As with standards, the problem with convergences is that there are so many to choose from. When the subject is digital convergence we often start with devices and media, which leads to a barrage of questions: Can I watch movies on my notebook PC? Can my Bluetooth cell phone double as a modem? Can my Internet connection replace my long-distance phone service? Increasingly, the answer to these questions is yes. But it's often hard to see the forest for the trees. There is an organizing principle here, identity, but it too is plural. Users, devices, networks, and services all have identities. More than convergence of devices and data types, it is a convergence of identity that we seek. [Full story at InfoWorld.com.]
Note: I made the diagram shown here, which ended up not fitting into the magazine, for two reasons. First, I wanted to try to think visually about various aspects of convergence. Second, I wanted to test-drive the OmniGraffle diagramming software that was bundled with the TiBook I am using. It turned out to be a useful way to conceptualize the story, but I was disappointed with OmniGraffle. It's no Visio in terms of power and flexibility. And the text handling is really buggy; I had to repeatedly save and restart.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2003/02/03.html#a592