The importance of being offline

The more time I spend online the bigger fan of offline activities I become. Julian Baldwin took a week off the FriendFeed never-ending conversation. Mark Evans is stepping away from the keyboard and looking for an inspiration. My mother has been disconnected for almost 10 years after she used to email me when I was in the United States back in 1999.

But do not get me wrong. I like FriendFeed as it saves my time and increases the communication efficiency. It is also a highly addictive substance but I have fortunately managed to use it wisely which means on-demand. I usually check the latest posts (read Scoble-Gray-Arrington show), then “Best of day” (Arrington-Scoble-Gray) and “Best of week” (Gray-Arrington-Scoble). I do it only if I have time and want to know what people are talking about at the moment. Just to make it clear: unlike the majority of FF users I am not refreshing in 24/7 mode.

The most discussions are around what application is going to be the next big thing. Twitter experiences its traditional scalability issues as the servers can not keep up with a steep user growth. Thus our interests shift to FriendFeed that brings a new level of conversation comfort. Let’s go further: what platform is going to rule the world? Facebook, OpenSocial? How about dataportability and open APIs? What a brilliant idea: mobile web with a social dimension. But will it work? Is the web itself the future platform? All these questions and discussions about technology issues necessarily end up with the word “monetization” and a big question mark.

If we really want to find the holy grail of the internet (= the killer app), we should step back and think. I spend most money offline and do not think this is an exception. If I were building the web application, I would definitely monetize it offline. Grabbing a portion of the big offline market pie seems to be a more realistic goal than creating new virtual markets. In fact, that is exactly what we want to do with Live Concerts 🙂