... see "100th Monkey"
A right spooky coincidence: within an hour of commiting a comment on RWW's "Web3.0" post I came across an astonishing resonance in another blog: thanks to Richard McManus's (quite unrelated) tweet I found myself in "one company, ten brands: lessons from retail for tech companies" at Danah Boyd's "apophenia :: making connections where none previously existed". ("Making connections" indeed! This has got me muttering "co-emergence"!)
A piece of that post practically echoed what I had written so slightly earlier that same evening, i.e.
"Personalization is more than skinning and moving modules around. Give me a blank slate and let me add modules that might be relevant to me. Alternatively, make some good initial guesses based on what you know about me and let me modify them from the getgo"That accords perfectly with what I had just wrote ... not an hour earlier. (I know there's a fine term for "oddly coincidental" ... I thought "xenosynchrony" and now can't think of it.)
In RWW's "Web3.0 is About Personalization" I had commented thusly [slightly edited for readability]:
"I'm going to suggest a slight refinement to "personalization" ... not a contradiction, not at all, but taking a vector away from the most immediately obvious sense of O'Brien's "decentralized asynchronous me."
Thinking of a typical FaceBook or MySpace page *OMG, a stabbing pain in my forehead!* what comes to mind is, well, typical DailyMe. My books, my new"friends", rel-me rel-me rel-me or the most superficial sort.
How about s/personalization/customization ... yaa, that stuff.
Why should I have to accept FaceBook's look? MySpace trolled all sorts of activity by letting folk /really/ personalize ... at least the look.
Why not extend that? Best practices of NetVibes + MySpace + FaceBook ... functionality, permissions, inclusions, feeds, widgets, controls, buttons, the whole enchilada.
And what happens in the end? Users will have in effect one seamless interface ... "sites" disappear; their functionalities appear on the fully customized interface as though services.
There's nothing http that isn't virtual ... so why are their constraints so real and actual?
Fine, sites and companies plow a lot into design, sure. But if they succeed in attracting users, what is there about limiting the user's abilities that leads to retention? A: nuthin' at all. Get'em in, sign'em up, then turn'em loose ... stream them what they want in whatever wrapper they want. Brand what's viewed, not the viewport.
Anyhow, betcha a least a majority will opt for default settings."
I wrapped up my comment at "apophenia" with this: "I'll add something in this context: information providers have to realize that the medium may be the message, but the packaging is not the product. (And if it's otherwise then I hope they go out of business pronto.)"
p.s. just a thought ... I won't tweet this one: anybody who thinks Web2.0 is actually and truly "social" has a sadly, a frighteningly empoverished view of human nature. We don't just want better ... we need better. We deserve better. Is all.