Internet Gurus

By Lachlan Hardy
2030h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink


A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Nick Galvin, a Features Writer with the Sydney Morning Herald, asking if I’d be interested in answering some quick questions about what’s hot on the web for a feature in their weekly technology supplement for the “interested home user”, Icon. I jumped at the chance and thanks must go to John Allsopp recommending me.

The piece was published today and I finally got see who the other people were. I put a scan on my Flickrstream so you can read the full text at either Large or Original (bloody large). Huge thanks must go to the legendary Seng Mah for yet again allowing me to use his photo of me from last August as my publicly respectable face.

Update: Turns out the article did get published online, so it’s much easier to read there.


What I found most interesting is comparing my answers with those of Cheryl , Virginia , Tim and John. The differences are more telling than the similarities, I think. Cheryl’s answers are consumer-focused, John talks about the big picture and Tim can’t help but dish on what’s important to developers. Of the four, Virginia’s are probably closest to mine in ideas, although hers are expressed far more beautifully. (And she led me to a gorgeous new theme for my tumblelog!)

I copped a bit of a ribbing at work about the reference in the standfirst to ‘internet gurus’. Fair enough. I find it amusing too. Thing is, though, that I know some other internet gurus.

Anybody willing to spend any time at all reading my infrequent posts is automatically qualified as pretty damn interested in the internet (or related to me. Hi, Mum!). So I want to know what you would have answered. What are your responses to the three questions? You don’t have to stick to 180 words like we did!

  1. What are the three things online that are exciting you most?
  2. What gadget do you never leave home without? And given most everybody will say their phone or their laptop, why?
  3. What will be the Next Big Thing?

Add answers or links to answers below.


There are 52 comments on this post.

2219h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
    • iPhone Apps in general
    • Twitter
    • Social news sites ( reddit / digg / HN )
  1. iPhone 3G, because it makes me feel like a Jedi Master!
  2. <shameless plug> ;) </shameless plug>
Mark Pesce
2219h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
    1. Streaming radio/media over 3G networks;
    2. Qik-style broadcasting from anywhere to anyone;
    3. Pervasive wireless broadband in general.
  1. Mobile, of course. Without it you’re just not connected to the human network. And anything could happen.
  2. Touch. Obviously.
Mo Kargas
2223h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. LHC, have a dark fascination with the world asploding
  2. Technology news
  3. Networking and relationship building.
2225h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink

OK, redoing question three for my first post. I’ve got a tie for question number 3. is awesome.

Miss Wired
2225h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Google maps, looking at listening history and chartst on, and green industrial design innovations.
  2. My mobile, which is also a camera so I can post to, and an mp3 player, so I can have a soundtrack as I travel.
  3. Better user-generated content geo-location. Face it, map sucks, but they get the idea.
Ross Hill
2229h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
    2. Cloud Services;
    3. The long reach of pervasive networks.
  1. iPhone - immense amounts of data at my fingertips.
  2. Location. YOUR location, forget the tech.
Wolf Cocklin
2238h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Twitters, Real time geospacial techniques (e.g mapping and geotagging), and connection… wifi/3g to see the world now is the future I wanted and can now access
  2. My n95 8gb.. it is my music, my navigation, my recorder of life and location and my way of communicating that to the world then.
  3. wet tech. my phone is to to slow, my computer is to slow… wet tech will mean I know what google does when I need to.
Charles Miller
2242h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Soylent Internet is People. People have always been what has excited me online, software just provides more and wider ways of enabling that.
  2. My iPod. I could forget my phone (and often do), but I can’t do without music.
  3. We’re only scratching the surface of what happens when more and more people are permanently online and mobile. Think of the subtle but profound ways we changed socially when mobile phones went from novelty yuppy fashion statement to dull ubiquity. That’s going to happen again with mobile data.
Ruth Ellison
2243h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Twitter, pervasive wireless broadband, various google maps mashups (I love seeing location based mashups)
  2. JasJam and digital camera - one keeps me connected to the world and the other helps me capture the beauty of the world around me
  3. Cyborg integration with the web for instant communication and knowledge sharing (very tongue in cheek!)
David McDonald
2245h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Google, Twitter, bitTorrent
  2. mobile, so I don’t miss work or friends
  3. internet as a medium to deliver TV to living room for non-geeks
Ned Dwyer
2246h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
    1. Online television stations replacing terrestrial ones, especially in Australia with the launch of iView;
    2. new music industry models specifically services like, and music blogs as record labels;
    3. everything mobile is exciting at the moment. Bring on national wireless!
  1. My basic phone and notepad and pen. Between these two pieces of technology I can get a surprising amount done and keep track of work, uni and socialising.
  2. I am most excited about the future of the music industry and the changes that are taking place. The excitement is in the uncertainty in what the “next big thing” is going to be in terms of distribution.
2247h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. fun things
  2. i hate gadgets; i never leave without my notebook and pencil
  3. hopefully ‘not being a wanker’ will become stylish, so-as to stop people busting out a series of terms that make you look like you’re retarded and have no idea about programming. see above.
JJ Halans
2256h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. for keeping track of notes everywhere (even through my iPhone). for an aggregated view of friends feeds. for my daily gadget (and iPhone) fix.
  2. My iPhone. People can talk to me if they want to, they can sms me, they can email me, … and I can totally ignore them. Still I can get online whenever I want, listen to music, watch vodcasts, find location aware information,… If only the battery would last longer.
  3. Reality mining, lifestream monetization and reputation management. Combined.
2257h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. I was pretty darn rapt when I found Suburb View and Old Listings, both great examples of useful mashups rather than mashups for the sake of it.

    Another thing that really excited me online was pulling in Tumblr feeds to Jaiku. Sounds simple enough but it enabled individual research at the same time as community driven discussion in a learning environment.

    Other than that, I haven’t come across anything super exciting for a while.

  2. My Flip video recorder. It’s just fantastic, light, simple to use, captures moments really easily. After that it’s definitely my iPhone…
  3. The imminent relaunch of Webjam! hmmm and fast internet access everywhereall the time!
Steve Sammartino
2257h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Twitter - because it gives me instant access the the people and minds I want to be invovled with. Their is no ranking. Youtube - still excites me due it’s ability to create specialised forums.As time goes by Youtube is getting deeper into the ‘long tail’ and creating greater value to people at the micro level of desires. Blogging - still the best way for opinions and knowldege to be shared and transfered and it continues to bust down traditional power structures.
  2. My wallet - as this still has more technology in it than my phone and is at this stage still more useful than my iphone. Occassionally the iphone stays home, but it gets a run 90% of the time. I’m hoping soon it will become a digital wallet that does all.
  3. The next big thing is transition of the web to focus on mobile devices from the4 current desk / lap focus. The iphone is just the start. A netscape equivalent. Most important innovation on the web will be about mobile devices - think live visual recognitions, holographic images, expanding scroll screens and stuff we haven’t even thought of.
Andrew Barnett
2300h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Twitter, open APIs, mobile Web.
  2. Mobile phone obviously. Connection to family: I’m a parent, I must always be able to be contacted. I believe, though cannot know, that whenever I have an iPhone I will carry it also for Web, for connection to my social networks; right now, I am disconnected when not at home.My current phone – Nokia E65 – doesn’t fulfil that role, because 3G connection is irregular and the experience is crappy enough to make it not worthwhile.
  3. Mobile definitely. Perhaps the place that Apple is going with the combination of interface and connectivity that the iPhone is the start of … OR some smaller, cheaper device that provides MSN-like chat and sharing for teh teens.
2301h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. intereting data visualisation,,
  2. Dopod 810 - Anytime google and wikipedia, push email, peripheral brain.
  3. Online deliberation (maybe not the next)
Carol Daunt Skyring
2306h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Plurk, Google, Netvibes
  2. MacBook (don’t have an iPhone yet)
  3. The new second life type virtual worlds
Dylan Fogarty-MacDonald
2312h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink


  1. I’d have to say that my three are:
    1. Good old trusty RSS feeds – they may not be cutting edge, but they’re so handy.
    2. Internet banking – far out, so handy once again.
    3. Data visualisations, mapping, fireeagle, APIs in general, Twitter, git & github, twine, flickr… too many!
  2. I suppose it’s my phone, but I’d prefer to answer sunglasses.
  3. All these things that are off in the wild coming together… hopefully!
Keith Ahern
2321h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink
    1. Google alerts for “world’s first” – dozens of breakthroughs every day from the inane to the bizarre, occasionally yielding the useful.
    2. Twitter – its a sweet spot – blogs need thought, tweets do not. less is more.
    3. - one URL, all browsers, any device - its the future!
  1. A money clip holding the following: $50, credit card, driving license, medicare card - that’s all you need peeps. less is more. (repetition is also in)
  2. The ‘Push’ API addition to the iPhone SDK - this will create a whole new kind of application. Email and SMS are too primitive - killer apps will come out of this you wondered how you did without. Think of ‘life assistants’ helping you throughout your day.
Jon Tan
2328h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink

Congratulations on your guru status, mate! It’s a good piece, and for what it’s worth, here’s my 2 pence:

    1. Twitter for its simplicity, tiny barrier to participation and ability to force brevity in 140 chars or less. (This comment would not exist without it.)
    2. Flickr, still, because I can still evangelise it to everyone I know (especially non-techies) and have them “get” it.
    3. The acceleration of the science of design being applied to the Web; typography in particular, with all the amazing grace it radiates.
  1. My iPhone. Many things about being permanently available, connected and present in the social space unnerve me. Many things about the iPhone bug me (literally). However, the ease with which the device enables me to connect with people and information is still surprising me; it’s a symptom of age, but long may it continue. For our kids, the opposite will be true.
  2. The next big thing will be a personal revolution; true convergence of our data into our own self-determined domains and portable social networks. We will break out of the walled gardens and define ourselves and our lives with what we do, create, and observe. Denna Jones’ site is a step towards that: disparate text, media, thoughts, and actions from various sites controlled, owned and celebrated by the author as her identity. Geo/GPS services will be a part of that evolution as a catalyst, as will technologies like microformats, OAuth, and OpenID. They will all contribute to the death of traditional business models that attempts to own or control content, to the revisions we see happening today, where tools and services are monetised, but our content is ours to control, irrevocably.
Jacqui McGirr
2346h Monday, 18 August 2008 Permalink

Congratulations on your guru status, mate! It’s a good piece, and for what it’s worth, here’s my 2 pence:

    1. Open API and mashups.
    2. Internet as stage with backchannel: eg Dr Horrible; Radiohead release; Twitter possibilities. Audience breaking through the fourth wall.
    3. The energy.
  1. Recently? The new 3G phone: for calls, organiser, notes, social apps, mp3 player, camera, and multi-channel connectivity out of the box.
  2. No fourth wall!
Dan Brickley
0012h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink, freebase parallax and oauth are all worth some attention. N810 is a nice gadget.

James McParlane
0027h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Distributed Computing/Loosely Coupled Supercomputing
  2. Visual/Alternative programming languages and models
  3. Biological Inspired models of computation.
Alan Jones
0047h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Content owners and distributors were warned that the internet would decimate their business models; that the only way to survive would be to embrace the change. They didn’t. Already the interweb has dismantled the music industry and it’s revving up the chainsaw to drop the TV industry. After that, the internet will flip and pin the movie industry to the mat so quickly so fast you’ll have to replay it in slo-mo to see it happen. Lemme see: music industry, TV industry, movie industry… yep, that’s three things.
  2. The fewer things I need to carry in my pockets, the better - the solution was never a man-bag or a belt clip, it was less stuff that does more. My iPhone is a better PDA than a dedicated PDA and yet also is so good at being my mobile browser, pocket gaming platform, photo album and portable TV/movie/music player as well that I’d have bought one for those reasons even if it weren’t a PDA, much less a phone. It’s so good because it hides complexity from the consumer and integrates so tightly with Macs and Apple TV.

    For example: if I’m not able to finish watching something on my AppleTV, when I watch it later on my iPhone (assuming it’s synced) it picks up from the point I stopped watching on the Apple TV. Glad I wasn’t on the team that had to make that work, but I love using a device that does such magical stuff with so little fanfare.

  3. The Next Big Thing will Not Be What I Predict It To Be. Been around long enough to have the conclusive proof. But now I’m old enough to be allowed to not understand Kids These Days it doesn’t hurt so much so I’ll have one more stab at it: a NBT might be third-party APIs - APIs that aren’t associated with one product or company, but useful enough to enough products that they are conceived, designed, built and maintained either by an open community or by a company so light and fast that just providing a super useful API is a feasible business model. APIs are pure network effect.

    …either that, or the Next Big Thing will be the decreasing age at which you stop understanding Kids These Days and the average age of Kids. Pretty soon, 16 year olds will be complaining about Kids These Days. Twelve year olds will be creating the most exciting media, fashion, architecture and social changes.

    Generations will become so narrow that demographers will have to demarcate them by month of birth.

    “What you have to understand,” they’ll tell the 15 year old leaders of industry, “is that the generation of March, 2005 is radically different to the generation of April, 2005. You simply can’t expect the user-generated viral marketing mashups created by generation of April, 2005 to work on them.”

    Meanwhile, 17 year olds will be unable to get any cash out, reply to a message or reset a clock without help.

Alan Jones
0054h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink

…argh, while making the previous entry I migrated into the generation that is young enough to remember what Markdown syntax is, but too old to remember how to use it without rtfm. All that’s left for me now is to campaign for euthanasia law reform.

Patrick Crowley
0233h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
  1. iPhone apps (enormous market + touch UI + lightning fast installation = crazy opportunity), Github (accelerating collaboration between developers), and Rumplo (search engine for awesome t-shirts!)
  2. I (mostly) never leave home without my iPhone. Cellphones are nice, of course. But, with the iPhone, you can really stay connected without having to lug around a five or six pound laptop.
  3. Anything Apple does. As amazing as the iPhone is, I think the ride is only getting started.
Matt Allen
0806h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
    1. iTunes store. This puppy will create a whole new cottage industry for software distribution.
    2. Micro communites built on the macro boys’ platforms. Re-inventing the wheel is painful and slow. Leverage what’s out there.
    3. Ruby and Rails. Still by far the best platform and community for web based gear I have ever seen. The local sydney guys at RoRo are a fab bunch.
  1. It’s the lappy. Whenever I have that thing by my side I know that I can bust out some code whenever inspiration hits. That’s something that my iPhone will never be able to do.
  2. Agreeing with PatrickC, It’s the beginning of the end for windows based PCs. Critical mass within the generic population is just around the corner for apple.
Maxine Sherrin
0829h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
    1. A good old google maps mashup will never fail to excite me
    2. Twitter
    3. broadband everywhere with my 3G iPhone. Now, if we could only just make it broad, and band, and everywhere…
  1. I never leave home, you know that.
  2. Someone clever and in touch is going to do something genuinely engaging in the area of geo location, life-streaming/self surveillance. I just tracked my path to work this morning with Path Tracks. Ok. Cool. But what’s next? Is there a genuine human need lurking in there somewhere waiting to be satisfied?
Ben Askins
0900h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
  1. People / Enthusiasm / Intimacy - as delivered by twitter, flickr, soundcloud, and many more…
  2. Definitely my phone. Until recently an N95, now an iPhone. Why? On line, all the time.
  3. I’d like it to be something that enhances people’s self-awareness and their awareness of others; something that increases our empathy and encourages us to act with compassion.
Rowen Atkinson
0956h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Flickr (still). Facebook enthusiasm burned out, LinkedIn never caught my fancy, but flickr has endured.
  2. My cameras. Except that I often force myself to leave them at home, because of bulk and conspicuousness. But it’s a great feeling when you go for a walk and see something cool and you remember you have a nice camera over your shoulder…
  3. I think geolocation is going to be where the web gets it next big impetus. Semantic web is all well and good, but a) impossible and b) it’s still just better organised stuff that’s already there. Geoweb ties the web to real life and the physical world and makes it an extension of our lives.It requires GPS or smart location technologies to tag everything, and mobile web to get it back out when you are out and about.
Andy Howard
0959h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Simple, usable sites… it’s as easy as that. More pro publishers. Buddypress.
  2. MBP. I love archiving pics in Aperture, slinging layouts in Fireworks and organising stuff with Things. If they were all on my iPhone, my answer would be iPhone.
  3. Simple interfaces. Think Youtube and Facebook on iPhone… simple, usable and beautiful. Life wasn’t mean to be cluttered.
Grant Young
1000h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
    1. Geo-location awareness in online devices;
    2. Cloud computing (esp. Google App Engine);
    3. iPhone web-apps
    4. My mobile phone (Sony Ericsson W880i) - I use it for twitter, google maps, SMS, calendar & contacts (syncs just great iCal/Address book with my MacBook) and the occasional voice call.
    5. Location-aware socially oriented services
Craig Overend
1021h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Online eLearning / entertainment tools (Screencasting, Podcasting, Video), Relationship Management and Transaction services that tie social/professional brand together (blogs, twitter, flickr, friendfeed, VRM, etsy, etc), Social recommendation services (twitter, amazon, answers, reddit).
  2. Audio Podcast Player
  3. Probably JavaScript graphics UI libraries (you know tech is mainstream when it turns into bling) but I’d like ubiquitous wireless and a trusted-peer based, content centric, convergent data, real-time internet protocol and virtual machine in order to build a proper distributed sensor net. Instead we’ll probably get bling in a locked-down Terapod.
Irena Macri
1034h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Exciting things online for me:
    1. Skype
    2. My fav social tools Twitter, Flickr etc.
    3. Nike Plus
    4. Wiki powered sites. (ok that’s 4)
  2. My phone
  3. Geo-location, relevance and wi-fi in Nepal for free.
Jonas Follesø
1120h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
    1. Google Apps - I know this is old, but it’s one of the key parts of making my online life manageable. About 1.5 year back I consolidated all my e-mail accounts under one account at Google. Later I also moved to Google Reader and the other online services. Adding NuveaSync sync to the mix and you got push calendar and contacts to your iPhone, via Google. Awesomeness!
    2. Silverlight 2 - It’s an awesome development platform and I’m excited about what’s to come.
    3. Sites with APIs, integration points and movable data.
  1. My iPhone. Got the first gen phone, bought in the US, so I’m missing out on online services (the Vodaphone GPRS plan is a piece of shit!). But other than that it’s an awesome device. Now that I got wireless (when on wlan) sync from my GCal it’s all good!
  2. Silverlight based business apps backed by some cloud infrastructure from Google, Amazon or Microsoft - well at least it would be cool. It’s definitely NOT a new Twitter clone! Perhaps FireEagle and location services finally will take off?
1247h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
    1. I agree about google apps, I was just raving about them on Tim Bull’s blog yesterday, I replaced a bunch of PITA mail server management with a couple of google apps accounts and it’s made my life much easier and my mail and calendar more portable (ditched Outlook, use webmail and blackberry)
    2. Evernote is a newish tool for me, keeping notes and my personal knowledgebase and links in sync across multiple PCs is awesome.
    3. Twitter (I’ll join the crowd on that one), it’s gone from silly gimmick to a decent way to keep in touch with friends to a great way to actually expand my network and find new people. I held out on the last one until recently and only followed people I knew. The more i lean in to Twitter, the more a part of my life it has become.
    4. special mention. Ning! I run a few networks on Ning and it’s a great platform that lets me do things I otherwise never would have found the time to build.
  1. My Blackberry Curve. I’m a holdout on the iPhone, and I know I’m missing the 3G, Better browsing and the decent camera of the N95. But as a messaging platform it’s amazing, gives me enough web access to keep in touch and has my calendar and contacts in sync. Waiting for something better, not sure whether that will be a Nokia, new BB or maybe something Androidish.
  2. Palmtop computing, next gen phones. We’re nearly there, if you took the best bits of the current smartphone offerings, fixed up the battery life and had decently priced bandwidth, plus decent syncing to the cloud and desktop we’d be close. An open API to hook in location based services, and the ability to “friend” people wirelessly and tag them with the location and time you met them… ooh, there’s a startup idea right there.
Xavier Shay
1327h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
    1. GitHub - has totally changed open source collaboration
    2. Open data - still would like to see more
    3. YouTube - may be old but it’s still the best place to find things I never knew existed
    4. special mention. Ning! I run a few networks on Ning and it’s a great platform that lets me do things I otherwise never would have found the time to build.
  1. I’m not a gadget person
  2. Free internet everywhere always
1711h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Twitter / Soocial / Skype / openID (Oups, thats 4 - so shoot me…)
  2. Mobile - holding out for iPhone as soon as I get to Spain.
  3. A tsunami of mobile apps and services.
Matthew Hall
1740h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
    1. The possibilities of mobile personal web servers is still blowing my mind. Waiting for the internal mindstorm to calm down so I can articulate why it will change everything.
    2. Easy mobile web access cannot be underestimated. Devices like the iPhone and Meraki work in tandem to open our eyes to that previously invisible layer of data that surrounds us.
    3. FireEagle and friends - location services. These will become serendipity enablers, allowing you to bump into friends when you’re in the same square kilometre, where previously you needed to be in line of sight (and even then you didn’t always connect.)
  1. Phone. Nokia E65 now, but it will always have access to the web and a camera. Most likely an iPhone later in the year. Why? I need to see the internet that surrounds us, especially being able to see the internet as it is relevant to where I am or what I’m doing.
  2. Location, location, location.
Ian J. Grant
1755h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Twitter ( is still one of the tools on the web that I get excited about when describing the concept of penetrative micro-blogging. ( is a model I’m really interested in at the moment, I’m exploring it and monitoring it’s progress. Soocial (, very simple, easily adoptive and has saved my ass on occasion already
  2. My n95. I didn’t rate it, but a recent firmware upgrade, and an eagerness to prove it’s worth before I get an iPhone has now resulted in it being the first slap check in the “phone, keys, wallet, 3 slap check”. I do not leave home without it.
  3. For me it’s all about location location location. Brightkite has made a significant step in the right direction, but it’s lacking personal feedback. “It says nothing to me about my life”. With the adoption rate of geo-location aware personal devices steadily increasing I believe that in 2 years time we’ll become less of aware of where in the world we are, but more aware of what is happening and available around us through these devices.
Lachie Cox
1901h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink
    1. Emergent systems: unexpected mashups built on top of sites with APIs;
    2. changing of the old-media guard: free-to-air TV and record labels going the way of the dodo in favour of online tech (yes, bittorrent :). I can spend my precious time enjoying only the best-of-the best;
    3. the flip side of that, the increased harnessing of the “cognitive surplus” to create compelling media with relatively-negligible budgets.
  1. Whatever novel I’m reading. The biggest, best, most mindfuckingest ideas are still in literature, music and art.
  2. Mental augmentation. Augmented reality (see the world through a red HUD like the Terminator :), Augmented memory (imagine using and cross-referencing everything Google knows about you for your own purposes, and not just targeted text-ads).
Lachlan Hardy
2352h Tuesday, 19 August 2008 Permalink

I’m in awe of all these amazing responses! Thank you.

In particular, I love that with so many people responding, the differences are still so great. There are stalwarts like Twitter and location-based services, but the sheer range of things of interest to all of you who have chosen to comment is exciting in itself!

I especially love that Charles was unable to limit himself to his comment above, but had to unleash a blog post as well. Nice work, Charles!

My main man Stateside , Alex Hillman, also busted out a fantastic blog post, go read it.

Richard MacManus loved your responses so much that he’s posted his own on ReadWriteWeb, where he’s already received 28 more top 3 app lists (at time of writing).

I’m guessing that Daniel Spronk, who posted the first comment and jokingly referred his own incredible contacts syncing service Soocial as the next big thing, will be gratified to see just how many of you agree with him. For those who’ve not used it, get into the beta ASAP. It’s fantastic.

I don’t know how else to address this awesome content, except to say keep them coming! I’ll be looking up apps and services for weeks at this rate. And re-assessing things I’ve looked previously as dismissed as immature or uninteresting.

Thanks so much for this inspiring catalogue of webby goodness to explore!

Chris Messina
0625h Wednesday, 20 August 2008 Permalink

Certainly a good list of responses so far… but I might add:

    1. I’m big into seeing the building blocks for the open web emerge to support identity, socializing/safer sharing and location/presence.
    2. Obviously things I work on like OpenID and OAuth are contributing here, but that’s only because there’s been such a flurry of innovation in these areas that gives me cause to try to commoditize some of these activities with standardized protocols!
    3. I’m also a big fan of Brightkite and mining of self-data (see Wesabe, RescueTime,, Bedposted, etc).
  1. I’ll stick with the safe answer and go with my “breakthru internet device” – aka my iPhone. ;)

    I love iPhone-friendly web apps (Brightkite is among the best). It gives me a sense for where the web is going on mobile devices (thanks to mobile Safari) and also where it needs to go and needs to improve (interactivity, preventing crashes, authorization, account management, identity, etc).

  2. There are few “next big things” left, unless you radically shrink your conception of “big”. Many popular things are now niche-popular, and that’s fine. The Dark Knight is a rare exception, I think.

    That said, I do think location is going to take off in a major way – and will become yet another thing developers can “take for granted”. And that’s big.

    Another “widespread” trend I see coming is the need to be more multi- and inter-disciplinary as designers or technology. As Ethan Kaplan pointed out, effective web design should no longer be constrained to just IE and Firefox in a desktop environment. That means we have to think more clearly about what our applications do, why they do each thing, and how each “feature” we add, offers value in different settings or context.

    Sites and apps that don’t adapt to that reality are going to suffer some severe custom service issues.

    So says I.

0912h Wednesday, 20 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Search engines, “participatory media”, visualisation, RSS & good design (that’s 5 & not actually online services, sorry.)
  2. Camera, notebook. I like a record of sights & thoughts
  3. Access/control/transparency for our own data created via attention, purchases, publishing, just walking around with phones in our pockets etc.
Diana Mounter
1254h Wednesday, 20 August 2008 Permalink
  1. Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr - I think what really excites me about these is that there are so many great web apps you can use to work with them. I know nothing about back-end development but I can still create my own mashups thanks to all the apps that spin off these great social computing tools.
  2. My macbook pro. I feel like its a never ending game of catchup trying to learn and keep up with new web technologies so if I’m not on my laptop experimenting, designing, or reading or writing a blog post, I feel like I’m missing out on learning something new and stretching myself. I do think its good to have web free weekends every now and then though!
  3. I think increased emergence of social computing and location based tools. With an improvement in our broadband and wireless coverage (I hope), being online will be a constant, and seamless interaction with the web wherever you are on whatever device will exist.
1841h Wednesday, 20 August 2008 Permalink
  1. what’s exciting me the most online? people listening to each other, people talking to each other, people being creative
  2. what can’t I leave home without? I’m not so addicted to tech that I can’t leave home without any of it (yep, even my phone)
  3. hopefully the next big thing will be a peaceful world … if technology can help us to make that happen then I’m all up for it
Myles Byrne
0237h Friday, 22 August 2008 Permalink
    1. Backpack - Gives you “just enough” to keeps notes about a specific topic that you want to share with just a few people. See Jamis’s page on git for the kind of page backpack is perfect for.
    2. Wufoo - Ridiculously east to use and again “just enough” for most of your online data-gathering needs.
    3. GitHub - Really lowers the bar for sharing your “still incubating” open source projects that were never worth setting up an svn server for. Checkout all the dotfiles repositories for a great example of the git+github sweetspot.
  1. Gadget: typing this on an eee pc from a bar in Dublin, the keyboard takes considerable time to get used to but once your over that hump the 5 hours battery makes a huge difference to the amount places your willing to pull a laptop. Better battery life will be the next big thing in laptops.
  2. Next big thing: better wireless infrastructure. Wifi gets more ubiquitous every day but its reliability hasn’t improved nearly as rapidly. When it works its awesome but it still doesn’t feel like the “internet” in terms of speed and reliability.
Irena Macri
0822h Saturday, 23 August 2008 Permalink

Just thought of something else for #1., it’s in Beta at the moment but looks very promising. Not sure if anyone mentioned it already. And after reading everyone’s comments made me think more about #3 and besides the web becoming more intelligent and open I think we’ll see/ are seeing a move to total online database sharing across different programs/apps, so there will be a total focus on how users retrieve information as there is currently an overload of data out there.

Mike Bailey
1919h Saturday, 30 August 2008 Permalink
    1. using github to visualize how other people are modifying deprec and then pulling some of their changes upstream
    2. Banjo lessons>
    3. that’s all
    1. Mobile - in case of emergency.
    2. Moleskine notebook - PDA’s suck
    3. Spacepen - only pen I want in my jeans pocket
    1. Cloud computing
    2. Geeks logging out of google
    3. Geeks turning their back on Apple

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