SXSW 2015: Interconnected: The Future of the Experience Web

Dries Buytaert
Founder & Project Lead, Drupal/CTO & Co-Founder, Acquia

Presentation Description

We’re in the middle of a digital evolution. In 10 years, we won’t recognize the current form factor of the website. Here’s why.

The first wave of the web was open: anyone could build a website and get found through search engines or social media. The second wave was mobile, leading entire nations to leapfrog the initial desktop — and laptop-centric web. And we’ve just scratched the surface of the third wave: the experience web. It’s driven by internet-connected-everything, and it’s all around us. This third wave gives control to a few intermediaries — particularly companies that own the entire experience. How can a local Indian restaurant deliver the right experience to a passenger in Google’s self-driving car? The key is mastering context and delivering personalized content to meet consumers where they are.

Dries Buytaert, creator of Drupal & Acquia co-founder, will discuss how we’ll interact with companies and each other in this freewheeling third wave of the experience web.

Presentation Notes

Drupal powers 1 in 40 websites worldwide.

Started a company Acquia (600+ employees) that builds products and tooling for Drupal.

  • Super Bowl
  • Tesla

The future of the web

For 100s of years before the industrial revolution we had the “Age of Guilds” where people created beautiful products. People had to be really good at their job, and be really good sales people. Because of these relationships, they had a lot of custom products at high quality.

After the Industrial Revolution we added speed, efficiency, and low cost. But e lost one-on-one, customization, and high quality.

Over time, some of these things started to come back, but what we really never got was the one-on-one personalization.

We’re moving from a world where it’s a Pull, to where it’s a Push and the Web will start to come to us.

  • He wrote an article: The Big Reverse of The Web
  • Flip Board: You tell it what you want, and it pushes those to you.
  • Pinterest: Pushes more products to you as it gets usesd to what you’re viewing. The next logical step would be for them to add a “Buy” button on products.
  • Facebook: Really makes it easy to stay in touch with your friends and family.
  • Google Now: Events, Air B&B, Pandora all now pushes to you.
  • Music: Traditionally you had to tune into a challenge, but now that’s being disrupted through Pandora and similar companies.

What do they have in common?

  • Aggregated
  • Condensed
  • Personalizes
  • Actionable
  • Streaming

The Pull vs. Push Experience

If it’s your friend’s birthday and you get a notification, you have to do a lot of work and research to determine what he wants for his birthday, read reviews, and buy it.

Imagine if there was a push to you with a one-spot-shop of suggestions of things to buy them.

The real kicker is that no one person has all the data. Amazon knows your purchase history, but Facebook knows your social graph. By being able to merge Content, Commerce, and Community you have a lot of power. Identity is also a key part of this.

It’s one thing for Amazon to recommend products, or Facebook to recommend friends, but it starts to get creepy when Amazon starts recommending things based on your friends. You should be up-front about what you’re doing with people’s data.

Common push architecture

Content is published, and added to “cards”. Aggregators take the cards from many brands. The aggregators have a filter system that filters items on personal contexts for each individual. Out of that filter system comes cards in a curated stream that can be shown on a mobile device, computer, etc. Users can then take actions (buy something, reply to a comment, etc). Whatever the action you take, there will be an opportunity for the filter system to adjust and learn.

  • Creation
  • Aggregation
  • Delivery
  • Commerce

What does this enable?

This allows us to create one-on-one relationships again, putting identity back into the middle.

  • Bespoke
  • Trunk Club

The Push web disrupts everything.


The open web is closing since such big players control everything. If you use Google, and you search for a previous Amazon order in Google, it‘ll show you your order emails now. Google also has Ad-Words on many sites and they’re following and watching you.

Traditional media or services go on life support, such as news papers. Mediators who were between content and users are being replaced. Even classrooms can be replaced by a personal experience that is curated to your learning style or confusion. Healthcare will be more worry free as wearables get more advanced.

  • Open source will save the open web.
  • Although privacy is a concern, it will enable real-world security and people will be more safe.
  • The free press will be more free than ever.
  • Education will be more accessible than ever.
  • Push will put people over technology.
Posted in SXSW 2015.

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