The Lazy and Smarter Web

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If you spend a lot of time reading web/tech blogs, you’ll be familiar with the concept of the "lazy web". The idea is instead of doing a lot of work researching/googling, you just ping/spam your social net with a question and get them to do the work for you.

I was accused of doing that in the comments to the peer producing the web 2.0 speech post:

I love when rich guys involved in tech ‘ask for help’ from the crowd
(i.e. get for free what well-to-do businessmen can easily pay for) and
then turn around and tell the audience how innovative and amazing it is
that we can all simply put a call out on the web for a collaborative
web 2.0 speech and it gets done! presto! amazing! I guarantee you that
this will be part of what he tells the audience. What a hustle. What is
this, AOL/Weblogs Inc.??

Write your own damn speech.

City File took the "lazy" meme a bit further with this post. I took the photo that anchors this post from the City File post because it really made me laugh. I think they got that photo from an old post on Gotham Gal’s blog. I am known in my family for being able to grab a 10 minute nap almost anywhere.

But I think the comment and the City File post miss the point. Yes, it’s much easier to post a simple question than do a ton of research and I am doing it more every day. I did it three times today on twitter:

1) where to get a good cup of coffee in new paltz, ny

2) who is a good yoga teacher in curitiba, brazil

3) where to get a good and inexpensive meal in the center of Edinburgh

I got great answers to all three questions (twuestions?) and none were for my benefit. The first was for a car full of tired and cranky people, the second was for my friend’s mom who lives in curitiba, and the third was for my daughter and her friends who are performing in the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh.

When you do these "lazy web" requests in a public forum, everyone can benefit because the answers are mostly public. Check out the web 2.0 speech wiki. I’ll get a lot of value from this, but it will be there on the web for as long as we keep our wiki going and I suspect that’s going to be a long time.

But there’s one other really important thing about the "lazy web". It’s smarter. My friend Vanessa looked at the first response to my question on yoga in Curitiba and saw it was a google result. She said to me "I can do that and have done it. It’s not a good yoga studio. I want a good one."

An hour or so later, I got a name of a person in Brazil who would know the answer. And that’s the direct hit we wanted. Google can’t do that. People can. And do. And do so publicly. And when I get value from lazy web queries, you can bet I’ll reciprocate when I am on the receiving end of them.

That’s all for now. I am off to take a 10 minute nap.

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