John Battelle speaks at Yahoo!

John Battelle drove his book reading tour through the Yahoo! campus today and spoke to a standing room only crowd.  I was intrigued that the questions from the crowd didn't concern Google but rather his perspectives on issues of privacy, marketing and the philosophical importance of search.  

He gave some interesting answers including one thought in particular about the search user interface that I also enjoyed from his book.  He talks about search as the logical next step in computer interface design from the operating system GUI.  "The OS GUI is about poking things.  You poke at the objects on the screen.  Search is a way of navigating computer data using language, the way we communicate with each other."  

When you put it in that perspective you start to think about what might come next.  I'm guessing that people will want to assemple knowledge and data and other digital things into their own personal environments.  I can't exactly see it in my mind, but if we went from poking things on our computer to talking at our computers, then I'm betting people will feel comfortable taking apart data and putting it back together to build things either on their own or with groups of people pretty soon.  We're building our online homes out there, progressing from lean-to's to huts to structured houses which will certainly be followed by mansions, condos and Trump Towers, no doubt.


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John Battelle speaks at Yahoo!