From Complexity to Emergence : #IAMTALKS : The Bigger Picture of Internet Culture

John V. Willshire - Smithery

During his talk at IAM Weekend 16, John V. Willshire, Founder of Smithery, asked the most fundamental question of all when considering internet culture: how does the internet work? According to Paul Adams, “we are currently witnessing a re-architecture of the web, away from pages and destinations, towards completely personalised experiences built on an aggregation of many individual pieces of content”, a phenomenon that presents a challenge for designers seeking to respond to it.

A way to overcome this problem, John analogised, can be found in playing cards. Even though we can change what goes on the face of each card, the mechanics of dealing, shuffling, ordering, stacking, turning, spreading and rearranging are timeless. By creating adaptable, versatile units, the designers of playing cards made them as future-proof as possible, and we can apply this approach to the Internet, too.

With trends, viral sharing and disruption, the internet can be both self-fulfilling and unpredictable. We can’t strategise for this, but John asserted that we can observe, decide and act with the mechanics of the Internet, not against them, allowing us to constantly reassess and tackle new challenges.


Read more about The Bigger Picture of the Internet Culture on IAM Journal

John V. Willshire
Founder, Smithery

⏳ 19 min.

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