Sunday, 8 March 2009

What's after Web 2.0?

Throughout January and February Justin Souter has published a guide to Web 2.0 on b.daily, explaining - what, where, when, why, how and who's. Justin Asked me to take a look and give him some feedback, and I want to expand upon it and take a look at what the future might include.

Web 2.0 marked a paradigm shift in the internet: technological advances converged, and coincided with a fall in costs and a change in public attitudes that is not going to happen again for a while.

What we are far more likely to see in the future are faster, smaller changes in the way that we view and use the internet (and technology in general).

This trend is, in part, because of Web 2.0. Developers have become used to leveraging user generated content created in small, loosely connected pockets all over the internet and users are demanding sites and services that can react quickly to their changing needs.

With companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter opening up access to their services, it's becoming increasingly possible for bedroom developers to make, market and sell viable products online. It's likely that this means more mobile web. Already in Africa, Asia and other parts of the world there are more mobile users than desktop users. It's likely to mean more internet-enabled devices (cameras, TVs, watches, cars, household items, fridges, game consoles, electronic photo frames, even houses themselves).

It's likely to mean more unified communications (intelligently mixing and matching email, messaging, chat, mobiles and landlines). It's likely that the environment and green computing will continue to grow in importance and that cloud computing and virtualisation will be huge. We're almost certainly likely to see more social networking, and in particular growing internet global communities (I network with as many people internationally as I do locally already).

I couldn't finish without mentioning search, and the quest for semantic (clever) search engines. Google are obviously the clear market leader, but we are also seeing a move towards searching things like twitter and social bookmarking sites, and wanting more graphical search results.

We've been talking about the future though, and these are only my ideas on what may be coming. I'd really love is to hear your ideas on this and on what you think is going to be the next big thing, or just as importantly what's not. So please leave a comment.

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