The Web, according to Jon Udell, is constructed of a number of small, easy to understand building blocks. Yet while billions of people make use of the Web every day, few really understand its fundamental concepts. This leads to a poor use of the Internet and greatly reduces the reach and effectiveness of the information produced.

According to Udell, by creating products and information services in accordance with the key concepts, we can make the Web a better place -- one that is is more useful to humanity as a whole.

Udell's seven key Web concepts:

  1. Authority
  2. Indirection
  3. Structure
  4. Naming
  5. Scope
  6. Publish / Subscribe
  7. Services

This morning at the J. Boye 2011 conference in Philadelphia Jon expanded on each of these ideas. In the following video is he spends 44 minutes digging through the details and illustrating them via a pet project called Elm City.

You may want to skip around if you're viewing this at work. We also apologize for the dim video lighting -- we were shooting in a low light environment with a bright background. Not ideal.

Here is a section index for the video: Topic Introduction (00:00-07:18), Elm City Example Project Intro (07:18-10:18), Authority Concept Discussion (10:19-14:39), Indirection Concept Discussion (14:40-19:28), Structure Concept Discussion (19:29-26:10), Naming Concept Discussion (26:11-34:34), Scope Concept Discussion (34:35-38:38), Publish/Subscribe Concept Discussion (38:39-41:10), Services Concept Discussion + Wrap-up (41:11-End).

What I enjoyed most about Jon's talk was the discussion of tags as information services. I think this is an extremely powerful idea and one that is probably under appreciated. We tend to rely on Google or some form of an index to locate information we want. But tags used well have almost the same mind-boggling power as a major search engine, without requiring anything like the same brain or CPU power. Jon illustrated this with a Yahoo! Pipes example and discussed the concepts more generally in the "Naming" part of the video (minutes 26:11-34:34).