Sunday, October 25, 2009

Are the iPhone and social networks making the classic Web and intranet obsolete?

There’s been an important and relatively sudden change taking place over the last couple of years in the way that we interact with the Web. While direct access or search activity has been (and still is) the most common way that we access the content and applications of the Web, new ways have been rapidly growing and competing with how we work online, both at home and at work.

These new models, exemplified by social networking sites like Facebook or mobile apps on platforms like the iPhone, Palm’s new webOS, and Android, seems to be heralding a change in the way that we work with our IT systems in the enterprise.

The once relatively unified world of the Internet, with a few major top-level types of access directly connected to it (browser, e-mail, IRC client, newsreader, etc.) and a few key sub-apps such as search that virtually everyone online used have been extended — as well as fragmented — into popular new channels into which user sare now rapidly moving en masse.

That’s not to say that direct usage of the Internet (loading up and using sites and apps via the traditional Web browser) is going away. It’s still far and away the most common way to interact with the Web today and will likely be that way for quite some time, if not forever.

But real shifts in both online platform alternatives and in the mobile market are beginning to usher in foundational new usage patterns by users. These new channels — of which the latest generation of mobile apps and social networking platforms, which are often tightly integrated with the Web but are not truly one with it, are just the two biggest examples — demonstrate what is probably a generational transformation of the vital border between us and the Internet.

And this is the crux of the point: Where the point of user attention and interaction resides and who controls it is one of the most important conversations between us and our “preferred intermediaries”, a fancy term for who we like to work with to get interact with the Web. This in turn has significant implications for enterprise intranets, our often clunky yet essential local “Web” in our organizations.

All credits and information was found by zdnet.


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