What will four years from now bring?

As I am banging away at another project, I overheard some people saying one of those phrases you always here when people are talking about “new” technologies (at the Social Media Monday Meetup):

You know, all of us here are twittering – but my Mom is not twittering, and mainstream are not twittering. We can not assume that everyone will be twittering any time soon, but it will happen.

What I love about this statement is at the end of the 2004 Election, when I was taking some downtime – I remember listening to everyone in the media industry discussing the new technologies of “podcasting” and “RSS feeds” – something that had been practiced in the 2004 Election.

Four years later, the “podcasting” meme has been subsumed with YouTube (has anyone looked/listened to any audio podcasts in a while?) and RSS feeds are still a technical term for adding blogs and other websites to your feed reader, personalized Yahoo! or google page (or Netvibes/PageFlakes). But, who would have discussed twitter and “tweeting” – even though the idea of texting was still a small phenomena done by the Europeans and Japanese.

Today, the threads of what may happen are being discussed in various arenas – check out these concepts:

  • Mix and Mashable Services – with Open APIs Facebook Connect, Google Friend Connect, OpenID and such – along with the Data Portability Project and the effort of groups like the Sunlight Foundation – along with simple development platforms like Ruby on Rails and/or django – coupled with cloud computing – what apps will be available?
  • Making Voice/Video Easier – I thought the VoIP apps would be a bigger part of this years Presidential Election, but I am betting that with the increasing commodization of minutes and bits (think of all of the VoIP and packetized services), a platform in the frame of ROR/django – then things might blow up (see RecordMyCalls and Jaxtr).
  • Community Organizing 3.0 – no one ever discusses the original online communities any more (e.g. prodigy, Compuserve or dial-up BBSes) which showed people how to handle chat and conversing online as a common-interest community. Even with forums, USENet, email lists, chat services (like AOL) – the most we learned was free-for-all or heavily moderated (one gatekeeper). With the expansion of the “social networks” into the greater population (I can not claim friendster or Orkut was effective in 2004 since the population was quite small in comparison to today), and with the population who has grown up with MySpace and Facebook – Community has jumped to 2.0 with the reduction of a “small” virtual space (like a forum) and has become the grand square with gossip, news, and other micro-events that are available for people to filter and deep-dive if they desire. Community 3.0 – this is a challenging concept, where technology and the crowd’s energy is captured and used for additional social benefits – meeting some need that we do not have already solved. I beleive the gradient to Community 3.0 be a combination of Data Portability, APIs and our natural curiosity of others – combined with the large, cheap computing and storage resources.

This will be another interesting ride – seeing how society and circumstances around us will impact the engagement of people to create the next chapter of Politics.

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