I set up a test webdoc to briefly commemorate the life of Space: 1999 production designer Keith Wilson.
And, so far, I’ve had three astonishing replies that really illustrate the untapped power of webdoc when it’s put in the hands of the right people.
And it occurred to me that this is exactly the kind of thing people have tried to do on Twitter.
When people are having a discussion about something, they share links. But this is Twitter, and there’s zero permanancy (a prime reason why I no longer use it). And having to click link after link gets old fast.
Having webdoc as part of Twitter would be its collaborative-creation and permanent reference component.
People on Twitter try to do ad-hoc collaborations by using the hashtag (#). What if there was a pipe hashtag that also sent something to a webdoc that’s automagically set up when that pipe hashtag was invoked? Instead of just “#” it could be “+#” (plus hashtag — a nice swipe at Google+).
So if I send out a tweet with an URL and end it with, say, +#nzeq (which was the hashtag used for the New Zealand earthquake), that URL gets sent to a webdoc with that title (nzeq) and the link is embedded as webdoc would do it: a web snippet or video or other kind of insertion.
That way, instead of people having to click link after link to see what’s been covered, there’s a webdoc to scroll through that shows more information as it comes in — and it’s permanent.
And because it’s permanent, people will always have something to refer to instead of trying to extract their too-old tweets via Search Twitter or Topsy or Snapbird just to find a link they need again.
What’s more, Twitter could also set it up so that each person has a webdoc that also automagically sends URLs they generally send out (without a plus-hashtag) to a webdoc under their username.
Just imagine all the rich webdocs that would result, filled with quality web snippets, photos, video, and more. It’d be a powerhouse of information that would also attract traffic on its own.
I know I’d rather refer people to an ongoing Twitter webdoc where my photos are posted than sending them to TwitPic or yfrog or another service.
Twitter also needs to ditch its silly idea of spamming people with advertising tweets. They could place sidebar ads in webdocs and have higher-quality demographics.
Twitter has gone well beyond the point of being used for trivia by many people (especially the people I have Followed). webdoc is the tool Twitter needs to keep the grown-ups who want it to do more and to keep its younger users from being stolen by other services.