The Pushbutton Web

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In a high-level tech-philosophic fashion, the ever-thoughtful Anil Dash writes about The Pushbutton Web, and the technology pieces, approaches and standards that must fit into place for “real time” to become actually “real time.”

Quote from Anil:

“Pushbutton is a name for what I believe will be an upgrade for the web, where any site or application can deliver realtime messages to a web-scale audience, using free and open technologies at low cost and without relying on any single company like Twitter or Facebook. The pieces of this platform have just come together to enable a whole set of new features and applications that would have been nearly impossible for an average web developer to build in the past.

I love Anil’s use of the word “pushbutton” as a metaphor for what is taking place. For me, it works so much better than “realtime” or, please no, Web 3.0. It not only implies speed, it also implies “ease” — the speed and ease we are moving towards whereby anyone can express themselves in any number of ways — and in a fashion that flows throughout the web, but within a context of community, conversation and collaboration.

The first time I ever heard the word “pushbutton” used in a way that relates to the web was when the web service Blogger.com (before Google bought it) used the word in describing their service as “pushbutton publishing.”

On June 11, 2003, I wrote this (#5) the following in a post called “reflections on blogging”:

“‘Push-button publishing’ is a great phrase from Jason Shellen of Blogger to describe the technical phenomenon that enables bloggin. I used to call the smallbusiness.com platform a content management system for user-generated content. I later marveled at the simplicity of weblog platforms like Manila. I am convinced (philosophically, not as an investor, however) that the marriage of simple push-button publishing tools and incredible search technology will be as significant as anything we’ve seen so far in the Internet. I think the marriage of those two streams of development will bring into reality what we were trying to do at smallbusiness.com.

I understand now why it is important that not just one company should control anything as vital as “the pushbutton web” — but I think I started on a journey of comprehending what exactly that means many years ago.