Sunday, July 22, 2007

Web 2.0 Trendmap using Web 1.0 approach

Over the last few days I've recieved emails and seen posts about the Information Architects 2007 Web Trend Map. The map attempts to map out current web trends using the Tokyo subway map as the basis for design. Unlike a few commentators at TechCrunch I always find these things thought provoking. But I couldn't help but feel that some of the data was probably out of date before the site went live. For example, Last FM and Pandora both show nice conditions ahead. But recent discussions about royalty rates tell a very different story. I don't think you'd have to look too closely at the map to find many similar anomolies. The reason for this problem is that the approach to the map is too Web 1.0. The data is static and must await a process of review and revision before changes can be made. Compare that to a web 2.0 approach were the data is harvested from a web service or user contributions (or a combination of both). Obviously the design needs to be fairly static. It would be difficult to get the map to redraw itself based on dynamic data. But there is no reason that each node and it's icons couldn't be dynamically generated. This would remove the irony of having a static image attempting to map the dynamic culture of the contemporary web.

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