The internet has moved, over time, from push to pull, and then back to push. In the next evolution, push might be even more important.

AOL, the big U.S. ISP in the early days, largely relied on a push model, aggregating content it believed most people would be interested in. Then, with the World Wide Web, the internet moved to a “pull” model, where people knew what they wanted, and asked for it.

In the next big era, push likely will become even more powerful.

Pull is user-initiated. The best example is “search,” where a user seeks information, usually an answer to a question. Google providers the best example.

Push is internet app initiated, where an app sends you information the app believes you value, without any action on your part. Facebook provides a good example of push.

The killer app for push is social networks. Information is pushed from user to user using likes, shares or tweets. Now, people push items. In the next wave, powerful artificial intelligence engines will scour vast data stores to figure out what each user likes, values and wants, and then delivers it, with no direct action on the part of any user.

In a sense, apps on the internet can initiate action and push content and items to each user, based on data mining based on use of machine learning and artificial intelligence.