those individual content providers; it’s another to be the glue that lets people represent the entirety of their digital selves.