We’re all nodes on the network

Keith Schacht| July 2nd, 2013
Post to Twitter

While walking down Mission St the other day, my plans changed unexpectedly and I needed to get to Market St. I pulled out my phone and within 2 minutes a Lyft driver was pulling up and giving me a ride. It hit me that this is now possible because we’re all nodes on the network. Between 2000-2005 every computer that was out there became a node on the network, but people weren’t nodes. Even though everyone was on AIM, I could only reach you if you were sitting in front of your computer. But in the last 5 years, now that we all have internet connected devices in our pocket, it’s funny to realize that *we* are now nodes on the network.

However, right now our nodes are not that interesting. Most of us only have one port open. It’s the “chat” port. I can call/text everyone but that’s about it. This is like the internet when interacting with computers consisted of Finger and Gopher.

But thanks to Lyft there are now ~10,000 people in the city of SF who have the “driving” port opened on their node. And Lyft runs a directory service where I can scan all open ports and benefit from a people node on the network in a way I never could before.

What other ports will soon be open on the people nodes? What other directory services need to exist? Facebook Graph search looks all the more interesting from this perspective.

One Response to “We’re all nodes on the network”

  1. Alexandra T. Greenhill Says:
    August 7th, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Great perspective – #love it!
    We are building the “we can help you with childcare” version – matching capacity to help with the frazzled parents who need assistance (whether regularly or last minute). As a parent of three, after ten years of using the alternatives, it was exciting to see our solution come to life and even more exciting to see real families benefit :)

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