Sat, 17 May 2003 19:42:08 GMT

The missing Web.

Allen has mounted a passionate argument on behalf of the inspired idea behind GlobeAlive: That we have fine search engines for documents, but not for people.

When he first told me about it, and tossed off the line World Live Web, my mind was blown. In a World of Ends, we should all be able to find each other and talk, or corresond, live. (And not just on computers.)

He explains:

What I'm talking about is something entirely different. What I'm talking about is using the Qeb to find actual people in the world at large that you can talk to right now, about whatever youÕre specifically searching for. There's nothing like that yet. Nothing. People aren't searchable. TheyÕre the most important resource in the world, and theyÕre not searchable, theyÕre scattered to the wind. ThereÕs no “people” tab at Google (and “groups” isnÕt the idea at all). That person you want to talk to right now (and that wants to hear from you right now) that needle in the haystack of 6 billion, is out there, I promise, but youÕll never find them, because the magnet you need to do so doesnÕt exist. I want to build it.

To a significant degree, he has. With GlobeAlive, Allen is prototyping the idea very nicely. The hundreds who have joined in, and are also passionate about it, bear witness to something.

Allen has bootstrapped this thing on a shoestring. Somebody needs to come in with some money and take it to the next level. If I had it, I would (even if he wasn't my son). But maybe one of ya'll do. If so, jump ahead to Allen's closing paragraph:

The bottom line is that when we restrict our interactions to people we already know or the people that happen to be in the chat room or community we join, it's like restricting our information-gathering to the books in our personal libraries at home, it's a mathematical certainty that weÕre selling ourselves utterly short. The island mentality is the root of this problem. ThereÕs an infinitely better way of going about our interpersonal interactions. It would change the web by making it live; it would change the economy by making it personal; it would change the world by making it smaller; and it would change you and I… by helping us meet.

[The Doc Searls Weblog]

hmm, this is a good idea, as more and more people are hooked in minute by minute into their information technology, things could be enlivened…. the secret will be decentralization.