finders keepers, movers weepers

The next two steps of the web are discoverability and movability.  Finding information will become much harder.  I can see a world where insurance agencies become the custodians of your digital information and you are able to call upon them to retrieve records and important facts on-demand.  Discovery will become more and more impossible and humans will rely on artificial intelligence to filter, infer, and make recommendations on their behalf.

Once we overcome the discovery problem, we will enter a new set of challenges around re-discovering that which we’ve already found.  You don’t want to climb back in the haystack all over again to get the same needle.  It's too expensive.  The initial find will happen on your behalf.  At the moment of want or need when the initial find occurs, contextual metadata will be added to the thing that is found so that multiple dimensions are used to re-surface it and make it more discoverable the second time around.  The more you ask for a thing, the more we know about the context in which you wanted such a thing.  Situational discovery will give more power to the consumer to help them navigate a sea of choice in their digital life to pick out only the parts that matter at that particular moment of want or need.

Once that information is found, it must be movable.  The information should follow me and walk side by side with me as I go down the street, into my car, and sit down on my couch at home.  Where I move information and the context-aware nature of the devices of which content is moved to will further enrich the thing to help identify what’s most relevant to me, as far as recommendations, at any given moment based on the current context. 

Last week, I found myself in a situation where I was unable to move a file from my computer to someone else’s computer by emailing it to them.  The network was down for maintenance and there was no jump drive in sight.  This is a case of movers weepers.