ThoughtStorms Wiki

Following on from TheFlowInternet

(ReadWith) : ChatBots, WalledRiver, CardsInTheStream

What It Is

Paul Adams says : The End of Apps as we know them

These days it's all about cards coming down the notification stream.

Not simply news items but all sorts of data-nuggets : people, photos, events, videos, comments, memes etc.

Most of us building software are no longer designing destinations to drive people to. That was the dominant pattern for a version of the Internet that is disappearing fast. In a world of many different screens and devices, content needs to be broken down into atomic units so that it can work agnostic of the screen size or technology platform. For example, Facebook is not a website or an app. It is an eco-system of objects (people, photos, videos, comments, businesses, brands, etc.) that are aggregated in many different ways through people's newsfeeds, timelines and pages, and delivered to a range of devices, some of which haven't even been invented yet. So Facebook is not a set of webpages, or screens in an app. It's a system of objects, and relationships between them.

Mobile OS (Android, iOS) notification streams are no longer just for links to your application. They are becoming mini presentation frameworks in their own right. Encouraging you to design your application to treat them as your window of interaction. (BTW : I like the comment about "Add the item to your todo list. Yes, that's the MindTrafficControl vision. Is MTC an early notification-stream app?)

Towards apps as services

Breaking things right down into the individual atomic unit, including the content and actions. The atomic unit separate from the container of the app itself, so that it can show up anywhere, on any device. The atomic units are then reassembled based on context. Aggregated in a centralised stream. Or pushed to you on your watch.

The content may be reformatted to enable more natural user input, optimized for your situation. Des sent me a text based message, but I'm driving so my watch reads it out to me. I speak my reply to Siri/Google and Des receives it as a text based message, because he's in work at his desk. The actions available change. All this and more is just about to happen.

It may be very likely that the primary interface for interacting with apps will not be the app itself. The app is primarily a publishing tool. The number one way people use your app is through this notification layer, or aggregated card stream. Not by opening the app itself.

In a world where notifications are full experiences in and of themselves, the screen of app icons makes less and less sense. Apps as destinations makes less and less sense. Why open the Facebook app when you can get the content as a notification and take action — like something, comment on something — right there at the notification or OS level. I really believe screens of apps won't exist in a few years, other than buried deep in the device UI as a secondary navigation.

There's a followup article answering the critics.

The Danger

It's still an AlgebraOfFeeds but the danger is that it's also a WalledRiver, a reinvention of TV with a few trusted corporate channels. It's "Push" as envisaged by Wired in 1995.

Problem for Wiki

The irony of wiki, even ThoughtStorms is that we built stocks of knowledge, not flows.

And now, perhaps the stock is becoming more of a burden than a resource. Despite WikiGardening being a best case scenario for revisability. Was I over-optimistic in WikiIsPayingOff?

Is everything OnWiki wrong?

CardiganBay's InformationCard orientation obviously goes some way towards engaging this.

See Also