What I Would Have Written in 2006 (A Goodbye For Now)

I've decided to say goodbye by telling you about all the things I would have written about in 2006, since I won't be around (where I'm going). Here goes...

Web 2.0: This blog has been free from much of the Web 2.0 hype as I've wrapped my mind around this new world of the Web. In 2006, I would have been clear about my version of Web 2.0 and accepted it as a descriptor of the next generation of the Web. My basic tenet of Web 2.0 would have been the lowering of barriers- that the new class of tools and ideas are finally giving geeky power to non-geeks, something long overdue.

Social Design: I would have continued to push Social Design as a profession. With so much emphasis on social websites, there need to be more people focused on understanding community technology/concepts and designing sites that enable people to connect and collaborate in new and more effective ways.

Blogs: I would have continued to chronicle how blogs are changing business and the face of what we consider an online community.

Online Community: I would have challenged what I've previously referred to as "traditional online communities", which means the message board-based communities on the Web. 2006 would have been a time to look at the short-comings of message boards and the conflicting social pressures that make resources like blogs and wikis valuable community tools.

Folksonomies - I would have continued to be an advocate for the use of tags as a better way to organize content, particularly for community websites.

New Community Management: I would have become a voice in promoting the new methods of managing online communities. I would have called this "Power to the People" and it would have focused on bottom-up community management where the aggregation of tiny community member actions can be used to make a community more compelling and smooth running. Actions are such things ratings, tags, votes, views, flagged posts, etc.

Gadgetry: I would have been focused on mobile devices and all the exciting products and services that will change the way we think about the web and community. Mobile blogging would have been a big focus.

Simplicity: I would have become a more vocal advocate for simplicity and "less is more". I would have built on the 37 Signals ideas and urged social designers to focus on doing 2-3 things really well and not try to be everything to everyone.

RSS: I would have continued to figure out the best ways to maximize RSS reading from my personal perspective. At some point, I would have written a guide to getting started with RSS reading to go along with the "RSS in Plain English" post.

OPML: I would have been an advocate for OPML, at least to the extent that I understand it's capabilities. I would have watched the use of OPML in packaging RSS feeds for easy sharing. I would have also chronicled the new services that will offer to package the best RSS feeds in OPMLs for specific niches. I would have written "OPML in Plain English".

Seattle - I would have continued to document the growth of Seattle as one of the global centers of Web innovation and growth.

Companies - I would have become more evangelistic about the companies that I believe "get it". A few of examples include local folks at The Robot Co-op and Judy's Book and Bryght in Vancouver, who hosts Drupal sites.

Community Platforms - I would have become even more vocal about open source and specifically the Drupal platform, which is poised to become a best-of-class application for community websites.

Plain English Descriptions: I would have continued to provide descriptions of technologies like RSS and Wikis in a language that non-technical people can understand.

And so, this is goodbye for many, many months. Thanks so much for reading over the last 2.5 years, your participation and support has been absolutely wonderful and encouraging. Weblogs do work.

Please keep the fire burning for me and follow our travels on the website that will be our home more than any other place in 2006: The World is not Flat (TwinF).