Inspiration Often Comes Unexpectedly


Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy. Picture credit:

I visited Florence, Italy in the summer of 2008 and dedicated four to five hours touring the Uffizi Gallery, looking at famous paintings. I particularly paid attention to the paintings of Madonna by artists over several centuries. I had an observation that I found shocking. I wrote about it in the preface of the book, “The Smart Internet” (2010).

“It dawned on me that what would have been thought of as an obvious advancement to art from flat imagery of Madonna by Pietro Lorenzetti, 1340, to a realistic 3D imagery of Madonna by Raphael, 1505, actually took two centuries! Studying the progression of these images of Madonna inspired me to imagine the obvious advancement that the twenty-year old internet needed.”

Many seemingly silly questions popped into mind:

  • Why should I be happy when I ask a question to a search engine, instead of giving me an answer, it gives me a list of links that I have to crawl through myself, hoping that the answer is buried somewhere that the links point to?
  • Why can’t I task over the web the same way I browse?
  • Why the silos of the web can’t be bridged for agile, useful integration, in the way each web users want it?
  • Why we expose the web architectural artifacts to our web users and how come they don’t seem to mind?
  • And a whole lot more ….

A few years later, opportunities allow me to pursue for answers to only a few of these questions. The path since has been risky, adventurous and fulfilling!

This planted the seed for the work of web tasking #webtasking .


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