We all know that, to the external observer, “surfing the web” better resembles stumbling home at 3:30 AM than anything else. There is no majestic riding along the face of single breaking wave. That is a fairytale. We stumble across the Internet. One word, one concept, one random message can send us going in 100 different directions.
For instance, for the writing of this post, I wikipedia-ed “surfing”, checked out Scott McCloud’s TED speech, followed @ScottMcCloud on Twitter, searched for last week’s 30 Rock episode (but found it inaccessible from Israel), opened up www.Mahalo.com for a moment (OK, it was a bit longer than a moment), went to www.stumbledupon.com, after seeing weird quotations realized that I was looking for http://www.stumbleupon.com, and then I stopped because I was getting too sidetracked.
Firefox doesn’t help the situation. We open scores of tabs, to the point where it would require both a forensic investigator and a psychologist to try and ascertain what you did last night and why.
My mother would ask “why do we care?” A valid question, everywhere but on the Social Web. Sites like Digg and Stumbleupon have millions of visitors a month, solely because we do care what other people think about interesting content on the web. We click on links on Twitter and Facebook, because we enjoy having someone else choose our content for us.
While every piece of information that I looked at fits into the puzzle of this blog post in some way, the same articles would have an extremely different effect on anyone else.
The site that I am talking about is called qwiji.com. I know, it seems that the cofounders, CEO Erez Shemesh and CTO Yaniv Hakim simply threw Scrabble letters onto the table and chose a name that way. (Hence the 30 Rock reference.)
To describe it succinctly, qwiji allows a user to create a “web show” comprised of other sites, pages, and videos located on the Web, arrange them in whatever order you want, and to affix an explanation or an ongoing commentary on the bottom.
In math, we learn that a single point cannot teach us anything, we need multiple points to teach directionality or anything else. When we only share a single link, devoid of anything else, the receiver lacks our context.
qwiji enables us to share both content and context. To paint a picture with multiple points, as opposed to just one.
The co-founders consciously did not raise money for qwiji, showing that bootstrapping, especially in the environment, is the way to go.
The result is a tool that can allow people, who may not have the patience or abilities to write blogs or record video, to still inform people about their worldview.