The way people effectively obtain information in the digital world is something people have been exploring since the invention of the Internet, and is largely shaped by the collective status of consumable data and personal devices (e.g. from desktop to mobile devices)
- At the earliest stage, we had very limited consumable data (mainly webpages) on the Internet, so the most efficient way for people to find what they needed was with directories (e.g. Yahoo! Directory and also @elon's zip2).
- Then we had many more webpages later on, and we started to have search engines that will give people what they look for (e.g. Yahoo! Search and Google).
- And some sites starts to become dynamic - they constantly update content and information, so there came RSS, which helped people to keep updated. These link-based dissemination channels are also the backbone of what later became social medias.
- As people created more personal data online and mobile devices became more prominent, algorithm-based recommendations became popular as they give you “what you want” without knowing what you are looking for or whom you care about.
Web3 can be similar in terms of how we disseminate information as the number and quality of information created in the decentralized world grows over time:
- There are things like dApp lists, which are still popular at the moment which will help you direct to a dApp within the finite directory.
- There are explorers like etherscan which allows the simplest form of activity look-ups on a single network.
- There are feeds like RSS3 which provides aggregated and human-readable feed across different networks.
- There are projects working on more sophisticated forms of search which may further enable a “Google-like” experience for Web3.
- There are also projects working on transparent, privacy-preserving and decentralized algorithms (e.g. federated learning) which may work in the future.
We can’t expect the exact same things to happen to Web3, as Web3 draws challenges from its unique characteristics:
- “Information quality” is lower: ① Most information are not created to be consumed, as opposed to Web1 and Web2. For now, most information on Web3 are by-products of transactions; ② People create low quality information for existing and potential incentives 3. data out of mistakes could not be deleted, even though the data creator is willing to. So unavoidable, junk information is more and more.
- High variety of information: compared to Web1 where most information is constructed with html, Web3 faces various type of information including assets, content, social activities, governance, and more.
- Multiple existences: the basic unit of existence in Web3 is generally an address, which has activities across different networks, since the public key authentication mechanism is independent of any authority.
- Open data but not the open intention: Data in Web3 is publicly accessible, but not all data carries the user’s will to publicize. Some out of spam-related reasons, some out of the privacy-related issue.
- Open yet limited access: compared to Web1, where requests for different urls are targeted toward these urls, data for Web3 are typically provided by RPC providers that allows limited access.
- Need for interpretation: information on decentralized networks generally needs to be cleaned, assembled, and organized into human-readable items.
Now with these challenges, projects are trapped with the most elementary ways for information dissemination, and are having a hard time delivering targeted information to apps and users in need through an effective way.
If there is an easy way to access interpreted information in a standardized way from the whole Web3 world, more exciting information channels can be constructed easily, and users will experience advanced search engines and feeds in an unobtrusive and yet efficient way.
And yes, we do this at @rss3_
First appeared here