The 5 Needs of Internet Tools

“So why did YouTube catch on? Simple — free storage.” – Dave Winer

Exactly. In YouTube’s case, I’d also throw in format conversion. Converting video into a format that is small and viewable by anyone with a Flash player is a opaque and geeky process. The reason they clicked – they did the conversion and spit back the html code.

This reminds me of this Help Needed Here checklist. Right now, it’s a list of 5 areas where our current tools aren’t that helpful. While it will rarely make sense for any single tool to provide answers to all 5, the more the better.

  • Aggregation (everything that’s interesting to me in one spot)
  • Bandwidth (so we won’t need to worry about becoming popular)
  • Conversion (video formats, presentation formats, bandwidth, and devices)
  • Filtering (Spam, news, etc)
  • Storage (video, audio, games, backups, sharing)

I’ve explicitly left off ‘community’ because these 5 attributes are pre-requisites for an online community.