Matter meets mind
Just as the railroad revolutionized life in the nineteenth century, the internet has created spaces increasingly revolutionized by new ways of communicating ideas and transporting goods. The progression of technology is the same in both cases:
A new territory is discovered.
Surveys are undertaken and maps are created.
Communities are established in newly mapped out areas.
Community services are created for the new immigrants.
The railroad clearly led to all four; the internet has just about reached the third stage. To put it crudely, the internet era started when the basic networking protocols were established and the first websites were created. Then came Yahoo and Google as surveyors, mapping out the newly created terrain, followed in the third stage by Facebook which started creating communities.
The next wave of the internet will involve creating community services: health, education, politics, entertainment located in the geography of the internet.
The demand for community services will spill over from the world of information into the world of of matter, from the digital to the analog. The merger of the two - digital + analog = digpan - will increasingly be the story of the web.