Social Software Links for October 1st, 2008: Of Google Hive Minds and Friending Obsolescence

Links on a theme in today’s roundup.

Union Square Ventures: Why The Flow Of Innovation Has Reversed:

. It used to be that innovation started with NASA, flowed to the military, then to the enterprise, and finally to the consumer. Today, it is the reverse. All of the most interesting stuff is being built first for consumers and is tricking back to the enterprise. I suggested that one reason this is happening is that the success of a web service is more often determined by its social engineering than its electrical engineering.

Jeremiah Owyang (of Forrester Research): Why ‘Friending’ Will Be Obsolete:

Like a baby, we’re teaching the ‘system’ our language, how to walk, how to coexist in our real flesh and blood world, the ‘system’ is just starting to show intelligence. One primary example of this is the use of hashtags in Twitter. We use the # sign to tag content so it’s easily to organize and find. That one # character isn’t native to our tongue (unless when you recite your grocery list and say “hashtag”) it’s another example of us speaking machine language in order to teach the system.

For example, I started a social experiment on Sunday, where I encouraged folks to tweet related music artists using the tag “#relatedmusic” you can see the database form when you search for that term -If we had enough people do this in my -and your- network we’d be able to build a reference engine that other music reccomendations services could pull from.

Search Engine Land: Danny Sullivan: The Google Hive Mind:

As Google turns 10 years old, that important birthday sees the company more powerful than ever before. With its competitors in disarray, the Big G seems likely to grow even further. The secret to its success? For me, it’s what I’ve been calling the “Google Hive Mind. ” Rather than follow a rigid top-down master plan, the company’s direction and success has been shaped by decisions often taken independently of how they’ll benefit the company as a whole. But collectively, those decisions DO form a master plan, a hive mind that dictates what the company will do.

Phil Windley’s Technometria: Alan Kay: Is Computer Science an Oxymoron?:

One of Alan’s undergraduate degrees is in molecular biology. He can’t understand it anymore despite having tried to review new developments every few years. That’s not true in computer science. The basics are still mostly the same. If you go to most campuses, there is a single computer science department and the first course in computer science is almost indistinguishable from the first course in 1960. They’re about data structures and algorithms despite the fact that almost nothing exciting about computing today has to do with data structures and algorithms.

The Internet is like the human body. It’s replaced all of its atoms and bits at least twice since it started even though the Internet has never stopped working. Attacks on the ‘Net aren’t really attacks on the ‘Net, they’re attacks on machines on the ‘Net. Very few software systems, maybe none, are built in ways that sustain operation in spite of being continually rebuilt and continually growing.