The Advent of Next Generation Browsing


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Today I'm releasing the first of a series of white papers on Kynetx and what it's trying to accomplish: The Advent of Next Generation Browsing (PDF). I introduce the problem in the first few paragraphs like so:

We are mired in a tangle of architectural legacies that make today's Web browsing experience uncomfortable, confusing, and tiresome for many users. In particular, the lack of Web site independent identity has hampered the ability of the browser to effectively intermediate the Web on the user's behalf. But change is coming and we are about to witness a significant improvement in the nature of Web browsing---indeed, the nature of the browsing experience is about to change forever.

In the early days of the Internet, companies sought to give users the benefit of a consistent experience by building portals that integrated multiple activities. Portals are now mostly a thing of the past; a few large examples such as Yahoo! and MSN still exist, but by and large they have fallen victim to what must be the most important law of the Web: a different site is only a click away. As users sought out the best sites for any given purpose, the browsing experience fractured and became ad hoc. As a result, disaggregation of Web sites and services is now the norm.

An example from the world of ecommerce illustrates this. Shoppers use search engines like Google or Yahoo! to find a product and choose an online retailer from the search results. Before buying they might research products at independent review sites like Epinions.com and Viewpoint.com. They might discuss those same products on myriad blogs, Twitter, and social networking sites like Facebook.

As we'll see, disaggregation causes users to manage too much of the experience themselves. This situation is untenable and must change. Fortunately, three major technology trends are creating the needed opening for improving the browsing experience.

Certainly I can't hope, in a short blog post, to lay out the vision that the white paper carefully develops in many pages. You'll have to read it to get the full story; but, we structure the browsing experience using explicit episode context to the benefit of users and Web-site operators. This paper explains why that's desirable and explains the system we've developed to make it happen. I hope you'll take a few minutes to review the paper and let me know your thoughts.

I should mention that we owe a great debt to Craig Burton for patiently working with us to clarify and strengthen our vision. He worked magic and has our gratitude. I'd recommend him without reservation to anyone developing a product vision and strategy.