I don’t see the end of this social media explosion coming anytime soon. Maybe there will be a slowdown in a few apps like MySpace and maybe twitter but at the same time, I think it will grow into new areas. A question I like to ask myself is what social things do people like to do when they are together? What do they do with family or friends or work associates? For example, they might get together with family to talk. They might go shopping together. They might play a game. If you go way back, they meet up to go kill a mastodon or tiger. That brings me to my first thought:
Social gaming will be the new trend
I think the booms in social media will be in the technologies that brings any of these “real life” experiences and feelings to geographically dispersed groups of people. Want to get together with other hunters to kill mastodons? How about WoW? More of a gatherer than a hunter, try Farm Town and put your farm right next to your old college roommate’s field. I’m surprised there is no game based on politics. Social media apps bring us together but its some of the social gaming activities that will give us something to do.
Realtime and social search
The thing I like about twitter is that many of the folks I follow only tweet the good links. Its like a search engine anticipating my needs. So, its no wonder the search engines are starting to tap into the social media trend giving both more real time results and indexing what is being placed on social networks.
As a result, start expecting anyone that is interested in a high search engine ranking to start investing more time in social media. I’m hoping this will mean that companies will start putting out more interesting and useful content that are likely to get retweeted and reposted but I expect spammers to be trying to game this system as well
Tablet computing Specializes
My iPhone and my attempt to touch the screen of a Kindle when I first saw one (it didn’t work) have me thinking that touch screen tablets might finally become main stream. However, we have had a lot of false starts on this in the past. So, I’m saying its just more meager growth even with Apple hitting the domain. Still, the Netbooks, kindles, the new Nook and even the Google OS suggest we’ll have a lot more variety of device types next year but still a lot without touch screens.
This is such a huge area when everyone drawing different lines around it that one could probably justify any prediction about it. I love Google and having all my data “in the cloud” but there are some practical things that I think will bog it down.
First, data protection and data security are a big issue. No one wants to lose their data from a server crash or fire or whatever. Secondly, so many companies are seriously concerned about data security that letting it outside the firewall is going to be a hard sell.
Secondly, network speed and latency makes pushing large amounts of data around painful. So, many of today’s applications need to be re-engineered to make better use of show data high latency cloud technologies. That will take time too.