Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Consumed by the new

It's official. Facebook has taken over my life. Commenting on notes and pictures, posting on walls, staying in touch with people from all over the world, getting constant updates, tagging people in pictures as they join facebook, and getting in touch with my oldest friends through this "SNS" or Social Networking Service has been incredible.

Friendster's interface never appealed to me, and then I never had enough friends on it from the US - the only place where it's popular. Orkut is good as far as Pakistanis and Indians are concerned, but it is also very limited and way too public [with only 12 pictures allowed to be uploaded that can be viewed by virtually anyone]. Facebook allows you to decide whether you want to make a photograph or an album public - or if you want to make it public but hide it from just one specific person. It allows that too!

It is a whole new era - it's web 2.0! And what's web 2.0 you may ask? Web 2.0 is all what new media is about - a technology/service that will improve with time as it is used more often. Wikis and RSS feeds are a great example of web 2.0, and so is the virtual world game called Second Life. You know, one company called Text 100 - a Public Relations firm that has 29 offices worldwide has already opened it's 30th office [youtube] in Second Life? It's a virtual office! They hold meetings, conferences and seminars there with live video and audio feeds and slideshows, and they promote their brand while providing valuable service. [So far Second Life doesn't run that well on my computer, but wait till I get my desktop back from repair!]

To understand more about web 2.0, I recommend the following video on youtube by Professor Welsch. It really makes me think and I just love it.

So well, I have immersed myself into this new, immersive, web 2.0 media, and now I feel it's consuming me. Sometimes I hate it when I have to go all the way to the faculty to attend a lecture or a tutorial - I mean, it can be done online, right? Then why not?

We could hold tutorial discussions and group meetings in Second Life, stream the video from our lecture webcasts, watch television online and read online newspapers, maintain our social life via facebook, and hold video-chat and voice conversations with our loved ones using Skype. We could hook-up 2-3 screens with each of our computers and multi-task excessively; staying on top of email, entertainment and work all at the same time. Add to that a chair that flexes/massages your muscles without you moving [virtual Squash, a possibility?], a home-delivery service for food [also online, using web 2.0 platforms], and all your life you will only need to move to the washroom to excrete and clean yourself, and then back.

It's not a dream. It's bound to happen. Finally.

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