So part of my job is to try and anticipate what is the future of social media and the internet. This is a difficult thing. There are many smart people all trying to make their best guess as to the future of the intenet based on the past, how the different paradigms have evolved and what they feel will be the next way of communicating with each other.
I watched Tim Berners-Lee’s presentation on TED today and it was very interesting. Tim is the creator of the internet and it’s interesting to think what our world would be like had he not created what he did. What if a company had done that. Would the internet be as open and free as it is today?
I also watched Kevin Kelly’s presentation (also on TED) in which he talked about the next 5,000 days of the web and what the first 5,000 days were like.
It’s very easy to see how the web has progressed but difficult to predict what is next. Web 1.o and Web 2.0 (which we are currently in) and now the future of the web (Web 3.0). There is a lot of focus on social media and social networks. I consider a social network to be a place (either a time or location) in which at least 2 people are having a conversation. The internet has enabled us to have conversations in real-time and in delayed time.
I get asked the question fairly often and that question is: what’s the next big thing in the internet?
Well, that’s really difficult to predict. Who could predict Google? Or Facebook? I don’t think anyone really saw that coming and those who did, how do you really capitalize on it?
If the majority of your customers are using existing networks and resources, does it make sense to be on the next “big” thing? Many times, no. The point of social media is to join the conversations which are happening about you. No matter where they are.
But, I see the future of the internet as continuing to be more open and having more access to information. Which I think we will start to feel overwhelmed with at a certain point and go back to being interested in only small pockets of resources. I’m online more than I would bet 95% of people. Hell, it’s my job. And I find the amount of information online overwhelming sometimes. I used to check 3 or 4 websites per day and now I barely have time to read Seth’s blog some days. The internet has every conceivable bit of information we could want. And we complain that it’s slow. Woe is us. But really, the internet is a machine. The largest, most powerful, most intelligent machine that has ever existed. And the future of that machine is what we make of it. Which I think will be a return to a more simple time. One in which we choose which information we receive and we finally don’t have to worry about pesky spam emails, popup ads and all the bullshit that exists online.