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Some thoughts on the future of the web

There were a lot of predictions for the web in 2008 that always arrive with the coming of a new year. I read several with no reaction, but then Brian Suda’s “What to expect in 2008” came to my attention and I had some reaction.

The Facebook discussion seems accurate, but I was more interested in the fact that blogs may be the next level of social networking and that social networking may be in the process of being more attractive and alive with meaning. People sharing their ideas is perhaps richer than compiling lists of friends trying to impress or attract more friends.

Pull is dead was interesting because I am very involved with pull technologies such as aggregation of blogs for my research. The technical aspects of push related to federated systems and saving bandwidth makes sense and this is an advance in how networks will evolve. But more interesting is the concept of social networks having centralized spaces where integration between various systems can come together. This would make networking much simpler and everyone could use whatever system they enjoyed.

It’s a bird, well yes, mobile is where we are heading, probably faster than we realize. The iPhone is the tip of the iceberg, and everyone is trying to become the iceberg! This will be an explosive area. So what’s it really like designing for all these new types of devices we will have to send our communications out on.

Working offline may be a trend with the development of cross-platform/cross-application widgets that run on the desktop as well as online components seem to be growing. It is also obvious that we don’t really need all that expensive software because there are great productivity products on the web, and the storage is free and always accessible wherever you are.
So this is a tossup for you to figure out how you want to work. Online has some interesting collaborative features, not to mention cost savings both in having available open source applications, as well as having less need for local storage. All this is happening when hard drives are hitting the terabyte range and the prices will be very small.

These predictions or projections perhaps, cause one to think about the options for work and play. A lot of tools and new technologies will continue to evolve and users and learners will have opportunities to improve their processes and expand their tool base to be more efficient and productive.

So what are your choices? How do you react to all the new technologies out there and what ones are important to you? Is there some product or process that you are waiting impatiently for? Do you envision any other new technologies that you would like to see or perhaps create yourself?

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