Steve Grossman


Information in the information age

Internet + users + needs + me = random thoughts

So my mind’s full of random thoughts tonight.

That the internet and computers are far from done. We are still in the beginning phase, a phase dominated by the fact that our technology doesn’t work for us, we mold ourselves to our technology. Nothing we have is intuitive. I mean, we still shut down PCs by clicking on the start button. Yes it’s a funny line in a joke, but it holds much truth too.

And this truth means that the majority of users do not yet interact with the internet and computers. Everyone reading this is the exception. Imagine what happens when there are no exceptions.

Imagine that the internet and computers actually meet needs. Intuitively. Easily. Seamlessly. Whoa.

I imagine when I – me – will have appliances at work, home and with me that allow me to:

  • Access news that I need. And by need I mean need – information that helps me live productively, informed and aware. This means that my online world (the appliances will do nothing but access what we are starting to call “the cloud”) is set-up to deliver from sources I know AND from sources I don’t know based on my desires, responsibilities and cares. For instance, I wouldn’t knowingly subscribe to disease warnings but I’d need them when they are vital to the survival of my family.
  • Interact with family, friends, associates and acquaintances appropriately. In the same way that I have “news that I need” functionality, my writing/thoughts/posts/statuses/photos/rants will go to only those truly interested in the topic(s) being addressed.
  • A fully functional online hub: what I’ve just described won’t happen without acquisitions and mergers of what we see today. The biggest challenge to the use of the myriad of online aps is the myriad of online aps. The masses will never sign up for g-mail, Twitter, Zoho docs, WordPress, flickr, Facebook and Pandora much less some service that links them together. Web and computer development is about to enter a phase of consolidation similar to the American automotive industry over the early part of the 20th Century.
  • And the online “Big Three” (four or five) will charge a fee – real or sponsored. I know everything on the web is “free”, but this will not last. We will someday pay for a service that assists us in living our lives and we will do it one of two ways: literally paying or by merging our interests with sponsorship. Sure some will pay, but the majority will be a part of the “influence economy” we’re already seeing develop. Countless studies are showing that the number 1 factor in purchasing decisions is the opinion of a friend. Couple that with the fact that people are excited to include brand support in their personal profiles (Facebook fan pages) and I beleive we’ll soon see personal sponsorship arrangements paying for online services.

internet + users + needs + me = random thoughts = more to come.


Filed under: Life_technology, Trends

3 Responses

  1. I’m definitely with you on point 3 – apps, apps, and more apps. Definitely would like to find a good “hub” for all of them.

    Is the future really “cloud” computing or is it just a smarter remote terminal?

  2. stevegrossman says:

    Thanks for the comment Bryan. I do think we’re heading to the cloud for the simple reason that most people don’t have one computer. They either have multiples – like I have one for work and two at home – or none at all. In both cases, the cloud allows for the same access and experience.

  3. […] what I mean. As I said here, “We will someday pay for a service that assists us in living our lives and we will do it one […]

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